In this tutorial you will learn to create a portrait of a beautiful lady in a warm autumn background using lights, contrast, colors and other adjustments.

Preview of Final Results

final-results[4]

Download the PSD

Autumn Portrait.zip | 19.39 MB

Download from Website

Tutorial Resources


Step 1

Download the Backgrounds pack and open in Photoshop the background number 5. Double click on the layer to unlock it. Flip the image horizontally (CTRL + T > Flip Horizontally). Crop the part we want to be the base of our work.

step-001[3]


Step 2

We want to give to the background some contrast. Duplicate the background twice (CTRL + J). Set the first duplicated background to Screen to enhance the lights. Set the second to Multiply to enhance the shadows. This is what you will have.

step-002[3]


Step 3

Extract the Lady from the background (I used the Quick Selection Tool + Refine Edges, but everyone has their own best method). I previously smudged the model skin, but this is not the aim of this tutorial and it doesn’t affect the final result. Put her in a new layer above the backgrounds layers.

step-003[3]


Step 4

Now we have to blend the Lady with the Background. I desaturated a bit the lady and removed some of brightness. To do that add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the Lady and set the Saturation to -19 and Lightness to -8.

step-004a[3]


Step 5

Now we work on the colors. Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer only to the Lady and put these settings:

  • Shadows > +14 +7 -16
  • Midtones > +11 +7 0
  • Highlights > +10 +5 -5

step-004b[3]


Step 6

We want to blend more everything. Open the pack containing the bokeh and add the number 2 in a new layer above everything. Rotate it like in the picture below (CTRL + T).

step-004c[3]


Step 7

Set the Bokeh to Soft Light. Opacity and Fill to 75%.

step-004d[3]


Step 8

Add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer and choose the one you see below from the presets.

step-004e[3]


Step 9

Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill to 80%.

step-005[3]


Step 10

Add another Gradient Map and set it like below.

step-006[3]


Step 11

Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill 80%.

step-007[2]


Step 12

Let’s work now on shadows and lights. First of all we need to make the background darker. Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer above the 3 backgrounds and put:

  • Brightness -54 and Contrast +48

step-008[1]

This is so far what you’ll have.

step-009[1]


Step 13

Create a new layer below the Lady and paint with white below her, going out her edges.

step-010[1]

Set the layer to Soft Light.

step-011[1]


Step 14

Create a layer below the one you have just done. Pick the color #572e07. With the Gradient tool (linear – #572e07 to transparent) make a gradient like the image below.

step-012[1]

Set the layer to Multiply with Opacity and Fill at 80%.

step-013[1]