We perform solo in Photoshop

In this lesson you will learn how to use some of the methods and techniques when creating a fantastic collage. Will use Dodge / burn (Brightener / Dimmer) for creating great effects by enhancing light and shadow in images.

I will also show you how to create realistic shadows using the tool. BrushTool (brush). I use the methods that I mentioned in my series “Secrets of photo manipulation”.

Necessary materials:

Step 1. Open the stock image of the balcony. Using tool PenTool (Feather) (P) select the sky in the picture and delete it. After removing the sky, change the size of the document to 2000×1500 px. Open the image of the background and paste it into the working document below the layer with the balcony, while maintaining its original size.

Step 2. We open the image of the girl violinist. Via PenTool (Pen), Shannels (channels) or MagicWand (magic wand) (W) cut the girl and paste it into the working document above the balcony layer. Scale the image to 43% of the original size.

Step 3. Before we continue to work on creating a collage, we will make some color adjustments to the balcony. Such changes are necessary to match the balcony tone of the sky. In other words, we need to increase the presence of blue tones so that the color of the balcony is in harmony with the color of the sky. I suggest always using adjustment layers, since it is possible to control the effect of their settings on the result.

For a layer with a balcony, we make changes to the settings Saturation (Saturation), Levels (Levels) ColorBalance (Color balance)
Saturation (Saturation): + 35

Levels (Levels): settings below

ColorBalance (Color Balance): changing values ​​in the Midtones (midtones) and Shadows (shadows)

In order to increase the sharpness of the edges of the balcony, duplicate the layer with the balcony and apply to the duplicate Filter – Stylize – GlowingEdges (Filter – Styling – Glow edges). Change the blending mode of the layer, lower the opacity to 50%

Step 4. Let’s make some color and contrast adjustments for the girl layer. For all changes we use adjustment layers as clippingmask (clipping mask).

Duplicate the layer with the girl twice. One of the copies will be used to increase the sharpness, the second to give the girl’s skin a soft effect. Click the right mouse button and activate Createclippingmask (create clipping mask).

For the first duplicate, apply UnsharpMask (contour sharpness) with a radius of 0.3 px, amount (effect) 215%, threshold (threshold) 3 levels.
Note: Sharpness filter is applied to the layer mask.

The second duplicate is applicable Surfaceblur (blur over the surface) with a radius of 2 px and create a black mask to hide the blur. With a soft brush we work on the mask layer, revealing only the skin areas of the girl. Other parts of the body should remain clear.

Also correct the contrast and color of the girl using several adjustment layers (see below):

Step 5. Insert in our working paper images of owls, roses and crows. Also adjust their color with ColorBalance (Color balance)

Step 6. An essential element in any collage are shadows. The correct shadows will help to give your image an amazing effect, turning it into a work of art. There are several ways to create shadows. In this case, we will make soft ones, because we don’t have a clear source of light and there are no natural shadows on our image that could tell us the direction of action.

Soft shadows are made by hand using BrushTool (brush). We use the reduced transparency of our brush with bristles. Do not forget to add the shadow of the owl and the rose.

Step 7. Using tools Dodge / Burn(Brightener / Dimmer) let’s give a nice artistic look to our image. I will show you how to use this tool without ill effects.

Create a new layer on top of all layers in the palette and name it. Dodge / Burn (Brightener / Dimmer). Using the menu Edit – Fill (Edit – Fill) fill the layer Gray 50% (gray 50%) and change the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap). We use tools Dodge (clarifier) ​​and Burn (dimmer) to enhance the effect of light and shade. We use at the same time very low exposure (exposure), about 10%. This operation took me about 45 minutes.

Before and after darkening and lightening:

Step 8. Apply some adjustments to get the final result. Using the key combination Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E create a merged layer on which we will work. Call it Final (Final) and convert this layer to SmartObject (Smart Object) so that the filters on it act without subsequent damage. Duplicate the created layer and name it Final adjustments. Lower opacity (opacity) layer up to 70%

Step 9. We proceed to the final stage of editing. Select the “Final” layer and go to Image – Adjustments – Shadows / Highlights (Image – Correction – Light / Shadows). Change the parameters according to the image below:

Go to Filter – Render – LightingEffects (Filter – Rendering – Lighting Effects) and apply the settings listed below:

Since we are currently working on a smart facility, we can change the settings at any time.

Step 10. Note the Final adjustments layer and also convert it into a smart object. On the selected layer, go to Image – Adjustments – Variations (Image – Correction – Options), select More Cyan (more blue) and click OK.

Apply to Final adjustments layer. Filter –Distort – Diffuse Glow (Filter – Distortion – Ambient Light) by changing the settings to the following:

Step 11. As a final touch, add Gradient map (Gradient map), change the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap), lower opacity (opacity) up to 10%

There are a few things that I would recommend with this kind of photo manipulation. Always use tools. Dodge / burn (Lightening / Darkening) to smooth the skin and increase the effect of light and shade in general. In addition, use methods that allow you to make changes later (adjustment layer, smart objects, etc.). Never forget the shadow. Use the filter more often. LightingEffects (Effects of lighting). This will increase the attractiveness of work in 99% of cases.

Final result:

Author: Andrei Oprinca.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: