I recently posted a tutorial on the creation of one of my Tarot card images – The Magician. This is an elaborate composition of multiple photo images with graphic elements, filter effects, and painting effects, very clearly a photo-illustration! I want to broaden the definition of photo-illustration a bit here, to give you a better idea of the kinds of things I teach in my workshops about the subject. For me, photo-illustration is any photo-image which has been enhanced beyond what the camera captured, and beyond what the photographer remembered about the scene, to create something new, rather than represent something in the real world.
I explore some simple photo-illustration projects in my Photoshop Layers Fundamentals class at the Bryan Peterson School of Photography online—click the link above for details about the class.
The term photo-illustration has a slightly more specific meaning in the world of commercial photography—here it means any photo that is designed to tell a story or illustrate a concept—much advertising photography would come under that category. Broadly speaking, photo-illustration can be of any subject, though quite often in advertising, it is product oriented as in this image I created for an ice-cream product: