Preview of Final Results
Create a new document with size of 1000×1050 px and fill it with white (feel free to use your own size and color). Open texture image. Use Move Tool to drag it into our white canvas, take Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to lower the size to 40%:
I don’t like some details on the texture so I make a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N), active Clone Tool (S) and remove them:
Place forest stock onto the texture and change the mode to Soft Light 100%:
Click the second button at the bottom of Layer Panel to add mask to this forest layer. Use soft black brush with opacity from 30-70% to blur some parts on it. You can see how I did it on layer mask and result on picture:
Duplicate this layer and flip it horizontally (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal). Move it to the right then use layer mask to remove hard edges:
To edit all forest layers together, make them selected then hit cmd/Ctrl+G to create group for them. Change the mode of this group from Pass Through (default group mode) to Soft Light 100% (it’s very important to keep the same effect as before grouping). I name these layers “1″ and “2″.
On 2 layer, go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves:
On Curves layer mask use soft black brush with varied opacity to erase or blur some parts:
Because the mode of this group changed to Soft Light 100% (no Pass Through) so this Curves layer only affects the layers inside this group (forest ones).
To change the lightness of the background (texture, forest) I make a Curves layer on the top:
Use black brush to clear selected part shown in the screenshot:
Make another Curves layer to continue darkening the background. Try brushing on the layer mask to get similar result below: