Lee Varis is a photo-illustrator working in Hollywood. He has been involved in commercial photography for the last 35 years. He started working with computer imaging about 23 years ago and currently works with digital as well as conventional photography in conjunction with computer graphics to create images for use in print advertising.
Lee’s work has been featured on movie posters, video box covers, CD covers, numerous brochures and catalogs. He is responsible for the moth on the "Silence of the Lambs" movie poster! His creative imaging has been featured in National Geographic, Newsweek and Fortune magazines as well as trade journals like PDN, New Media, Micro Publishing News, Rangefinder and Photo Electronic Imaging. Most of Lee’s work starts off as photography that is manipulated in the computer using a wide variety of imaging software. Images are often re-combined with digital painting and effects or with additional photo elements to create digital images that transcend the original source materials.
Clients, art directors and fellow artists look for inspiration at Lee’s web site:
There he displays recent imaging work and updates on his numerous classes and workshops, as well as links to his blog and book websites. You can learn more about Lee's extensive career as an imaging artist from his presentation at Adobe:
Lee has also been involved with consulting and training activities for numerous corporate clients. He did two series of imaging seminars for Apple Computers that took him around the country to most of the major metropolitan areas and is currently active in seminar programs with APA, PPA, ASMP, and Julia Dean Photographic Workshops as well as a touring Creative Production Photoshop roadshow with Mogomedia. You can purchase a video download of a 3-day workshop he conducted at creativeLIVE here:
Lee’s first book was "Digital Photography for Creative Professionals" with Rockport Publishers 2003. This is an examination of professional applications of digital photography for commercial graphic artists and art directors concentrating on workflow issues and creative solutions for graphics workgroups. His best known book is the best seller: “Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies” Wiley Publishing 2006 & a 2nd edition in 2010. This book has become a must-have reference for every portrait and fashion photographer. His latest book is "Mastering Exposure and the Zone System for Digital Photographers, Cengage, 2010—a detailed examination of calibrating and shooting for ideal quality in digital captures. He has written numerous articles for Design Graphics, PEI, PC Photo, Rangefinder and Digital Photo Pro. Buy his books on Amazon from the links below:
As a fine artist, Lee has been working on a series of images based on the Tarot. Current progress on this project is on display at:
Lee's 40 years of experience in photography spans the transition from film to digital giving him an invaluable vantage point for teaching and inspiring future generations of artists.
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The Fundamentals of Basics of Photo Illustration & Image Creation in Photoshop is a step-by-step, guided tour through 15 projects, start to finish, that will lead the student from basic understanding, to a mastery of image creation & photo illustration techniques. The Photo Illustration & Image Creation in Photoshop course is designed for the artist who wants to progress beyond the simple tips and tricks phase of Photoshop, and dig into Photoshop in a deeper way. The techniques presented are the result of over 20 years of experience in professional imaging and photography. The student will learn how to combine multiple images into a seamless whole, and enhance single images beyond what the camera saw, as well as create image elements from scratch using just Photoshop native filters and tools. This is not a beginning level course and it will require a serious commitment from the student. Over 9 hours of video step-by-step tutorials provide serious training with over 2.4 gigs of downloadable supplementary material.
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I haven't gotten through the entire course yet, but 4 lectures I have gone through have helped me immensely.....thank you Mr. Varis for this great course.
Lee's teaching style is very thorough and complete. I'm only half way into the course but the value of the course if way more than what is being charged. I have purchased many tutorials and I would rank this near the top!
When it comes to ANYTHING Photoshop, digital imaging, or photography and illustration, I can count on less than one hand the people that have as much experience, practical knowledge as Lee Varis. The best part is his willingness and ease with sharing all this in a meaningful way with anyone who wants it. His unpretentious manner make the techniques he explains transparent and easily accessible for viewers here. The price is not just a bargain, it's a steal. I can't recommend Lee enough. He's the real deal and has been since digital imaging first landed in our hands.
Even if you know PS well you will almost certainly pick up some further tips here. Yes, it's advanced, but it's so well explained that anyone with a basic knowledge of PS should be able to follow along and learn all sorts of new stuff. Lee's tip about using the smudge tool to further refine masks is worth the price of entry on its own. Highly recommended.
Wow... I haven't had a chance to view everything yet, but after the first two projects I got my money's worth! Fantastic detailed examination of real world techniques!