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First of all I really want to thank Scott and his team for the great opportunity to write here about myself and my work.

I am Calvin Hollywood, Photoshop Artist located in Heidelberg, Germany. My major focus is to take photographs of people with the emphasis on the digital image editing with Photoshop.

And there we are right in the middle of the topic: I am addicted to Photoshop :-)

By the way, you are addicted too if:
-    you wake up after a wild night in the bed of someone and you think “STRG + Z”
-    you don’t get older, just harder to retouch
-    you order the meat in your favourite restaurant “RAW” to adjust it yourself
-    your apartments walls have 50% gray color

But what can you do in Photoshop if your starting point material is not really good? I try to get as much done when photographing and only if I can’t get further with photography I start with Photoshop.

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I started photography and image editing in 2005, and since then I have continuously worked on my skills. When friends went to parties, I partied with Photoshop. And the great thing is: It was a lot of fun! Because I learned everything by myself I relied on the Internet, books and training DVDs. These media have been very effective for me and I consumed nearly everything on the market.

In 2006 I started to work with the Photopartner and “Lightguide” I am still working with today. Together we form a great team allowing me to focus on the picture and the image editing.

The work for hire I do contains a lot of portraits of artists and musicians. I love to take pictures of people who are (as I am) very passionate and live their passion.

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But if you want to reach known artists, you have to have a great portfolio of your work. In the beginning I created my portfolio based on pictures I took of friends and family. For these pictures you don’t have pressure regarding time and success – they allow a lot of experimenting.

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My pictures all have an artificial look. Many people think that my pictures are painted. But I really can’t paint, believe me. I shoot my pictures with the camera and give them “the look” in Photoshop.

Likely this is not what most people mean by „photography“, but it is in fact a big part of my imagination.

The techniques I am using for my work are no secret.
I have published more than 7 video tutorial DVDs on the German market and one on the English market. In these publications I explain my techniques and strategies in detail.
I host more than 50 Seminars each year and I am worldwide on the road for companies like Adobe, Wacom, video2brain, etc.

It would be way to many words for this blog article to explain my entire library of techniques, but I would like to explain some selected ones to you.

If you have and further questions please don’t hesitate to send me an email!

The Double RAW Conversion
Most of the time I am converting my RAW files twice.
For this I am using a very thrilling method which I have explained in this YouTube video.

Colorlooks
Rarely I am removing color casts, but many times I am adding color casts to my images.

For this I am using in most cases an adjustment layer „Hue/Saturation“ and the layer blending mode „Soft Light“.
Additionally I activate the check box „colorize“ and then give the image a warm color cast.

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Freaky Details
In order to get all the fine details out of an image, I am using a very freaky method. I would like to show you a short tutorial for this. It has been created during the production of a video tutorial project.

There are so many easy techniques which have major impact on the picture. I think that it is the many small changes to an image, which create the final picture. In my opinion playing with the pictures it is very important and I really suggest it to everybody.
Combine some filters and blending modes.
Try to understand Photoshop.
Don’t underestimate the basics.

Sometimes I am also editing pictures for other photographers, who love the painted and illustrated look.
Below you can see an example of a retouch I have performed for the photographer Martin Krolop.

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My style works especially well if there are a lot of structures and details in the RAW file. That’s why I like to use photos of men a lot :-).

But if I am working on a fashion project, my work-for-hire mainly leads me to female models. But it is also important for me to keep my personal style there.

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It is important to edit the pictures in the individual way of your own emotions.
There will always be people who don’t like what you did.
Stick to what you like and have fun doing it!

I believe that especially in the beginning it is really fine to copy techniques from role models or industry leaders.
I did that all the time in the past.
Copying style and techniques gave me a goal to reach and helped me keeping me on track for my target.
The personal style will automatically appear over time.

I also think it is laughable and absurd to try to keep personal techniques secret.
Photoshop is a tool and the perfect picture is not created by Photoshop.
The feel for the image and the experience working with the tools is separating the wheat from the chaff.

Thank you very much indeed for your interest, and remember: if you have questions you can always drop me an email.

Warm regards,
Calvin

You can see more of Calvin’s work on his website. If you’d like to see more of his teaching, be sure to check it out here!