The gallery on this page shows a collection of my photoshop projects. I will change it regularly, so if you like what you see, do come back to check for new material.
If you are interested in any of them, as an original or as a professional artprint on paper or canvas, send me an email and I can give you the details about available sizes and prices.
Many a heated discussion has been held about the authenticity of photographs altered with a program such as Photoshop. My opinion is simple: adjustments to photographs similar to those done in the dark room of old are totally acceptable. As good as digital cameras are these days, they always need sharpening and possibly a change in things like the white balance, the colour balance and the cropping. If the sensor was dirty and produced spots on the image, I consider it the duty of every serious photographer to remove them and Photoshop is the perfect tool to do that.
I will even go one step further. If the scene could not be captured without some small distractions, it is acceptable to me to remove them digitally. This, to me, is no different than the work that we did in the ‘olde’ times, in our darkroom.
However, completely altering an image and claiming it was taken ‘through the lens’ and not mentioning that, feels to me like diminishing the integrity photography. Personally, I love to use Photoshop to create special projects that are very obviously manipulated. In this gallery I have collected a number of those projects.
Moontail example: cannot be done without some manipulation
This image could not technically have been captured completely ‘in camera’. Moontail is a combination of 2 shots. Part 1 was the moontail and its surroundings. Moonlight is incredibly bright, but the November evening was already darkening. That gave me enough time to drag the camera from left to right during a longer than normal exposure time. I tend to do this on a tripod, turning the camera, so that the horizon remains a horizontal plane. Dragging helped create the ‘tail’ and a slight unsharp lake that indicates movement of the water. The second shot was of the moon itself, taken on a tripod to ensure sharpness. Both were then combined in Photoshop. Never underestimate the brightness of a full moon: if you let the camera decide, it will look like a bright spot without any texture. To expose the craters in the moon, you need an shutter time of only 1/11 of a second, with a aperture of 11. This is quicker than an eye blink!
These days, with the excellent cameras on cell phones, you may be able to pull off a correct exposure in a close-up of the moon without manual adjustment. But it is unlikely you would be able to create a shot like the one above in one go.
The ‘Harvest moon’ shot was created on another early evening when an extremely big moon was in the forecast. I have apps on my phone that tell me exactly what the coordinates will be for the sunrise. It is easy to miss without such a tool. The first part of the shot was exposed for the lake. Much like the previous shot, it was dark enough to drag the camera to make the lake and the sky look fluffy and soft, without sharp details. The second was focussed on the moon, on a tripod to prevent motion blur. That took care of getting details and colour in the surface of the moon. The two together, both taken with a tripod, were then combined.
Not typical Photoshop…
I don’t consider these two examples classic Photoshop projects. The scenes were exactly like they looked to the naked eye, with the exception of the moontail. As humans we see more with their brain than with they eyes. Our brain is the most fantastic camera in existence… It makes sure everything is properly exposed, something even the best camera cannot do (yet).
If you want to see how this works in action, try the following experiment:
On a very bright day, stand at the edge of a sandy beach or a similarly overly bright foreground. Close your eyes for a minute. When you first open them, try to be extremely aware of what happens with your vision. You will notice that for a millisecond, the image you see is completely over-exposed. Then, you will notice that the brain equalises the light and you will see a perfect postcard picture. What we do with manual settings and post production in Photoshop and other similar programs, is what our brain does. We make changes to get as faithful a representation of a scene as possible.
The other projects in the slideshow below are very clearly ‘Shopped’, with creative intent.
Watching the slideshow
Click on the red arrow in the image below to start the slideshow. If you enjoy background music, make sure the sound is on. The video can be viewed directly on this page, and you can maximise it to your screen by clicking on this symbol in the right bottom corner:
Alternatively, you can click on ‘YouTube’ to watch it in your browser.