How to Fake Model Photography in Photoshop

Some day you may need to create the illusion that you have photographed a model. Model photography can be easily achieved if you have the right photo. It is much easier to make something look artificial than to make something artificial look real. So follow these steps to achieve this trick.

Step 1: Select a Picture

You will need to find a landmark or town that is relatively littler free and photograph it when the light is hard. Model sets are usually lit by a single lamp source and the photographers do not normally achieve soft lighting. Try to be at a relatively high angle as you would be when you are looking at a model. Eye level can work as long as the edges of your frame do not give away that you are actually in the scene. Once you have the photo, open Photoshop.

Step 2: Add a Gradient

The idea is to get the viewer's focus on the subject area by making it much more distinct than the rest of the photo.  So go to your gradient tool and set up your colors in the tool window so that they are white on top and black on the bottom. Now look at the available gradient types in the options bar. Most likely, you will want the repeating gradient to best simulate the shape of a model. This is the icon with three horizontal sections: black, white and black. If you feel that the other shapes might better suit your purpose, then you can try those as well. Now click on the center of the area that you want to be your model and drag your cursor up to the edge of the image.

Step 3: Use a Lens Blur

Now you want to soften your model to remove the wears and tears of reality.  Go to the "Filter" drop down, select "Blur", and "Lens Blur".  The menu that comes up will have several options available to you. You can play with them as you wish, but basically the "Iris" section controls the shape of the lens and the "Specular Highlights" adds glints to the brighter areas of your frame. Try out the "Hexagonal" iris and use the "Blade Curvature" control to make the shape it less rigid. Add a bit to the "Brightness", but keep the "Threshold" close to maximum. When you are ready, hit "Enter".

Step 4: Adjusting the Contrast

Go to the "Image" drop down and select "Adjustments" then "Curves".  Adding contrast will increase the artificial feeling of the image. So grab the line near the top quarter and pull it upwards slightly. This will make the brights brighter. Also, grab the line near the bottom and try to make the darks a little darker by pulling the line down. The scene should be looking pretty fake by now.

Usually the challenge is to make adjustments without sacrificing reality. Luckily, this process goes in the other direction and is therefore much easier to make convincing.

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