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Jun 12, 2012

Secrets to the Steampunk Style

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is a grungy, dark, desaturated look that can give your work a different mood. I did a search for references to see what they had in common and which techniques would give the same kind of effects, its a great idea to have an idea of what you want the final photo to look like before you start editing. Today we’re editing Lonneke’s image in this style by darkening it up and changing the color tones. She did a great job with wardrobe and location, that makes it much easier to pull off the look in post production.

See how you can achieve this style in your work!

Techniques to Use

First I’ll take some of the saturation out of the red areas using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. I did this by selecting out the exact color from the image that I want to tone down since that gives the most control.

Sometimes when you desaturate you lose the highlights. To brighten them back up you can select them in Color Range, and then use the brush tool with white to paint them in. Its usually best to bring down the opacity on this after for a more subtle effect.

To darken up the image I select out the bricks with the polygonal tool and fill those areas with black. I made many different selections so I can choose exactly how much to darken each. I don’t want to color each one the same amount because that’s not the way light would fall naturally.

Blend if will make this layer not visible where the highlights are to give more of a natural progression.

Darkening up the photo using the brush tool will help stylize it as well as draw more attention to the subject. Dodging and burning certain areas will help create a focal point.

Episode Timeline

  • 0:45- Looking at references
  • 1:30- Toning down the saturation
  • 2:05- Brightening the highlights
  • 3:15- Darkening up the rest of the image using selections
  • 5:08- Correcting the shadows using blend-if
  • 6:00- Burning in more of the image
  • 8:20- Masking out the subject and completing the image
  • 11:00- Updates and announcements

Suggest an Episode

To see your photo edited on Phlearn! We’ll be doing this once a week. Please include your name and a short description of what you would like to see done

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