Preview of Final Results


preview


Mysterious Fashion Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial


Resources


Step 1 – Preparation of Background

Download the picture with girl and main ground and open it in Photoshop. The photo was taken with slightly different intention, that’s why there is some orange clothing. You’ll get rid off that in this step. Create a new layer above the background. You can find the button “Create a new layer” in the bottom part of the palette Layers. If you don’t see this palette simply press F7 on your keyboard or go to Window > Layers and it will appear.

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Name the new layer e.g. REMOVE CLOTHING. It’s good to name your layers because you can orient better than if you don’t do it. Grab the Brush Tool (B). Press Alt on your keyboard to activate the Eyedropper Tool and pick some light color from the sky. Now start painting over the clothing to make it disappear and let sky appear instead.

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You can get the inspiration of where to paint on in the picture above. As I said paint over the clothing but don’t paint over the straws! They create nice impression of space so you want to let them in the picture. Then paint over the bush in the right bottom corner. It doesn’t look photogenic and you’ll add some better in following steps. After this step your image should look like the following.

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Step 2 – Creating Selection of Woman

As you can see the sky and whole background is very uninteresting right now – it’s just some light blue color and nothing more. To improve it you’ll add mountains to the background and sky in following steps. Before you’ll start it’s necessary to make selection of the girl and save it. To do that grab the Lasso Tool (L) and select the girl.

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Be as careful as possible while making the selection. If you don’t do it carefully your manips will never look realistic. It can be boring and time consuming but it’s totally worth it. If you’re not sure how to use the Lasso Tool (L) or want to know about other methods of blending you can take a look at the article “A Photomanipulator’s Guide to Blending” here on Photoshop Tutorials. As I said you need to save the selection to be able to use it later. To do that go to Select > Save Selection … and as Name write e.g. Woman. Press OK.

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Press Ctrl + D on your keyboard to deselect it. You’ll came back to the selection soon.

Step 3 – Adding Mountains

Download the picture of mountains and drag it to the picture. Press Ctrl + T on your keyboard and resize the picture on proper size. Then press Enter to apply the resizing. Rename the layer on MOUNTAINS and place it on the top of all layers. To blend the layer with the rest of the picture change its Blending Mode on Overlay. You can find the Blending Mode option in the upper part of the palette Layers.

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Your manipulation should look like the following picture. As you can see the mountains are well blended with the sky but they’re also on the woman which looks really weird.

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Now it comes time to use the selection you’ve created and saved in previous step. Add new layer mask to MOUNTAINS. You can find the button “Add layer mask” in the bottom part of palette Layers (same as the buton “Create a new layer”).

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Go to Selection > Load Selection … and select Channel Woman. Press OK.

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Grab the Brush Tool (B) and pick black color. Make sure that the layer mask is active (just click on it) and paint with black inside the selection. It causes that the mounatin on woman dissapear. You should get something like on the picture below.

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Press Ctrl + D to deselect the mask.

Step 4 – Adjusting the Mountains

Mountains would look better if they’re darker and less saturated. You’ll fix it in this step. First let’s make them darker. To do that add new adjustment layer Levels above MOUNTAIN. You can find the button “Add new fill or adjustment layer” in the bottom part of the palette Layers similarly as the button “Add new layer mask” you’ve used in the previous steps.

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Using of adjustment layers is much better than direct adjustments of the picture because this way you can always go back and edit whatever you need and you’re not limited with the number of step which you have set to History remembers. Also you don’t need to re-do anything. But back to the image… Add new adjustment layer Levels and set the Input Levels on 37; 0,66; 255.

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You want to the adjustment affects only MOUNTAINS and not the whole picture. To arrange that right click on the Levels layer and choose the option Create Clipping Mask.

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To desaturate the mountains add new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation on the top of all layers and set the value Saturation on -100. This way mountains get the same color as the sky. Create clipping mask from this layer as well.

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After this step your image should be similar to the following one.

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Step 5 – Adding Clouds

As I mentioned before the sky looks quite boring because of very few details. Let’s add some drama! Download the picture of clouds into your manipulation. Press Ctrl + T, resize it on proper size and press Enter. Name the layer CLOUDS 1. To blend the layer change its Blending Mode of Soft Light and place it on the left side of the picture. On the following image you can see where to place the clouds.

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You don’t want to have clouds on the girl and snow in the foreground and you also surely want to have nice soft transition between clouds and the rest of the picture. To fix all this add new adjustment layer to clouds. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and pick black color. Now paint over the areas you want to hide. You can get the inspiration where to paint on the picture below. Parts which could be hidden are red.

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Right click on the layer CLOUDS 1 and select the option Duplicate Layer… . Place this new layer on the right side of the picture and name it e.g. CLOUDS 2. Change its Blending Mode on Soft Light and remove the current layer mask. Then add a new one. To blend the layer CLOUDS 2 properly paint with black on the layer mask over the red parts from the following picture.

