Visual Story Telling in Photoshop

by Fred Showker

Adobe Photoshop Photo Enhancements If you haven't tried it, you have no idea how much time and sweat-equity is invested in photo enhancements and photo manipulations. These samples represent a broad spectrum of talent from around the world in the photo enhancement realm. Most of these utilized Adobe Photoshop with add-in graphics and effects from Adobe Illustrator. Some used Painter or other image editing and retouching software. But one thing they all have in common is the amount of time and labor each image represents -- and the fact that these artisans represent the epitome of visual story telling.

You met a few of these artists in our Photo color, space, time, illustration edition. Remember, if you have discoveries you've made, or you would like to display your own art here, just let us know.


Kiss Me ~ Roberto Gamito

Kiss Me ~ Roberto Gamito

Roberto Gamito, is a portuguese, self-taught designer and illustrator, born in 1984 and based in Albufeira, Portugal. His Deviant gallery shows considerable range and capabilities in photo manipulation -- this one is our favorite. * Deviant gallery * Gamito, Behance
Kiss Me ~ Roberto Gamito Kiss Me ~ Roberto Gamito


Mulher-Tempestade

Mulher-Tempestade

Here's another one from Roberto Gamito. See many more through a Google Search
Mulher-Tempestade Mulher-Tempestade


Digital Girl ~ Tommaso Nervegna

Digital Girl ~ Tommaso Nervegna

Tommaso Nervegna is a Multidisciplinary Designer and photographer based in Milan, Italy. Obviously his art would not be as striking if he didn't have the right photos to start with. So he captures the photos to support the design intentions of the project. His work has been featured and talked about in magazines like Advanced Photoshop Magazine and Harper's Bazar. * on Facebook.
Digital Girl ~ Tommaso Nervegna Digital Girl ~ Tommaso Nervegna


Fashion ~ Luis Afonso

Fashion ~ Luis Afonso

Luis is a Digital Artist based in Portugal, with a diverse portfolio in Deviant. In addition to many photo manipulations and retouches, he's showing some rather nice typography design and layouts.
Fashion ~ Luis Afonso Fashion ~ Luis Afonso


Munkymuck ~ Pre Weed

Munkymuck ~ Pre Weed

What do you say about a digital artist who calls him (her) self "Munky Muck" ??? We could find very little info about Munky beyond some rather stunning art with equally off-the-wall names. Munky calls him (her) self a Psychedelic Artist, and hails from Indonesia
Munkymuck ~ Pre Weed Munkymuck ~ Pre Weed


Wei ~ Remix

Wei ~ Remix

This interesting series of remixes was created by Hu Yi Wei, from Shanghai. Hu is a Graphic, VI Designer, Digital Artist, Feelancer, and a member of International Council of Graphic Design Associations.
Wei ~ Remix Wei ~ Remix


Herry Saputra Gani

Herry Saputra Gani

Herry is a General Digital Photographer from Indonesia. The interesting thing about his work is its subtlety. Yes, it's photo manipulation - but not in the same sense as the others above. Nice work. Oh, by the way, many of Hu Yi Wei's images (above) began with photos by Herry. * Photography inspiration from "Herry Saputra Gani"
Herry Saputra Gani Herry Saputra Gani

Visual story telling

Photography is a tried and proven method of visual story telling -- it captures the nuances of the message and has the unique ability to convey emotion, mood, narrative, ideas and messages. Beginning with a photo, and then adding manipulating that photo with enhancements can carry the story far beyond that of a simple photographic image. However, careful planning, attention some restraints are in order because those enhancements can quickly take over the imagery and spoil the effect. Remember that your objective is to purvey the message to the viewer or reader with a minimum amount of noise.

Visual story telling doesn't just happen -- if it's good, then it's very planned and intentional.

  • Begin with a photo that portrays the subject and emotion of the message
  • Carefully select the enhancements to be included -- make sure the literal presentation is appropriate for the emotion, mood, narrative, and ideas you hope to communicate in the message.
  • Make sure the enhancements share a common relationship with the subject, and that they feel at home in the overall view.
  • Reinforce the context of the message. If there's a place and time, then reflect those.

There is a whole educational philosophy surrounding visual story telling -- visual themes; stylistic themes; locational themes; relational themes, and many other associations that should be considered when setting up to communicate via photo manipulations.

If you wish to further your education in the realm of visual or photographic story telling, I recommend you begin by printing and reading Telling Stories With Photos by Darren Rowse.

Use this education wisely and your viewers' experience will be greatly improved, and the message of your presentation will leave a lasting memory.

thanks for reading

Fred Showker

Don't forget ... we encourage you to share your discoveries about favorite or famous graphic designers and illustrators with other readers. Just contact me, and/or join the forums