The secret of many beautiful pictures from pros is that they are heavily photoshopped. The skills lie in the post processing ability to take a mundane photograph and add pizazz to it. We look, wonder at the beautiful light, about the exposure settings, equipment used, etc. when more often than not, the magic happened in Photoshop.
Case in point is The Belmonte Castle picture which won a Gold Award at the 2008 Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards. In this article over at Luminous Landscape, Peter Eastway explains how he took a rather ordinary looking photo of the castle (6 photos in fact, stitched together) and, in post processing, cloned a tree, squeezed the picture to make everything look taller, added a color that was not there in the original scene and added direction to the light to add drama — and to create a beautiful print and win the prize.
Note that in contrast to many professional photography contests where digital manipulation is strictly prohibited, Canon’s photo contests tend to allow extensive digital manipulation of images.
Read the article and view the images at: Luminous Landscape.