Aug 19, 2013

Make a Badass Photo in Photoshop Pt.1

Making a Photo Badass

Badass is kind of hard to define. Most of the time you know it when you see it, but there are some tricks to getting the look that you want.

Here is a short list of things that can help your photo be more badass:

  • Subject Material – You are going to have a hard time making a dandelion look badass. Choose a subject that people already feel is badass and you will be on your way. Here are a few things you can try on for size. Motorcycles (obviously), Death Metal, Lightning, Stormy Skies, Lens Flares, Patent Leather, Skin tight pants, The American Flag, Guns, a file hidden in a cake, pitt bulls, shaved heads, fast cars, machined aluminum, anything LOUD, and bacon.
  • Lighting – You are going to want a lot of points of light in your image. Here we have a sun and the headlight of a motorcycle, both accented by rain.
  • Editing – Make sure to limit your colors to dark moody tones and colored highlights. Don’t go too crazy with this effect, just enough to get the mood across.
  • Make Badass Friends – Find someone who is already badass and ask then what they think would be cool. Then do it.


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      Tymon Aguilar

      You entered correctly just the wrong episode. You need to enter it into the contest episode.You can find it to the right of the screen under “join the phamily” or by just by scrolling the the episodes list.

  • user image

    when there is rain – the road is wet., when the road is wet, it will reflect somethings, like the bike’s headlight at least, working on that wouold add to the reaslistic feel

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    Simon Pow

    Thanks for this Aaron, I learnt a lot from both this and your “light beams from nothing” tutorials and put them together to make this. It’s proving popular on 500px today :)

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    Ali Dixon

    A very broad question here.. When youre working on these images are you opening up the raw cr2 files and then bypassing adobe camera raw?
    I guess what im asking is: What are the actual file types you’re working with in photoshop. And what bit depth?

  • user image

    Hi, i find creating the light beams always very difficult and in most cases, although the shape, blur and intensity looks just right, they affect the “wrong” part of the image.
    In this very case, for example, the light beam is spot on but it “illuminates” the forest which is in the background… which of course wouldn’t happen in real life unless the light source was in fact behind the bike, in the woods.

    Is there anyway to take care of this issue and truly make it looks natural?

    Than you.

  • user image

    You guys are awesome, this website has really helped me get more in tuned with what I love doing. I liked to look as myself as a visionary and I love taking photos. Coming here and watching your tutorials has really helped make my images pop even more. Big thanks to you guys.