Shell Series: Retouching Still-Life Images to Enhance the Beauty of Nature

Natural beauty is hard to beat – but we can try! Drawing on the wealth of retouching tools at our disposal, we can enhance and amplify the natural wonders we capture in our still-life photography.

In this Photoshop class, Karl uses a range of effective techniques to retouch the scallop shell still life he captured in a previous video. He begins by focus-stacking a selection of images before aligning them using a combination of manual and automated alignment techniques.

Watch as Karl moves on to burning and dodging – deepening shadows and emphasising focal points across the image, working to strike a perfect balance between the sandy background and the beautiful shell at the heart of the shot. The goal is to optimise the gorgeous golden light he created in the original photo to produce a really striking image.

The class wraps up with a lesson in the importance of coming back to an image for a final review with fresh eyes – just as Karl does here.

You can watch the original still life shell shoot here.

In this Photoshop class:

If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comment section below.

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