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Choosing Photographic Subjects for Creative Composites in Photoshop CS4

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What makes great composite imagery? You need more than just the right tools. Dan Moughamian and Scott Valentine provide some real world advice for designers and artists who want to create killer composits in Photoshop CS4.
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Real creativity comes into play in choosing subjects for composite images and artwork. Don't blend two dissimilar subjects in Photoshop just because you can. The goal is to leverage Photoshop as a tool for creating art, works that you—and only you—can envision based on your life experiences and the photographic subjects you've chosen.

More Questions Than Answers

When starting out, you need to ask yourself the right questions in order to wind up with a positive result. What's your goal? Who will see this composite imagery? Sometimes only the artist sees the final art. At other times, great art starts as a work-for-hire project. It could even be a gift for a loved one. Musicians, authors, and moviemakers identify their target audiences, and you must do the same if your project is to be a success (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1 Identifying your target audience is key.

You have to know your audience before you can create something that will have an emotional or intellectual impact. For those in the graphic design world, most likely your client is your audience. (In other words, you create what your client asks you to create.) For the rest of us, the "who" may not be as clear-cut, but the process of thinking it through ahead of time is a necessary step if we want to make something worthy of someone's attention (and business).

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