Welcome to the blog! twcdm.blogspot.com is all about sharing tips, tricks and tutorials all having to do with photography, Photoshop and getting into the stock photo industry.

Travis Manley

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photoshop: From Snapshot to Stock Photo

Here is one of the latest photos I have been working on. I thought it might be interesting to post the before and after as an example of what I do in Photoshop my photos.

This is a lot more work than I typically do, but to be honest I have fun doing this meticulous stuff sometimes and I have a feeling that this has lots of sales potential.

So here is what I did.

I took this photo on a slightly foggy day so the light was nice and soft. I used a tripod to make sure the focus was sharp so when I went to isolated the photo I would have nice crisp edges to work with.

If I had a studio big enough and the right lights I would have taken this shot inside, but I dont. This is where Photoshop comes in. I converted the photo to black and white and painted out the areas I wanted to have color (the tires, lights, etc.) I also boosted the contrast a bit so the car looked newer and cleaner.

To reduce the amount of distracting reflections from my house and yard I tried to look at the car in three colors/shades, dark, medium and light. I took all the areas that were mostly dark and made them more solid by painting in the "spotty" areas. Then I did that to the mediums and lights.

I then used the pen tool to trace around the car and cut out the background.

That is the quick version of what took me roughly three hours of work.

Isolated photos are great for stock photography. A buyer can take this image and easily place it in an ad or on a website and add different backgrounds.

If you have any questions about Photoshop or stock photography email me at

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