Welcome to the new lesson on photo manipulation. I will try to make the presentation of the lesson easy so that when it is done it is easy for beginners. I will show you how to combine several stock images and create a beautiful, warm summer scene. If you have previously performed lessons from the Secrets of Manipulation series, then it will be much easier for you to complete this lesson. Enjoy the lesson.
STEP 1. Open the stock image of the field and reduce the image width to 1000px (possibly limiting aspect ratio when scaling).
STEP 2. Open the sky stock image and apply the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select only the sky, cut and paste a new layer on top of the layer with the field. For the layer with the sky, create a layer mask, then use a soft brush to smoothly transition the bottom edge with the field.
STEP 3. Now that you have created the basic background structure, it’s time to make a small correction in order to create the feeling of a warm summer. First we will carry out the correction of the field, and then we will carry out the correction of the sky.
The best way to achieve the atmosphere we want to create is to use an adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map). To do this, create a new adjustment layer. Carat Gradient (Gradient Map) between the layer with the field and the layer with the sky. Change the blending mode to Overlap(Overlay). Use the color shades that are shown in the screenshot below.
I wanted to create more sunlight in a remote part of the field. This time I created a new adjustment layer. Gradient Fill (Gradient Fill) using yellow tint and blending mode Bright light (Vivid Light) and decreasing Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 38%.
STEP 4. Now let’s go to the sky. Although the sky looks spectacular, I just wanted to give a little warmth. I used again Gradient Map (Gradient Map), but this time, I used other color shades, also I used a correction layer as Clipping mask (Clipping Mask), so that the adjustment layer affects only the layer with the sky.
STEP 5. Open the image of the girl using the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P) cut the girl from the original image. Paste the image of the girl on our document and place on top of all layers. Immediately create a layer mask to the girl layer, we will use the layer mask in the next step.
STEP 6. Next, you have to combine the girl with the grass that is around her and create the feeling that she really stands in the middle of a field. For this purpose, the best thing is to use the Grass brush. I used the brush that I indicated in the source materials section at the very beginning of the lesson. Just brush Grass on the legs of the girl on the layer mask. (Make sure the option Color Dynamics (Color Dynamics) in the settings of the brush (F5) is disabled).
STEP 7. Just as we made the correction with the sky and the field, now we need to make a small correction of the girl so that she fits our scene. Adjust the contrast using the adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) and then adjust the color using the adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter), use both adjustment layers as trim masks, so the correction will apply only to the girl.
STEP 8. Before adding any other life forms to our image, let’s work a little with the light. If you previously performed lessons from the Secrets of Manipulation series, when I spoke about light, I mentioned that you should have a main or main light source and that all elements should be placed in accordance with the main light source. You must also create all the shadows according to this light.
There is no natural sun in our image, but let’s assume that it is on the left side of the image. I created a highlight to simulate a light source. I used a large soft brush and a light yellow tint (# FAD396). The blend mode that was used is Overlap (Overlay). Then, I duplicated the layer and changed the blending mode to Lightening (Screen) to increase the light. You have to do this for the girl. See screenshot below.
STEP 9. Now we have the sun in the image, which throws light on the girl and other objects in the image. Create a light edge along the girl’s body using Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and blend mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge). I explained this technique in the Series of Secrets on Manipulation Part 3 B) Surface Light. You must add light to the most important elements of our scene, which we will add in Step 13.
STEP 10. Paint the girl’s faint shadow with a brush or if you are not very good at drawing, duplicate the girl’s layer and fill the duplicate with a solid black color, then apply a small Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) and reduce the opacity of the layer. Creating a shadow will give the image more depth.
STEP 11. To make the image look even warmer, you can add a few sun rays. Just choose a hard brush with a diameter of about 30px and draw a few lines from where you simulated the artificial sun and apply a filter Motion blur (Motion blur). I used a light yellow tint and a blend mode that best suits – Overlap (Overlay).
STEP 12. Open the tree image and place it on the right side of the image, as shown in the screenshot below. You can use the same light trick that I showed in Step 9 to illuminate the leaves of the tree.
STEP 13. Add a doggie, birds and butterflies to the image. When you add a dog, reflect horizontally so that the light on the dog is facing the sunlight that we created in step 8. To combine the paws of the dog with grass, use the same technique that you applied to the girl in Step 6
As for the birds and butterflies, download more images so that there is plenty to choose from.
STEP 14. As a last step, select the topmost layer in the layers palette and press CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + E to create a combined stamp of all layers, change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 20% and you’re done.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. As always, feel free to leave your comments and share, it helps a lot. You can send your work to my page in a group on the Flickr website or post on Facebook.
Posted by: Andrei Oprinca