For my third design, I chose a photo that I took by the coast from when I went location shooting.
This one in particular was really appealing to me because the sky and ocean horizon gave a sense of wonder and adventure. The strong sunlight also gave me the idea of having the staff as a silhouette against it.
I copied and pasted my staff into the file and adjusted it with the Transform tool. I often used the Mac keyboard short-cut Cmd+T to transform things.
Then, I moved it so that it was placed directly in front of the light to create a sort of silhouette. I then edited the Eraser tool so that it was softer and erased the lower parts of the staff to give the illusion that it was standing in the grass.
Now that I had the staff and photograph in place, I adjusted the Brightness and Contrast to get a clearer image before moving on.
Then I applied some precise shadows to the staff to give a better sense of depth. I used the brush tool and worked a new layer that was set to Multiply.
I also right-clicked on the layer and selected Create a Clipping Mask so that everything that was drawn onto this layer would only show up on top of what was underneath it. This stopped the shadows from unnecessarily going outside of the staff.
After that, I moved onto making the highlights of the staff. Because of the light source behind it, I decided to give the staff a sort of halo effect by adding a simple large highlight over the entire staff on another clipped layer.
I used the Brush tool as a big airbrush and very carefully painted on top of the staff. I set the new layer to Linear Dodge (Add) to make the yellow look more luminescent against the staff background. Because the layer was clipped, the highlight only applied itself to the staff layer directly underneath it, leaving the rest of the photo unaffected.
Once I had completed the highlights, I also made a vignette shadow around the edge of the image to help with the text later on. Because I still wanted to use white coloured type, I had to make it clearer to read against the light blue sky in particular. So I added some shadows around parts of the image to help darken those areas and also to help make the direction of light more obvious. I lowered the layer’s opacity to make more subtle.
Once I was happy with the shadows, I added the text in. Because the mood and theme of this design was more brighter and lighter than the previous two, I decided to adjust the title font a little. I chose Cambria because of how clean and clear it was for a serif font. It matched the atmosphere of the sky behind it – plain and simple, yet still appealing.
I didn’t add any glow or outline to it because it was already very bright and delicate, and also because it would ruin the simplicity and neatness of it.
Lastly, I added in the product details and logo at the bottom. The dark grass behind it made it easier to see than the sky above, so I didn’t need to do too much editing here.
Here’s the final: