Royal Portrait
$34.99 $24.99

Episode Categories

Secrets to the Steampunk Style

Jun 12

Subscribe to Phlearn

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

Facebook Texture Contest

The image with the most LIKES will win a free texture pack. Check out the page to see the album! Which one is your favorite?

  • Sebastian Ortiz

    Very cool episode, Aaron. I’ve always loved “Steampunk”. :)

  • Alexiskyprianou

    Great tutorial. thank you Aaron

  • Mojo Jojo

    TOO HARD TO PICK A WINNER IN THE TEXTURE COMPETITION!

    give them all some textures!

  • dbernich

    I can’t see the video

  • dbernich

    Working now :-)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/43171278@N02/ Tony Walls

    Great job.. I see this saying new edge fashion.. LOVE this!!

  • Madame de Bombarìe

    This is very cool to see a project we worked on back on Phlearn :)  
    Photographer: http://www.lonnekemusch.nl/Clothing: http://www.rosiesart.nlMuH: http://www.chloevisagie.nl/ & Merel van der VeerModel: Larissa van SoestStyling & art director: Madame de Bombarìe

  • Madame de Bombarìe

    This is very cool to see a project we worked on back on Phlearn :)  Photographer: http://www.lonnekemusch.nl,/ Clothing: http://www.rosiesart.nl, MuH: http://www.chloevisagie.nl/  & Merel van der Veer, Model: Larissa van Soest, Styling & art director: Madame de Bombarìe

  • Lonneke74

    Thanks Aaron for working on my photo!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Артём-Аванесов/100001204449288 Артём Аванесов

    Это очень круто)

  • Randell

    Great video Aaron. Nice photograph to work on as well Nice One Lonneke74. 
    I’ve been using your ‘Blend If’ technique quite a lot recently and it’s really useful. 
    Many thanks.

  • Sagar

    hey aaron is there some other way to access your videos. Government has blocked vimeo in India. :(

  • Sagar

    hey aaron is there some other way to access your videos. Government has blocked vimeo in India. :(

  • Sagar

    hey aaron is there some other way to access your videos. Government has blocked vimeo in India. :(

  • Amelia

    Hey Sagar! We are now uploading to youtube as well, you can view them here

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC47XN5bhLTBH5TRFyKaUpKg?feature=mhee

  • http://www.facebook.com/aetue Aaron Etue

    it’s crazy that you’re talking about Steampunk haha I’ve been working on one for about a week now. What you think? It’s not finished I want to add some crazy stuff! Any ideas Aaron or Phamily members?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Durghan Dave Wilson

    This guy has done some great steampunk shots!  
    http://www.marcoribbe.de/portfolio/steampunk

  • Diego Moncayo

    Its cool you tried, props for that, but of ALL the things I’ve seen you do (which most are AWESOME) this is not your best work. That being said, you really are awesome dude.

Free PRO Tutorial
Sign up for our newsletter and instantly receive a free PRO Tutorial!
Over 20,000 people
are already signed up.
Random Tips

Adding RAM to your computer is a cheap way to make Photoshop much faster.

aaron