There’s how many photos in that picture?!
Well in this case, just three. I’ve seen and heard of others using far more to get every shadow, reflection and texture just right.
How does that work? It’s just one photo?
Well other self, that’s the magic of photoshop at work.
So how do you do it? Like everything else in photoshop, there’s about a thousand ways to combine photos together to make a single image. No one way is entirely right or wrong. It depends on the project, the files you have, and what the file will ultimately be used for.
For the photo in the video (above) I knew I wanted to clearly show the texture of the bristles, have a nice shadow, good reflections, and a swatch of foundation in the background to show what the brush would be used for. I got lucky that I was able to photograph this so I only needed 3 shots. The bristles and the shadow are one image, the reflection on the brush another, then the swatch.
Before I do anything else, I make each image a smart object. This retains the original quality of the photo no matter what else I do to it. Using a wide variety of selecting and masking techniques I was able to show only the desirable parts of each photo. I then grouped the photos into folders to individually edit hue, saturation, exposure. This was I able to adjust the hue of the foundation and the hue of the brush separately and leave the bristles as shot. I used a soft brush to only include part of the original shadow in the middle image.
About 2 hours of editing later and you have the final image above. Once you get down the basic concepts of this, the creative (and problem solving) possibilities are endless.