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Submitted on
March 17
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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? :XD:) 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.

Summer by megan7Mercury Rising by fantasiosilencio by dihazeThe Further by neverdyingWhat they deserve by cunene

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!

Paradise (Collaboration With Ya Izidoro) by KlauzeroA World Of Legends by 3mmICity of Dreams by Helga-HertzPrayer for comeback by ForestGirl

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. 

Beneath the Tulips by kuschelirmelUnder Cloudy Sky by igreenyBibbidi Bobbidi Boo by PerlaMarina

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.

Alive by La--BohemeGuardian by AlexandraVBachWhisper in the Wind by NellenaForever sleeping by MadameThenadier

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?

The Untold Story by xetobyteIn Dreams by nina-YDementia by oberegSavage temple by MarcelaBolivar
The Final Journey by LiliaOsipovaTheseus by MachiavelliCro

So, this is what makes great, great for me. What about you? Let's discuss!

Looking Ahead

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.

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The first installment of "The Wow Effect" month at we-HEART-photomanip. Enjoy!!
Add a Comment:
obereg Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
what a gorgeous and amazing article! thanks very much for including my work - I am honored!
I'm sorry for seeing it so late...
LiliaOsipova Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
wonderful article and thank you so much for including my piece, it is great honor for me :heart:
neverdying Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Love the article Jade! Thank you for featuring one of my work! :)
PerlaMarina Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Great useful article and information! Thank you so much for including my work !!!! Heart
NTGreen Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I forgot to mention the most important part of my comment ... the whole reason I wrote a comment in the first place :doh:

Lovely and very well thought out and written article! Excellent choice of samples. The artwork is stunning ... thank you so much for this!

:glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap: :glomp: :blowkiss: :clap:
tamaraR Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014   Digital Artist
Thank you! :heart:
NTGreen Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I believe that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" ... some people love work by da Vinci, some love Van Gogh ... and some can't find anything to like because they just can't see. Art has been adorning walls for hundreds of thousands of years ... it is the precursor to written language ... it is what writing is built on. The earliest forms of writing were "pictographs!

I believe that art (of all kinds) is subjective which to me means that there is really no right or wrong "art"  ... it is only the "reaction" to it that truly matters. If an image (or book or ballet or play ...etc.) produces a reaction, then you, as an artist, have done your job.

But ... and it is a big BUT ... as human being we have physiological imprints that make certain compositions, perspectives, styles, colour combinations and subjects more appealing ... learning those can make your art have greater impact, more "WOW" effect. In addition ... human nature generally prefers being a part of something (which is why deviantArt even exists :nod:) ... so (as much as it annoys me personally) art that has a similar format is comfortable to people and will generally win more praise.

Almost every new school of art has gone through the pain of being "accepted" ... Charles Dickens wrote a critique on the Pre-Raphaelites which said that he considered the {Pre-Raphaelite} brotherhood's artwork to be "mean, odious, repulsive, and revolting". Today we consider their work as some of the best ever produced. This can be said of almost all new "schools of art"! Human beings have a hard time with new and different ... silly humans... we also have a hard time with old and repetitive!

There are so many different "layers" to this subject that it is impossible to truly ever end this discussion ... but it is fun trying!

Links if interested Pre-Raphaelite paintings -…
Critique on their work -…
DaniaArts Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014   Digital Artist
Great article Jade :clap:
Aeirmid Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014   Digital Artist
thanks! :love:
Helga-Hertz Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014  Professional Artist
thanks for the feature! Heart 
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