In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a winter landscape using various photo manipulation techniques. You will learn how to combine several photos into one related picture using adjustment layers, masks and brushes. You will also learn how to draw snow, create sunshine, light effects, take into account details, and more.
1. Add a landscape
Create a new Photoshop document size 1500 x 1000 px with such parameters:
Open the photo with the first winter landscape. Drag it into the document using the tool Move (Move Tool):
Go to menu Layers> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation), create it as Clipping mask (Clipping Mask) (translator’s note:To do this, check the box next to Use the previous layer to create a clipping mask.). Cut down Saturation (Saturation) to -93:
Open the image with the second winter landscape and add it to the main document with the tool Move (Move Tool). Then click Ctrl + T, activating Free transform (Free Transform Tool).
Use the second icon at the bottom of the panel. Layers (Layers) to add a mask to this layer. Using a soft black round brush, erase the left side and leave only the foreground, the mountain on the right side and the trees visible. Mix them with the background layer. Pay particular attention to trees and mix them as naturally as possible with existing trees.
Use Correction layer (Adjustment Layer) Curves (Curves) set to Clipping mask (Clipping Mask) to darken these zones:
Create Correction layer (Adjustment Layer) Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Cut down Saturation (Saturation) to -85.
2. Add trees
Open a photo with trees. Cut trees with a tool Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool).
Place them on the left side of the canvas:
Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to hide part of the trees, placing them in the background; Remember to make them more blurry and foggy. This will help increase the depth of work.
Create an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Set the parameter value Saturation (Saturation) at -85:
Use adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to darken the trees, as well as to highlight their nebula:
3. Add Fog
Create a new layer above all others. Use a soft brush with color # a6a7aa and Opacity (Opacity) about 30%. Draw fog clubs in the right and left upper edges, and also a little in the middle part of the picture:
Change Blend mode (Blending mode) layer on Multiplication (Multiply), opacity (Opacity) 100%:
4. Add a mountain
Separate the mountain from the background with the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool). Add a mountain to the upper left side of the landscape:
Use a layer mask to visually place the mountain behind the trees and cover it with fog:
There is an undesirable detail on the mountain. Create a new layer, activate the tool. Stamp (Clone Tool). Use this tool to remove the highlighted area:
Create a new layer, change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) layer opacity 100%, fill it with 50% gray:
Choose a tool Dimmer (Burn tool) with Range (Range) Mid tones (Midtones), Exposure (Exposure) about 15-20% to darken some parts of the mountain. You can see how I did it in The usual (Normal) mode and result with mode Overlap (Overlay):
Use adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Reduce the parameter Saturation (Saturation) to maximum (-100):
5. Add a house
Place a photo of the house in the middle:
Add a mask to this layer. Use a medium-soft black brush and make sure that only the house and the lower part remain visible:
We will make the main light source in the upper corner in the center. Create a new layer with the same parameters as in step 3 of the previous section. Use tools Clarifier (Dodge) and Dimmer (Burn). Improve the light and shade of some parts of the house, especially in the lower right part:
Create an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to discolor the house. Reduce the parameter Saturation (Saturation) to -84:
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and darken the house:
On the mask of this layer, use a soft black brush, returning the light to the areas where the light falls.
6. We draw snow
The first step in this step is to add bokeh. Create a new layer and select a solid white brush. Click F5, to change brush options:
Use this brush and draw some random bokeh:
Cut down opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 80%, then go to the menu Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Set the parameter Radius (Radius) at 4 px.
Add a mask to this layer and with a soft black brush make the effect softer:
Create a new layer and reduce the size of the brush. Set the parameters as shown below:
Draw a few random pieces of snow of different sizes and shapes. Freely experiment and play; it’s really fun!
Use a layer mask to reduce the intensity and opacity of the snow, as well as create a transition from the foreground to the back. Also do not forget to make the snowflakes in the foggy areas less visible than the rest.
Use the same brush and paint larger snowflakes on the edges:
Apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with Radius (Radius) 6 px:
7. Basic correction
Go to menu Layers > New layer-fill > Color (Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color). Choose a color # 270902. Change the blending mode of this layer to An exception (Exclusion), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%.
Highlight the layer mask of this layer. Activate a soft black brush with an opacity of 20-50% to erase the foreground and sky, reducing the effect in these zones. Here is the result on the mask and on the image:
Create an adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance). Select item Mid tones (Midtones):
Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and increase the brightness:
Select a mask for this layer and use a soft black brush to make the effect visible only in the middle section:
Use another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves), darkening the landscape, especially the edges:
Use the mask of this layer to preserve the effect of the light falling in the center and the shadow that captures the edges.
8. Add Shadows
We have identified the main source of light, and now it’s time to add a shadow to the house. Create a new layer, under the layer with the house. Use the tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool), highlighting only the house:
Fill the selection (Shift + F5) black and vertically reflect it by selecting Editing> Transform> Flip Vertically (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical). Move the shadow under the house, use (Ctrl + T) to give it the direction of the main light source:
Cut down opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 40%, apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) radius 6 px:
Add a mask to this layer and reduce the opacity of the selected area:
Create a new layer. Using a medium-soft black brush, draw shadows for the rest of the elements in the light zone: for a pile of snow, frozen rope (not sure what it is) and trees. You need to adjust the opacity of the brush to get a more natural effect.
9. Add light
Create a new layer above all others. Use soft color brush # 3a1b06, to draw a spot in the upper center of the sky. Change the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%:
Create another layer and paint the area in the upper center with color # fff6ed, creating the backlight. Change the layer’s overlay mode to Overlap (Overlay), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%:
Paint some areas with color. # e7e4e6 on a separate layer, creating a light reflection on the edges of the mountains, a house, a pile of snow, trees (those that are in the middle behind the house and a large tree on the left), as well as the ground itself. Set the blending mode of this layer to Overlap (Overlay) 100%:
10. Final Correction
Create an adjustment layer Selective color correction (Selective color) and change the settings Colors (Colors) on Whites (Whites). The purpose of this step is to add more saturation to the reflected light on the ground:
Use a black soft brush and erase the effect at the top:
Create a new layer, change its blending mode to Overlap (Overlay), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%, fill it with 50% gray. Use tools Clarifier (Dodge) and Dimmer (Burn) to correct the light, add some contrast to the elements, and add details to the ground, the roof and the trees.
Use adjustment layer Vibration (Vibrance), highlighting the final effect:
Congratulations, you’re done!
I hope you learned something useful for your future projects. Feel free to leave comments – I’ll be glad to see them. Enjoy!