Photoshop: The (Layer) Mask-ed Hero to the Rescue

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: August 7, 2012

Category: General

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well with you and you’re ready for what Tuesday has in store 🙂

Ok so today I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at some of the editing that went into a recent series of images…

A few weeks back now I had a promotional shoot in the studio with D.J. and International Illusionist Michael Otton; the purpose of the shoot was to come up with some new imagery for his D.J. business.

Michael wanted the images to have the feel as if he was ‘working’ in a club so I went into it already with an idea of what would be done during the retouching to give the pictures a bit more atmosphere: lighting effects, smoke and all that kind of stuff. I wrote about the shoot a short while back here on the blog giving a look B.T.S. (Behind the Scenes) at the lighting and studio set up which you can catch here [Link]

Now, one thing I didn’t mention about last time was that during the shoot because of the set up, camera settings and all that jazz, the lights on the ‘Decks’ didn’t show up; in fact they actually looked as though they were turned off. Obviously for the final images to work then the lights would need to be ON otherwise, well…it would have looked kind of weird that Michael was getting ‘Down with it’ (excuse my feeble attempt at club speak) when clearly no music would have been playing; more DJ Marcel Marceau than DJ Michael Otton 🙂

Taking differently exposed shots so as to get some with the lights on the decks just didn’t cut it. Manually painting in the lights and using techniques to make the lights look real didn’t cut it either…too time consuming and a lot of work to make them look realistic.

Solution? Photos of the very same make and model of mixing deck from a Stock Image website and then use selections, transform, layer masks, colour correction, contrast etc to place it into the scene; hence Photoshop: The (Layer) Mask-ed Hero to the Rescue 🙂


Click to enlarge

Selections and Layer Masks in Photoshop are incredibly powerful and it’s this and more that I’ll be covering in my brand new Photoshop “Know How” workshop on Sunday 2nd September [Link]

Right that’s all from me for today but if you have any questions or comments then as always feel free to make use of the comments section below.

In the mean time though, whatever you’re up to today be sure to have a good one and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow,
Glyn 🙂

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  1. justin blair

    Wow Glyn, that looks totally seamless! I would have NO idea. Great work.

    • Glyn

      Cheers Justin 😉

  2. Russ Robinson

    Fantastic job…looks MUCH better than it would have if you’d simply done a double RAW conversion and bumped the exposure on his sound gear. Seamless, sharp, and stunning!

    • Glyn

      Cheers Russ 😉


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