Enhancing an Environmental Portrait with Photoshop

with Chris Orwig
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Enhancing an Environmental Portrait with Photoshop
Video duration: 0s 1h 12m Intermediate


An environmental portrait—one photographed in a setting that tells a story about the subject—has the potential to reveal something unique and interesting about the person in focus.

In this course, photographer, teacher, and author Chris Orwig explores a variety of Adobe Photoshop postproduction techniques that enhance the authenticity and mood of an environmental portrait. Working with a photograph of world-champion surfer Kelly Slater, Chris steps through each technique, from black-and-white conversion and toning to retouching and more, explaining his creative process along the way.

Topics include:
  • Cleaning up small details with the healing tools
  • Using Liquify to make minor adjustments
  • Burning and dodging to add emphasis
  • Experimenting with creative color
  • Creating a black-and-white, sepia-toned effect
  • Adding realistic film grain
  • Blending in texture from another photograph
  • Retouching the background


- Hi and welcome. My name is Chris Orwig. In this project-based tutorial, we're going to work on a photograph that I captured of 11-time, world champion surfer, Kelly Slater. And this photograph is really important to me. It's important to me not just because of the subject, but also because of the way that the image turned out. So what exactly will we cover? Well, we'll start off with the image straight out of the camera. We'll look at how we can clean up those small details. Next, we'll look at how we can convert the image to black and white, and then how we can add a sepia tone look to the photograph.

We'll explore how we can add or create a film grain effect, and then we'll look at how we can blend in texture from an old wooden fence, and we'll explore how we can burn and dodge or darken and brighten in order to add a bit of drama or visual interest to the photograph. Well I'm really excited about this project. Thanks for joining me. Let's begin.

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