Dramatic Photos: Ways to Turn up the Drama in Your Pics

Who says your photos have to be by the book and “safe”?  Your clients will appreciate a variety of choice when you present them their finished photos.  Sepia, black and white, etc are not your only choices when creating packages. Try these with your next client:

Our original photo:

dramatic photos -original

Increase your Contrast
One of the best ways to add some “oh yeah” to your SL photos is to increase the contrast.  This brings out dark tones and brightens light tones all at once.  It emphasizes details as well.

Contrast increased, saturation decreased

Contrast increased, saturation decreased

Make a Curve
I have found that if your model has a high quality skin, adding a custom curve will bring out the shadows and details of the skin.  Here is the photo finished and the curve I used on the original to obtain this effect:

dramatic photos -saturation +curve Curves

Desaturate
Black and white photos are always dramatic, especially when you add contrast as well.  However instead of using contrast, I increased the exposure and the gamma, and slightly decreased the offset to get this finished photo:

Desaturated, increased exposure, gamma, increased offset slightly

Desaturated, increased exposure, gamma, increased offset slightly

Overexpose
Overexposed photos are normally a “no-no”. That is unless you are going for that overexposed look – which we are in the next photo.  This is typical of a halo filter.  The image is over exposed and a gentle vertical and horizontal blur are added to soften the edges giving it a very angelic touch.

dramatic photos -overexposure +contrast

Add Motion
Using the motion blur filter in Photoshop, I was able to add the following effect.  Try also using radial blur which adds equally stunning results!

Duplicated layer, added a motion blur to  top layer and set blending mode to lighten

Duplicated layer, added a motion blur to top layer and set blending mode to lighten

So, how do YOU turn up the drama in your photos?  Share your favorite techniques and please feel free to upload into a gallery!

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