It is often the case that your favourite projects are not commissioned pieces, but ones you do for the sheer joy of it, as Thiago Storino found with Life And Death. although a creative retoucher by trade, this was a personal creation. “It took almost three weeks to finish; because I had no deadline, I could do it gradually, looking for the right photos and devoting more time to final touches.
“[I wanted] something that feels a good and bad sensation at the same time; that’s why I created an image showing the beauty of life in contrast to the ugliness of death and making a mix of hot and cold colours,” he explains. Life and Death was made entirely in Photoshop and it must have been a challenge to create a consistent yet contrasting image. Storino tells us how he did it…
Merging backgrounds To start the artwork, an image of soil was used and then a grass image was placed over using a clipping mask, painting on the mask with brushes, following the direction of the cracks. on the sky, a soft brush was used instead.
Working on the tree For the tree, three pictures were used. a selection of the tree was made with the Path tool (0.5px Feather). For the branches, a mask was made from the channel; the blue channel was duplicated andcontrasted until it turned black and white.
Altering colours For ‘life’, a Warming filter was added with Color Balance set at +5, 0 and -15. ‘Death’ had a Cooling filter (82) and Color Balance at +10, 0 and +5. I added a Black & White adjustment over the image and a Soft Light blend mode with 40% opacity.