So, these are some photos of Peter McKinnon.

I am at the point where I can sufficiently decompose a photo into categories like, lighting (i.e. strength, type, position), angle, focal length, aperture/DoF etc.

These photos obviously have had some decent post-production. Elements regarding to simple photo editing, I got covered.

What are the (photoshop) effects/techniques relating to graphic design here?

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They all look well lit, technically great shots. To me, at least the last two, and especially the last one, look like multiple exposures have been combined. This type of effect is usually called HDR (high dynamic range) photography. It’s similar to bracketing, but the images with different settings are used to create a single, final image.

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing task of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed.

An HDR image is commonly made by taking three photos of the same scene, each at different shutter speeds. The result is a bright, medium, and dark photo, based on the amount of light that got through the lens. A software process then combines all the photos to bring details to the shadows and highlights both. This helps to achieve the same task in the final photograph that the human eye can accomplish on the scene.


Some more examples of HDR images can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=HDR

It’s a great way to make things a bit otherworldly. A bit surreal.


There are a number of different things going on in these photos, which may make your question a wee bit too broad for this format, but...

The first thing is that these are VERY well taken photographs that have been expertly lit and taken with just the right exposure and aperture to capture tons of detail. In addition to that, there is clearly an amount of compositing in some of them. This might be just different exposures for foreground / subject / background or it may well be the addition of elements that weren't present in the original shot. Then there is the colour treatment. It would appear to me that various areas have been isolated and over / under saturated to achieve the desired artistic effect.

All of these things are very subjective and specific to the image in question, so there is no easy fix or one-stop-shop to duplicate the effect.

That said, I suspect that the one overriding feature of this style is the exaggerated, somewhat super-realistic sharpness of the images. This can be achieved in Photoshop using Unsharp Mask (Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask) so I would suggest that you search for tutorials on how to best use that filter.

It may require multiple applications of Unsharp Mask to replicate this kind of effect. Probably one wide, subtle pass and one that is narrower and stronger.


The models are not whoever, but persons that have something worth to be photographed. The photos itself are technically (equipment, light, adjustments) high quality stuff.

These are compilations. Something is added afterwards and surely something is removed. There are areas that are totally recolored. The strong local contrasts can be most easily created in Photoshop's RAW image developer. Topaz Lab's plugins ReMask and Adjust are very useful 3rd party add-ons for thislike Photoshop works (not absolutely necessary, but create speed).

This kind of compilations easily require tens of layers.

The water and the thunderstorm are very clearly additions. See, how the water happens not to cover the horizontal sight leading lines in the background, but anything else =yes. The flashback from the reflectors is too weak. The thunderstorm is too local to be real. The green lens flare in the pic 1 also must be an addition because the pro photographer surely doesn't point a light onto the lens.

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