For the latter half of March through the beginning of April, the theme at we-HEART-photomanip will be, The Wow Effect. Today, I am going to present some information about what makes a great photomanipulation great.
A great photomanipulation has great composition.
Composition is the way your eye travels over the photomanipulation and where your eye rests. What is the focal point of the image? Is that an appropriate focal point? (For example, are your eyes drawn to the model's eyes/face, or her arm? ) Composition is how we capture and keep the attention of our viewers. Popular composition styles include the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio, although there are certainly others.
A great photomanipulation features consistent lighting and shadows.
Light and shadow are huge problems for many of us, but getting them right will absolutely make your photomanipulation work. If something is lit, is it also casting a shadow? Where would that shadow fall? How dark would that shadow be? Light also bounces off of things, so nearby skin, clothing, rock, building, etc. will also be bathed in light. One way to think of light is to figure out where your light source is (where the light is coming from) and draw arrows radiating away from it, touching all things along that path. The further out your arrow goes, the weaker the light will be. The strongest light is right near the source. Light and shade add definition to your work and are a critical part of blending. Be careful to make sure the light is going the same direction on all elements of your manipulation!
A great photomanipulation takes perspective into consideration.
Think about presenting your photomanipulation as a single image. What is closest to you? (That should be bigger.) What is further away? (That should be smaller and less sharp.) Where is the horizon, and, where (and how big) should some things be as they fall along the vectors that lead to the horizon? How does this fall with respect to the focal point of the image? Below are some images that play with perspective and distance.
A great photomanipulation has blended, complementary tones.
Blending tones can be difficult, but is achievable through various techniques like painting and adjustment layers. It is important for tones and hues to be consistent because consistency contributes to the overall feeling of unity-- that is, the look that it is just one photograph and not several that you have pieced together. Blending is a key component of a good photomanipulation because, when it is not done right, your work looks pieced together.
A great photomanipulation tells a story.
It's not enough just to be pretty. What secrets does your deviation hide? What is the story that emerges above and beyond the photographs you are manipulating? They say that art speaks to the soul. What does yours have to say?
So, this is what makes great, great for me. What about you? Let's discuss!
The month of The Wow Effect will be going on from MArch 17th - April 13th
Week One: What Makes Great Great (current)
Week Two: Offsite Tutorial Feature
Week Three: Why It Wows
Week Four: Wrap up
Always feel free to request a certain theme or subject!
This blog was written for we-HEART-photomanip by Aeirmid.