Fabulous landscape

In this lesson we will learn how to create a beautiful landscape using the photographs at hand. You will master the technology of superimposing various images for an unusual effect.

What we get as a result looks like this:

Manipulating images of landscapes is probably the simplest task that Photoshop allows. If you can clearly imagine the final composition, you will always find suitable photos and can use them to produce realistic images. You will learn this in this lesson.
So, the first step, common to all my lessons, is to find a suitable source material. I use these three photos:

Step 1. Copy these images and create a new document (Ctrl + N), paste into it all three pictures through the clipboard (Copy / Paste operations). Before inserting, make sure that the height of the new document is sufficient (we do not yet know what height the final result will be). Better to set the size for more, then just to trim the excess.

Step 2. I moved the layer with the image of stones below the layer with the lock (just dragged with the mouse in the panel with layers). Now the image looks like this:

For the overlay, I will use the easiest and most well-known to all users of Photoshop method – tool Eraser(Eraser Tool – key E). I chose a soft, round brush size 100 pixels – This is the right brush size for the size of my work. If your image is smaller, use a smaller size.

Step 3. I slightly shifted the background image (the one with the stones) so that the water areas on the two layers coincided. The nature of the light in both images is different, so I darkened the image with stones using the Curves command, menu Image> Correction> Curves (Image> Adjustment> Curves – Ctrl + M).

Step 4. I highlighted the image of the castle a bit (menu Image> Correction> Brightness / Contrast (Image> Adjustment> Brightness / Contrast)) and gave it a copper tint by adjusting the color balance (menu Image> Correction> Color balance (Image> Adjustment> Color Balance) – Ctrl + B). In the balance settings, I added a little red and yellow, and it turned out this:

Now it’s time to work with the first image.

Step 5. I used the tool “Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool – W) to select the sky area in the image with the lock. The sky is fairly uniform, so choose it and erase it with an eraser turned out in two clicks. For this you can also try the command “Color range“(Color Range) in the menu Allotment (Select).

Then I placed the image with the mountain below the lock layer and using eraser(Eraser Tool – E) on the layer with a padlock, soft round brush, combined the hill in the left edge of the picture with the background just added. If necessary, use the command “Color balance“(Color Balance) to match shades.

Step 6. Now, to complete the composition, you need an image with the sky. I picked up the next photo from the private collection:

Step 7. As before, I combined the image of the sky with the mountains, for which I erased the eraser (round, soft brush of medium size) at the bottom half of the new layer so that the mountains could be seen.

Step 8. One of the final stages is the addition of the backlight. Add light to the eye, focusing on how you think natural light should look. I did it with a tool clarifier (Dodge Tool – O), round soft brush with smaller size, range = backlight (Range = Highlights), exposure (Exposure) = 20%.

Step 9. And at the final stage we will refine our result. I always run a command Image> Correction> Automatic tone correction (Image> Adjustment> Auto-Levels – Ctrl + Shift + L), which automatically creates a balance of all the tones in my image. You can also use “Color balance“(Color Balance) to customize the shades that best suit your work.

And here is my result:

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