In this lesson, you will learn how to change the atmosphere of an ordinary landscape in two opposite directions. You will learn how to change color, add light and create a dark atmosphere.
Download source materials
I. How to add light to a forest image
In the first step, we will perform a basic retouch, removing unnecessary details. Open the image with the forest. Press the keys (Ctrl + J) to duplicate the original image. On the image with the forest, we need to remove the bench:
Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool), select the part of the image of the bench, and then go Editing – Fill – Fill with regard to Content (Edit> Fill> Content-Aware):
Do the same with the rest of the bench. The result should be as in the screenshot below:
Next, we change the color of the forest with a few adjustment layers. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map):
Reduce the opacity of this adjustment layer to 20%:
Next, go Layer– New layer-fill – Colour(Choose Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color):
Change the blending mode for this layer to An exception (Exclusion), 100%:
I used an adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) to add a bit of red and yellow to the image:
Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to add contrast to the image:
Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and with the help of a soft black brush, hide the correction of the curves in the upper central part of the image, where the main light will come from.
Group all adjustment layers.
In this step, we will add sunlight to our scene. Press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + N) to create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using a soft brush, brush color # 190900, paint over the area where you intend to add light. Change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), 100%:
Create a new layer. Using a soft brush, brush color # fbd0b9, paint over the top of the image. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%:
Change the brush color to # f9d382 to make the light more saturated. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%:
Create a new layer. To create a basic highlight, use a lighter shade of #feeeca for the brush. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap(Overlay), 100%:
Group all layers with light effects.
The picture looks almost complete, but do not forget about a very important detail: the shadows of the trees. The light on the original photo is soft, therefore, the shadows of the trees are almost invisible. But since we increased the light and contrast of our scene with the forest, then the shadows of the trees should be more visible.
To do this, create a new layer below the group with adjustment layers. Choose a tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and with this tool, select the image of the tree in the foreground, and then go Editing – Fill (Edit> Fill) or press the keys (Shift + F5) to fill the active selection with black color:
Convert the shadow layer to a Smart Object. Next, go Editing – Transformation – Flip Vertical (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical). Move the shadow of the tree down, placing at the base of the crown of the tree. Apply the transformation (Ctrl + T) to transform the shadow of the tree, as shown in the screenshot below:
Translator’s Note: apply the transformation option Distortion (Warp).
Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 50%, then go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur):
Add a layer mask to the shadow layer through the bottom toolbar. Using a soft black brush, hide the extra details in the area shown in the screenshot below:
Add shadows to the rest of the trees. To achieve a realistic and believable result, follow these tips:
– The farther from the light source, the softer and lighter the shadow. I reduced the opacity of the shadows at the edges of the image to 30%.
– The more the surrounding atmosphere is covered with fog, the less saturated the shadows. For this reason, I blurred the shadows where they are closer to the background (where the fog is more dense).
We received the first final result (I called the first work “Result 1?).
Group all layers with shadows, adjustment layers, and light effects in one folder. Disable the visibility of this group. We will continue our lesson with the following effect.
Ii. Change the time of day, day and night
To change the time of day for our scene, add a new adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map adjustment) over the “Result 1” group:
Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to heighten the darkness:
Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and with the help of a soft black brush, reduce the effect of correcting curves on light areas (covered with fog):
Add adjustment layer Levels (Levels) to lighten the area covered in fog:
Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) and using a soft black brush, hide the level correction on the ground:
Add a new fill layer to add more fog to the scene:
Reduce the opacity of this layer to 60%, and then using a soft black brush, hide / reduce the effect of fog on the ground and in the background:
I want to add some light to enhance the depth of the scene. Create a new layer on top of all other layers and using a soft brush, brush color # 085b83 (take a color tint sample from the fog area with a pipette), paint over the middle image area. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen), 100%:
And we have completed the lesson! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!