Emotional photo manipulation in Photoshop

In this lesson, you will learn how to create your own emotional manipulation! And also you will learn how to combine a beautiful girl with a fabulous background. You will learn how to make color correction, contrast and light correction to match all elements of the composition in this beautiful artistic work.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP 1 – Background

Open the image with the Background and cut out the part that interests you most.

We need to focus more attention on the main element of the composition, so let’s slightly blur the background. Duplicate the background layer and then apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur)

The blur value depends on the image, and the same value is not always applied. (Usually, I use a blur between 5px and 10px).

This step is optional. This action will depend on your taste!

Duplicate the blurred background layer and change the blending mode for the duplicate layer to Multiplication (Multiply). Play with Opacity (Opacity) layer and with By casting (Fill) because, sometimes, the blend mode Multiplication (Multiply) makes the image too dark. (In our case, I left the values ​​at 100%).

STEP 2 – Model

Open the stock image of the model, separate the model from the background.

Create a new layer on top of the layer with the background, and place the image with the model on this layer. Next, I retouched the hair and skin of the girl. Since the lesson’s topic is not related to retouching, then you can look for lessons on retouching hair and skin.

Create a layer between the model and the background and on the new layer draw the hair (I suggest you use a small hard brush). Alternatively, you can download images with curls of hair and place them on the layer that we created. Once you have done this, simply spread it with the tool. Finger (smudge tool) part of the hair, which are located behind the female cape.

In the screenshot below, you can see the result.

STEP 3 – Petals

Create a new layer on top of all layers. Download PSD file with petals. Place the petals on this layer. Arrange the petals in the picture at your discretion.

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) only to the layer with petals (hold ALT + click between the adjustment layer and the layer with petals to create a clipping mask), then reduce the value Brightness (Lightness) to -30, because the petals are too bright.

Next, we need to create the feeling that the petals are falling. We can achieve this result with blur. Let’s go Filter Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur). Blur value may vary. It depends on the resolution of your image and on your taste.

STEP 4 – Diamonds

Create a new layer on top of the layer with petals and use Diamonds brushes to draw white diamonds. If the diamonds are barely visible, then duplicate the diamond layer 3 times and then merge all 4 diamond layers together.

As you can see, the brush applies a large number of diamonds. Therefore, remove those diamonds that you do not like, creating the feeling of falling diamonds from the model’s hand.

STEP 5 – Shadows

It’s time to create shadows! Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) on top of all layers and pull the curve down, as shown in the screenshot below. I set the values: entrance (Input) 169 and Output (Output) 100. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply).

The whole image will become darker, but we do not want this effect to affect all the manipulation! Therefore, fill the layer with the mask of the adjustment layer with black color or in a different way, in the same window Levels (levels), go to the tab Mask (Masks), (the tab is located next to the tab Correction (Adjustments), and then click Invert (Invert). Your image will appear as before the correction, as if you didn’t use anything.

Next, using a white brush, paint over the black mask and where you paint with a brush, dark shades of the adjustment layer will appear. You can now choose where your shadows will be! I applied a low opacity and pressure brush (I usually apply 30% for these settings. The settings will also depend on the areas where you will paint).

In the screenshot below, you can see where I painted the shadows.

STEP 3 – Lightening / Darkening

Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay).

Next, go: Editing – Fill – 50% Gray (Edit> Fill> 50% Gray).

On this layer, you can now apply the tool Dimmer and clarifier (Burn and Dodge) in areas that you want to darken or lighten.

My settings: Range (Range): for Of shadows (shadows) 90% of the time – Mid tones (midtones). To lighten the same settings, but sometimes, if you want to add more glow, you can also use a range Sveta (Highlights). Exposition (Exposure) between 10% and 30%.

In particular, apply the brightener tool on diamonds, on the girl’s body and dress.

In the screenshot below, you can see where I applied the dimming and lightening.


STEP 7 – Texture

Create a new layer, and on this layer draw a texture, as in the screenshot below (using a soft round brush). Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light).


STEP 8 – Light

Let’s add some light! Select a sample of the lightest shade from the background image (just not a white shade, I chose # e1f9ff). And using a round hard brush, draw as shown in the screenshot below.

Next, apply a blur to dissolve the light flare.

Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) (Sometimes I use a blur value of 250px to achieve this effect).

STEP 9 – Final Correction

I think the picture is too saturated. Therefore, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Sat Adjustments) and decrease the value Saturation (Saturation) to -70 (you can choose the value of saturation at your discretion)

Light highlights. Create a new layer. Change the blending mode for the brush to Overlap (Overlay) value Opacity (Opacity) brushes and Push (Flow) will vary, I basically set 30%). Choose a light tint from the background image and paint the highlights. In the screenshot below, you can see the areas where I painted the light highlights, they are marked in red.


Let’s create a vignette. Create a new layer. Select the darkest tint from the background image and paint over the corners and edges of our document with a brush. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), Opacity (Opacity) and Fill (Fill) 80% and if you want, add a small Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Let’s add some contrast to make the Light and Shadows more interesting.

Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) in settings Style (Curves), I chose the Medium Contrast (RGB) option. On the white mask of this layer, paint over the girl’s face with a black brush so that it is not too dark. Change the blending mode for this layer to Glow (Luminosity) and reduce the opacity of the layer to 70%.

Final result

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