Mysterious city

Creating a conceptual work can be fun, because it has a non-standard approach to expressing an idea and basically depends only on your imagination. In this tutorial, I will show you how, by combining photos, create a stunning effect that can be used with almost any set of images.

What are we going to create?
The result of this lesson depends largely on what you want to create and on the flight of your imagination at the time of creating the work. Before we begin, the author took two photos that he thought would look together from the site Here are links to the images that the author used:

Materials for the lesson:

You can use the same photos, but the author recommends you to experiment, as an experiment is always a pleasure.

Step 1. So, let’s begin. To begin, open a new document (the author used the size of 1200 x 900 pixels) and drag an image of the landscape onto it. Take the tool Burn Tool (O) (Dimmer) and use it to darken certain areas, creating shadows in the hills below where the buildings will be.

Step 2. Now drag the image of the cityscape, change its size and place it (the author lowered the layer opacity to 30% before doing this) so that the buildings are on the top of the hills. You, in turn, can arrange it where you like. Then, you need to get rid of unnecessary parts of the image, so you have to do enough tedious work to separate the building from the main image.

Step 3. Duplicate the building layer, flip it slightly and place them so that they fill the rest of the hill.

Step 4. Create a new layer and click Image> Apply Image (Image> External Channel). On this new layer, take the tool again. Burn Tool (O) (Dimmer) to darken those areas where buildings are in contact with the hills, thereby creating a smooth transition. And the same thing – in the sky around the buildings.

Step 5. For this step you will need brushes of stars / planets. On a new layer, selecting the brushes you like, add their prints in two or three places in the sky.

Step 6. Now create a new layer and again Image> Apply Image (Image> External Channel). We are going to add a glow to this layer, so go to Filter> Render> Lighting Effects (Filter> Rendering> Lighting Effects) and select 2 0’Clock Spotlight (Searchlight for 2 hours). Play with the settings until you get what you like.

Step 7. Create another layer and add external channel again. Now we are going to play with color, so go to Image> Adjustments> Color Balance (Image> Correction> Color Balance). Select Midtones (Midtones) and enter the following values: +46; +11; +13 Now select Highlights (Light) and enter these values: +26; +16; -7. You can choose other values ​​if you want the image to look different.

Step 8. Next we add two gradient maps. To do this, click on the half black, half white circle at the bottom of the layers palette and select Gradient map (Gradient map). In the dialog box, select Purple, Orange (Purple, orange) gradient and click OK. Set this layer overlay mode. Soft Light (Soft light) and opacity 50%. Do the same, but with Black, White (Black, white) gradient map. Change the blending mode to Darken (Replace with dark) and lower the opacity to 20%.

Step 9. Create a new layer, add an external channel. Go to Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), radius 1.0. The author also set the blending mode. Soft Light (Soft light) and opacity 20%.

Step 10. Now let’s play with the depth of the image using the curves. To do this, click again on the black and white icon at the bottom of the layers palette and select Curves (Curves). Change the curves of each RGB color in the channel list. This will have a big impact on the final result, so do not be afraid to experiment.

Step 11. Add a sharpness image. Switch to Filter> Sharpen> Sharpen (Filter> Sharpness> Sharpness). Reduce the opacity of this layer to 30%.

To add some more depth to the image, add another layer with curves. Play with the settings until you achieve the result you want.

Conclusion We hope you found something useful in this lesson. Remember, there is no limit to the imagination, so do not restrain yourself.

And here is the final result.

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