I add 3D elements to my sports portraits to make them more dynamic! The reason why I use 3D elements in sports portraits is that it adds another level of interest and detail. In this example, I used hexagon shapes with their own shadows and lighting. These type of effects are available in Photoshop. You can control the way the light and reflections fall on each shape and you can also control the direction of each hexagon. It would be extremely difficult or near impossible to recreate what Photoshop can do with 3d elements by just creating these without the 3D engine. The process of using 3d in Photoshop is very advanced and requires hours of training in order to create anything. This is why you hire a professional photographer, so that you can get images that stand out from the ordinary. Visit http://www.kirkpullenphotography.com/contact to book a photo session, so that I can create an image like this for your athlete!