Winners: October 2013: Obviously Photoshopped


Thank you to author Steve Caplin for acting as our guest judge for the October contest! The theme was “obviously photoshopped,” sponsored by Steve’s latest book, How to Cheat in Photoshop CC.

General Comments from Steve:

The quality of the Photoshop work in all the submissions was very high, with many outstanding entries. Ultimately, I was looking for the most powerful final image, irrespective of the amount of Photoshop trickery that went into its creation. My final selection is largely a matter of personal preference, but they all show serious Photoshop skills and a keen eye for composition.

First Place: “Missing the Last Train”
by Anindya Phani, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

What Steve had to say:

There’s a sense of loneliness and isolation here, with a strong composition that neatly contrasts the motionlessness of the man on the bench with the high-speed blur of the passing train. It’s also a perfectly crafted image in terms of lighting and arrangement; and the faraway look on the man’s face gives a real sense of his state of mind. Edward Hopper would have been proud of this beautiful image.

Second Place: “Drop Dead Gore-geous”
Jeremy Hochhalter, Timnath, Colorado, USA

What Steve had to say:
Whether or not you find the subject matter appealing, a huge amount of technical skill has gone into the creation of this powerful image. Everything has been thoroughly worked up, from the immaculate hair cutout to the torn skin, the vacant expressions, and such details as the skewed tiara, the loose strands of hair over the faces and the bloodied clothing. A real tour de force from a Photoshop expert.

Third Place: “Sway”
Carlos Bortoni, McAllen, Texas, USA

What Steve had to say:

I like the apparent simplicity of this image – a pair of jeans and a shirt blowing in the wind. But there’s just enough torso in that shirt to give the impression of someone inside it; the face is tilted back in a subtle scream. The double shadows on the sheet may be a shadow too many, which is what has pushed it down into third place.

Thank you to everyone who entered! See below for more honorable mentions and notes from Steve!

Don’t forget to enter November’s contest!  Theme: HDR Photography


Catching Planes: I’d like to see all the planes flying as if they’d come from the man’s hands, rather than clearly in the distance; and I’m not sure about the Oil Paint filter.

Egg Heads: A great idea, with many fine touches. A few of the faces don’t quite fit the angles of the eggs, though, and this rather spoils the illusion.

Kevin in Color: Clever and detailed work. But the man’s expression tells me nothing: shouldn’t he be reacting in at least a small way to this incursion of paint?

Power Surge: Beautifully rendered lightning, and a great original photograph. But I’m confused as to whether the lightning is coming from the electrical source or the sky: a stronger sense of origin needed here.

Behind Her: A great concept, artfully constructed. The lack of the woman’s feet is distracting, though; if you don’t have her feet in the shot, a cropped room would have worked better.

Metro Station “Fishing”: This was very nearly a winner – a great composition, and the couple opposite looking at the fisherman really make the image work. But the water doesn’t look like it belongs in the scene; try reflecting some of the lights in it for a more realistic appearance.

Abstract #2: I love the shapes here, but why is the image such low resolution? A piece of artwork like this deserves to be seen in sharp glory.

View Through my Window: I like the composition, but there’s no sense of glass in the window. Add any room interior at a very low opacity to make a reflection that will bring this image to life.

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