advanced photoshop

How I Made: Life And Death

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General, by Rebecca Greig

Thiago Storino tells us how this composite of images was formed to create a striking piece of art fuelled by juxtaposition



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.




LIFE_OR_DEATH_STEP 2Working 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.