Notes on Photo Illustration

What is Photo Illustration, anyway?

We all know how effective a good photo is. Crisp, clean, colorful… it conveys, well, OK, a thousand words. A photo is a super accurate representation of reality, but sometimes your message wants something more than reality—sometimes, added drama, emotion, atmosphere is the extra quality in a photo that sells faster.

Here’s an example, to make it clearer:

A realtor wants to sell an office building. It’s situated right in the center of downtown, shaded by large established trees. It has been freshly painted, windows are sparkling and the photo was taken in the soft afternoon light. Now, add to that the artist’s touch of a textured pastel, or a watercolor effect, rich heightened color made legal by artistic license, deeper shadows with lush indigo hues. The ugly mailbox in front has been softly diffused and, well, the building just became… gorgeous.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION is basically, a photo made into a work of art, keeping the essential information of the original photo, but with the enhancement of artistic touches that add glamour, emotion, drama, intensity, life.

Almost any photo can be treated to a makeover resulting in a photo illustration of anywhere from a soft sepia toned image with vintage “hand” tinting, to a dramatic brilliantly colored rough pastel.

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