Fran Mart can convey a mood in a single image. See how he does it.

Sharing Stories in Photos

By Terri Stone

While many people go to the Andalucía region of Spain for vacation, photographer Fran Mart left its bright sunshine for Scotland. "I was attracted by the Scottish countryside's colors, landscapes, and textures," he explains. "They continue to inspire me today." Mart uses Adobe Photoshop CC to enhance his images and create certain moods.

"I always seek to capture something beyond what we see—the emotion, feelings, memories that exist in the moment," Mart says. "For me, photography is akin to sitting by the fire, sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a dram of whisky, and sharing stories with good friends."

Mart shared one of those emotion-filled moments with his friend Anne while they were walking along one of his favorite Scottish beaches. "We kept talking about how this country had in some way adopted us, how we feel a greater sense of belonging here than in our home countries of Spain and Germany," he says. "We both felt it was going to be this way, long before we set foot here."

He memorialized the conversation by photographing Anne and liked the image so much that he made it part of his Adobe Stock collection. Watch the screen-capture videos below to see how he went from raw capture to final edited image.

The original image is to the left; the edited photo is to the right.


"The first step for me is always to balance the lighting in the image," says Mart. He opens his raw image file using the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in inside of Adobe Photoshop CC. In the panel to the right of the image, he adjusts sliders for Exposure, highlights (in Tone Curve and basics), and color saturation (in HSL/Grayscale). To begin achieving his customary palette, he desaturates some colors.


Done with Camera Raw for now, Mart returns to Photoshop's main interface, where he removes details that might distract the viewer. He uses the Spot Healing Brush for most of the work, including deleting dots on her sweater and an object half-hidden by the grasses.


Mart felt that the original feather in Anne's hand was too small to have the effect he was after. In the first video below, watch him select the feather using the Magnetic Lasso Tool and copy it onto a new layer. In the second video, he resizes the duplicate feather and selects and deletes bits of the original layer that don't mesh with the new, larger feather.


Mart emphasizes Anne's eye by selecting it and increasing the selection's Luminance; he then uses the Spot Healing Brush to clean up unwanted artifacts that appeared. With the Dodge Tool, he adds highlights around the eye. To heighten the mood, he plays with Selective Color.


Going to Filter > Camera Raw Filter, Mart makes a few more adjustments to the photo's exposure, highlights, and saturation. Finally, he chooses the Dodge Tool to tweak the highlights on the visible eye.

To see more of Fran Mart's work, visit his Adobe Stock collection.

April 11, 2018