Song for the Crow in Photoshop

Today we are going to create supernatural manipulation. Therefore, be prepared to plunge into a fabulous atmosphere. In this tutorial, I will show you how to apply blur to the background, how to apply textures to change the atmosphere, and apply brushes and apply sharpening to images without losing image quality. The lesson is designed for the average user level. Have a good time at the lesson!

Final result

Source materials:

STEP one

First we apply a blur effect to the background layer to focus on the model using the filter Gaussian blur (Gausian Blur). Duplicate the background layer, apply the required blur radius. Let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gausian Blur). I used Radius blur(Radius) 25.0 px. After you have applied the blur with a soft brush, process the bottom of the blurred image with the background to create a depth of field effect. Then merge the layers.


Using the selection tools, separate the model from the background, and then copy the selected image of the model to a new layer. Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) for light correction. And also create another adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (HueSaturation) and set the desired brightness and saturation. I only slightly reduced saturation.


Now, we will create a new layer, it will be a texture that will give a blue tint to our picture. For this, I used the color shade # 07bcf8, change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light). I added a small vignette effect to this layer with a brush with Opacity (Opacity) 20% and By pushing(Flow) 20%.

STEP four

So, it’s time to add a stock image of the Crow and the Sword. You can also use the tool Dimmer and clarifier (Dodge and Burn Tool) to lighten and darken certain areas and create shadows on the model’s hand.

STEP five

So let’s add some sharpness to our manipulation. The technique that I usually use, and that most professional photographers often use, is Contour sharpness (Unsharp Mask). This technique helps to create a clear image without adding horrible sharp edges, otherwise, there are terrible color shades with excessive sharpness.

There are three types of settings that I will show you and which will best fit your work. But first, let’s figure out how to enter these settings. Let’s go Picture – Mode – Lab (Image> Mode> Lab Color). Next, go to the bookmark Channels (Channel) in the layers palette and select the channel Brightness (Lightness). Then go Filter – Sharpness – Contour Sharpness (Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask). Below are three types of settings that I find most useful:

1. For people: Effect (Amount) 150% Radius (Radius) 1, Threshold (Threshold) 10

2. For urban landscapes, photographs of the city, or photographs taken during travel: Effect (Amount) 65%, Radius (Radius) 3, Threshold (Threshold) 2

3. For general everyday use: Effect (Amount) 85%, Radius (Radius) 1, Threshold (Threshold) 4

I used the first type of settings for our lesson. After you applied Contour sharpness (Unsharp Mask), come back Image – Mode – Rgb (Image> Mode> RGB Color). You can apply the filter again. Contour sharpness (Unsharp Mask) using the same settings.

If your photo becomes too sharp, then before you continue to do something, you can weaken the effect of the filter through Editing – Loosen (Edit – Fade Unsharp Mask). When the dialog box appears, decrease the value Opacity (Opacity) up to 50%, so you’ll half reduce the sharpness effect you’ve applied twice.


Once again, let’s apply the tool Dimmer and clarifier(Dodge and Burn Tool). First, create a new layer, fill it with 50% gray. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) and start creating shadows and highlights. For detailed information on the performance of this technique, refer to the Secrets of Manipulation lesson.

Final result

Posted by: Andrei Oprinca

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