The Magic Of Digital Image Manipulation - How To Manipulate Your Business Image

By: William Penworthy

The phrase Ďthe camera never liesí is no longer true, and in the hands of digital image manipulation experts, the only limiting factor is the imagination. Photo manipulation services are now capable of creating the most astonishing effects, helping to transform a standard photograph into a striking image which can say a great deal more about the product or the service. But it isnít just about the large scale effects that are possible. Sometimes image manipulation can involve subtle effects that are quite unnoticeable, but which set an image apart from those which have been untouched or unedited.

A photographic image used for a packshot, business publicity or product promotion needs to say something about the business or product. A simple image on its own is rarely enough. High street shops which just stack products in windows may find that they attract very little attention. Those retailers who create images, scenes, or produce a clever arrangement using the products are likely to do far better. The same is true with photographs - a plain image will say no more or less than a copy of the product itself. It might be a very good copy - but it says very little. With digital image manipulation techniques it is possible to alter the tone, mood or lighting, adjust the background, remove elements of a picture, add in elements which did not previously exist, or even make alterations which create an image which would be quite impossible to create in the real world.

By using photo manipulation services you can also drastically reduce the costs involved in creating the kind of product image you are looking for. For example, if you wish to advertise a motorbike, but feel that to have the bike just sitting in a warehouse or on the road would be dull, you might feel that having it in a breathtaking location would say far more. Extolling the virtues of freedom and the open road you might imagine having the bike photographed in an exotic location in some remote land. But the costs involved in shipping a bike all that way, having a photography studio come with you, and set the whole shoot up would be astronomical. It would only take a spell of bad weather and the whole shoot could be ruined in any case.

Instead, by having the product photographed professionally in a studio close to home, and then using the skill of a professional image manipulator, the plain studio background could easily be replaced with a photograph of a suitable location. By then adjusting lighting, shadows and reflections, the bike would not just appear as though it was on location - it would be clearer, better lit and more striking than could be achieved normally.

In some cases image manipulation might simply involve a slight adjustment in colour. Making a productís colouring appear more vibrant, more striking, crisper, or with a more realistic representation of tone, your packshot will achieve exactly what you need it to. In many cases a single photographic image cannot possibly create the perfect photo. Even with the best lighting rig set up, there are times when by lighting the darker colours, you lose the vibrancy of the brighter, lighter tones, and by adding enough lighting to bring out the lighter colours, the shadows become so dark that depth is lost. In these cases it is down to the image manipulation experts to draw out the shadows, recreate the lighting effects and develop an image which couldnít possibly have been captured even by the best camera.

Even our own eyes are limited in capturing images, which is why we can barely see anything after going outside at night after having been indoors where it is brightly lit. Our eyes have a limited range and capability, as do the best cameras in the world. But by combining multiple images, and carrying out advanced manipulation of lighting and hue, professional photo manipulation services are able to create an image which is more true to life than life itself.

Sometimes you need an image to make a statement, by combining two separate ideas or concepts in a way that wouldnít be possible, or at least not realistically possible with a limited budget and time. By using digital image manipulation techniques it is possible to bring separate elements together to create a single composite image. In doing this, however, there are challenges in ensuring the final picture is believable. This involves extreme attention to detail, focussing on consistent lighting, tone, hue, saturation and many other aspects which combine to create a truly believable, and eye-catching image.

Although digital photo manipulation can create almost anything you can imagine, it is sometimes helpful to take advantage of the wealth of experience which photo manipulation services have. Sometimes our imaginations are too limited, and it is by talking with the experts that we can discover just what is possible - even if itís supposed to be impossible.

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