Photographic Styles and Techniques

The following images are a few examples of the various image styles and techniques employed to create a certain look:

PowerPowerMarine Boats - Power


  • Realistic capture of the scene
  • As the eye would see it without motion or blurring
  • Avoidance of dramatic lighting
  • Digital editing limited to slight enhancement of exposure, contrast, colour, sharpening, etc.
  • Elimination of distracting objects that do not support the scene utilizing careful in camera cropping, digital cropping and if necessary digital removal and cloning





PowerPowerMarine Boats - Power


  • Capture of the scene generally in more difficult light conditions
  • A slightly more staged and dramatic composition
  • Digital editing will generally enhance colour
  • Assurance that only key elements remain in the picture
  • A mood created by the lighting, composition, motion, blurring, selective focus, etc.




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Obvious Enhancement:

  • Capture of a scene with clear digital enhancement
  • Usually the main subject is targeted for enhancement within the scene
  • In this case the background was slightly muted and the main subject had targeted colour saturation and a slight glow added to the graphics
  • The foreground was brought out to show the reflected clouds




Sail and Non PowerSail and Non PowerSail and Non Power

Graphic Enhancement:

  • Photographic capture of a scene that is transformed into a form of graphic
  • The elements of the picture are real but more heavily stylized
  • The photograph can be transformed into a monochrome drawing, a pastel painting or a colourful graphic
  • Effects may be subtle to obvious



HDR (High Dynamic Range):

  • Photographic capture of detail in a high contrast scene
  • Detail can be recovered from within the shadow areas to the highlights
  • When shooting directly into the sun, the camera sensor simply cannot capture details in the shadows and highlights in one exposure
  • The dynamic contrast range exceeds the capability of the camera sensor
  • Most cameras will end up with a silhouette image
  • This example of shooting into the sunrise, digitally blended seven exposures together to create a single image with high dynamic range
  • The blended image was then post processed

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  • After photographic capture a portion of the picture is painted out to reveal another layer
  • In this case the background layer was copied from the main photograph, blurred and layered behind the original image
  • The area around the boat was then brushed out to reveal the blurred background, creating a greater feeling of speed in a still image

Blending Images:

  • This technique involves the masking and blending of two or more images into a single picture
  • The technique may be subtle or as in this case, a clear graphic representation
  • Each image is still treated individually before the blending process begins
  • The final composition is then processed

Water Treatments:

  • Water often does not photograph well
  • It can be colourless, muddy or littered with specular highlights
  • Mid-range shutter speeds can make the water appear unnatural and detract significantly from the image
  • Long exposures or digital blurring of only the water can soften a scene or create a desired effect and mood
  • Some form of colour enhancement or tonal treatment is often needed where the water is detracting from the visual interest of the picture

Sail and Non PowerSail and Non PowerSail and Non Power

Selective Desaturation:

  • Desaturation can transform a coloured scene into a monochrome scene
  • Selective desaturation can preserve colour in the main subject while desaturation of the background creates a unique look

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Combining Techniques:

  • This picture of my 35' Donzi uses multiple advanced techniques
  • The original scene was shot with 5 varied exposures and the HDR technique was blended and processed
  • Two graphic images were layered and masked into the scene (the perspective lines and the rope)
  • The interior shot was layered in, masked and adjusted
  • The multiple layers were collapsed and then the final frame edited