RETOUCHING STORIES

(1) FIRE ON PAPER

At top, this holiday card with most of the plain red ornaments replaced by ornaments celebrating many cultures is a composite of the twelve stock images shown below it. It was initially comped roughly in InDesign for approval, leaving more time for the final compositing.

 

Solving a problem:

Initially I'd comped with a different image to represent Hindu culture, purposely avoiding the popular Diya candle, not wanting any flame imagery, since we had just gone through horrific fatal wildfires in the North Bay and elsewhere in California. But the client really wanted a Diya candle, and suggested that perhaps I could do something along the lines of the Chinese New Year ornament image, where the main image is a decoration on an ornament rather than an object itself.

 

When I began, I knew I didn't want a a dense image in that part of the composition, and quickly decided on this solution of a clear globe to enhance the sense of perspective in the composition, and meshing it with a delicate illustration of the Diya candle. I started with a stock image of a globe reflecting green landscape and light sky, and it wasn't that hard to replace those with green pine needles and white snow.  

 

I had to create bits of snow and patches of pine needles in many places, avoiding any obvious cloning. Some areas were more challenging than others, but in general the snow was actually more challenging than the pine needles.

(2) DUDES AND SKY

At a larger photoshoot at Compaq, we had some time scheduled to get shots of this executive, who it turned out, was only able to give us a few minutes in a dull parking lot, so I asked him to jump for a little interest, which came out great, except for the triple-chin side-effect, which I fixed. I'm very compassionate and have a philosophy about how far to enhance a real person's appearance. 

 

At a recent shoot on Mount Tamalpais at sunset, we got some gorgeous sky that was perfect for our print ads, but for the extreme short and wide image area of bus side signage, much of the drama was cropped out. It was sad to lose that, so I spiffed it up using an inexpensive stock image.

(3) GET YOUR MUG OFF THE CONCRETE

Among other concepts presented to client, this became a favorite, but the original image included a mug of cocoa with marshmallows. Since the client is in the healthcare industry, they didn't want to promote sugary treats. I had to really search to find a good image that was similar in subject as well as tone, and the best candidate is what  you see here, except the cup was sitting on really rough concrete. So I replaced the background with something a little rustic, but not construction-site rustic.

© 2019 Leah Markos