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After this step your image should look like the picture below.

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Step 6 – Removing Sun

Sun doesn’t fit to the atmosphere you want to create so you’ll cover it with clouds in this step. Duplicate one of the clouds layers from the previous step and name the new layer e.g. COVER SUN. Since the sun is basically white spot in this picture Soft Light Blending Mode won’t work (it would leave the area white). Because of that you need to change its Blending Mode on Multiply. You’ll get the result as on the following picture.

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You need to blend the layer properly with the rest of the image. It means to make it lighter and create soft transition between this layer and the rest of the image. Let’s start with lightening. It’s really quick and easy – just lower Opacity of the layer on 50%.

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To create the soft transition add layer mask to the layer COVER SUN. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush and pick black color. Paint till you get something similar to the picture below.

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As you can see the layer COVER SUN has less blue tones than the rest of the image which doesn’t look realistic. To fix it add new adjustment layer Color Balance above the COVER SUN and set it as on the following picture.

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Because you want to affect only COVER SUN and not the rest of the image create clipping mask from the adjustment layer Color Balance.

Step 7 – Adjusting the Background

You want to create dramatic atmosphere in this picture. In many cases drama means contrast and this image is no exception. Mountains in the background don’t have that “drama look” but you’ll create it in this step. Add new adjustment layer Selective Color on the top of all layers and set it as can be seen on the picture below.

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Right now Selective Color adjusts also the woman and it doesn’t look nicely. You need to hide the adjustment on her. To do that go to Select > Load Selection… and from Channels choose Woman. It activates the mask of woman. Grab the Brush Tool (B), pick black color and paint on the layer mask in the selection. Whole picture would look better if it’s less saturated. You can easily fix it by adding new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation on the top of all layers and setting the value Saturation on -25. After this step your manipulation should look like this one.

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Step 8 – Lights and Shadows on Woman

Let’s focus on increasing contrast on the woman. If you have tablet this step is easier but you can do it with mouse too without any bigger problems. To increase the contrast you’ll use two adjustment layers Levels – one for increasing highlights and one for shadows. Let’s start with highlights. Add new adjustment layer Levels on the top of all layers and set the Input Levels on 0; 2,96; 255. Change its Blending Mode on Luminosity because you don’t want to it affects colors, only lights.

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Grab the Gradient Tool (G), pick black color and fill the layer mask of the adjustment layer with solid black color. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some very small brush (Master Diameter on 2 – 5 pixels), lower its Opacity on 10% and pick white color. Start painting over the areas where highlights are to make them even lighter. Below there are red parts showing where I painted. You can use it as an inspiration.

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After you’re done painting highlights move on shadows. Add new adjustment layer Levels again and this time set the Input Levels on 0; 0,13; 255. Change the Blending Mode on Luminosity and fill its layer mask with black again.

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Grab the Brush Tool (B), use the same settings as before and now paint over the areas with shadows to make them darker. On the picture below you can get the inspiration where to paint again.

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Notice that I painted also over the grass in the foreground to make it better visible. You should do it too. Your image should look like the one below after this step.

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Step 9 – Contrast in Clouds

In this step you’ll do quite the similar process as in the previous step. Only this time you’ll focus on increasing contrast of clouds. Let’s begin with shadows. Add new adjustment layer Levels and set the Input Levels on 0; 0,68; 255. Change its Blending Mode on Luminosity and fill the layer mask with black color.

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Grab the Brush Tool (B). Use the same settings as in the previous step, only make the brush little bigger – set the Master Diameter on 5 – 8 px. Paint over the shadows to make them darker. Below you can see where to paint.

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Highlights should be lighter. To do that add new adjustment layer Levels again and set the Input Levels on 0; 1,62; 255. Change its Blending Mode on Luminosity and fill the layer mask with black.

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Grab the Brush Tool (B) and paint over the highlights. You can get the idea where to paint from the picture below again.

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According to me the whole picture should be bit darker. To fix it add new adjustment layer Levels and set the Input Levels on 0; 0,81; 255. Change the Blending Mode on Luminosity. After this step your picture should be similar to the one below.

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Step 10 – Adding the City

Download the photo of the city and drag it into the manipulation. Press Ctrl + T and resize it on proper size. Move it on the same place as you can see on preview picture. Place the layer on the top of all layers and name it CITY. Add layer mask to the CITY. Grab the Brush Tool (B), pick black color and set the opacity on 100%. Paint over the sky because you want to hide it. You should get something like on the picture below.

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To blend it even better change the Blending Mode of CITY on Soft Light. It makes the buildings lighter and creates the impression that they’re in the distance hidden in fog.

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Step 11 – Adjusting the City

The city should be little bit lighter and less saturated. You’ll fix it in this step. Add new adjustment layer Levels and set the Input Levels on 0; 1,10; 255. Don’t forget to create clipping mask from it.

