Special effects.

Special effects can be quite subtle but can turn an ordinary photograph into something extraordinary. Reflections, ripples and fire, as shown in the pictures below, are amongst those effects that are sometimes used to create arresting images.

Grids

When products are as brightly coloured as these grid samples, they are calling out for more frivolity than one normally expects from industrial photography. Here, a reflection was first added before distorting it with ripples.

After photographing four elements, clipping paths were used to bring them together into one composition. A reflection was added and, finally, flames were applied to the top edges of the bank notes.

Initially, the darts were cut out with a clipping path. However, in order for them to sit naturally on a 'fire' background, a red inner glow was added to the underside of the barrels, points and shafts. An example of subtle retouching that makes a huge difference to how the image blends with its background.