The original photograph was of three wet leaves, photographed
on a light table.
I then dodged and burned in areas to heighten highlights,
and darken the edges between the leaves, giving each leaf
a more defined space. Pumping up the saturation allowed me
to put more emphasis on the color of the leaves.
The next step was to create a montage: one super sharp layer
laying under one super blurred layer with the blurred (top)
layer set to the "overlay" blending mode.
After adjusting the opacity and fill of the blurred layer
to my liking, I then merged the two layers in preparation
for the next step. Using the Liquify:twirl tool, I set the
brush size just over the size of the swirls in the image.
Setting the curser where I wanted the swirls, click and hold,
making sure not to move the curser, until you get the swirl
intensity you desire--I used both clockwise and counter-clockwise
swirls running along the main veins of the leaves and the
edges to bring more attention to the strongest parts of the
I finished by adjusting contrast, brightness, and levels
to my liking, resulting with the image shown here.
The Liquify tool is a fun tool to play with, found under
the Filters menu in Photoshop CS2. Check it out as I'm sure
the results will delight you.
(You can also view Adobe's
information on the Liquify tool.)