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To lower the saturation add new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation and set the value Saturation on -70.

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After this step the city should look like below.

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Step 12 – Adding the Glow

The picture is set up in the time of dawn or twilight. It means that lights in the buildings should be on and that there should be some aura arround the city. You’ll add both in this step. Let’s begin with lights. Add new layer on the top of all layers and name it e.g. LIGHTS. Grab the Brush Tool, set the Master Diameter on 1 pixel and set the Opacity on 80%. Paint small windowses in the buildings. Below you can see what I mean.

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Now let’s add glow around the city. Add new layer on the top of all layers and name it GLOW. Grab the Brush Tool (B), set the Master Diameter on 300 pixels and lower the Opacity on 25%. Pick white color and paint one big dot over the city. Add layer mask to the GLOW and hide the bottom part of the glow. You don’t want to have the lighting on the ground because it won’t look realistic.

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After this step your work should be similar to the one below.

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Step 13 – Adding the Bush

The bottom right corner is empty which looks unbalanced. You’ll fill it with some bush in this step to make it better looking. Download the brunch brushes listed in the beginning of the tutorial and install them into Photoshop. If you don’t know how to install brushes you can take a look at this tutorial. Create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it BRANCHES. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and select one of the brushes you’ve just installed. Pick some dark brown color and set the Opacity on 100%. Paint the branches.

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Right now the branches look flat but you want them to have plastic 3D look. You’ll fix it by adding layer style named Bevel and Emboss. Click on the button “Add a layer style” which can be found in the bottom part of the palette Layers and select the option Bevel and Emboss…

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Set the layer style as on the following picture.

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Now check the option Gradient Overlay and set the window as on the following picture.

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After this step you should have something similar to the picture below.

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Step 14 – Flying Hair

As you can see on the preview picture you’re trying to create stormy weather. Besides other things it also means wind. To create impression of wind you’ll add flying hairs to the woman in this step. Create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it HAIR. Download the hair brushes listed in the beginning of the tutorial and install them into Photoshop. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and select one of the brushes you’ve just installed. Hold Alt on your keyboard to activate the Eyedropper Tool and pick some darker brown color from woman’s hair. Paint the flying hair.

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To make hair more realistic looking you need to add some highlights to them. Select some soft round brush, set Master Diameter on 1 pixel and lower the Opacity on about 30%. Hold Alt on your keyboard and select some light color from hairs. Paint the highlights similarly as on the following picture.

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Step 15 – Darkening the Clouds

According to me clouds deserve more contrast because they should be heavy stormy clouds. Highlights are already fine, but shadows could use some adjustment. You’ll use quite the same process as in the previous steps. Add new adjustment layer Levels on the top of all layers and set the Input Levels on 0; 0,45; 255. Change its Blending Mode on Luminosity and fill the layer mask of this layer with black color. Grab the Brush Tool (B), set the Master Diameter on 2 – 5 pixels and set the Opacity on about 15%. Paint over the shadows to make them darker. Below you can see where I painted. It’s highlighted with red.

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And here you can take a look how the picture should look after this step.

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Step 16 – Sharpening

To bring bit more details to the picture let’s sharpen it a little. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select the whole picture. Then press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy it merged and then finally Ctrl + V to paste it. Place this merged layer on the top of all layers and name it SHARPENING. Go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the value Diameter so you are able to see gentle edges of the picture – something like on the picture below.

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Change the Blending Mode of this layer on Overlay to blend it properly. You want to have sharpen mainly the foreground not the background with mountains and clouds. To hide the sharpening in that area add layer mask to the layer SHARPENING. Grab the Brush Tool (B), pick black color and paint over the areas you want to let unsharp. Here is the result of this step.

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Step 17 – Clouds Cleaning

There are some small white clouds on the right of the women’s head which doesn’t look nice. You’ll retouch them in this step.

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Add new layer on the top of all layers and name it e.g. CLOUDS RETOUCH. Now simply grab the Stamp Tool (S) and retouch them.

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Step 18 – Adding Birds

Download the photo of bird and drag it into the photo manipulation. Place the layer on the top of all layers and name it BIRD. Press Ctrl + T and resize it on proper size. Then use the Lasso Tool (L) to cut out the background. As you can see the bird is too dark which doesn’t fit to the rest of the image. To make it lighter add new adjustment layer Levels above and set the Input Levels on 17; 2,93; 255.

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You want to the adjustment affects only one layer below – BIRD. To do that right click on the adjustment layer and create clipping mask from it. Below you can see how the picture looks so far.

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Download the bird brushes listed in the beginning of the tutorial and install them into Photoshop. Create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it e.g. SMALL BIRDS. Select one of the brushes you’ve just installed, pick light blue color and paint some birds to the top right corner. Then pick some dark blue or dark brown and paint another birds in the center of the image. On the following picture you can see how the manipulation looks so far.

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Step 19 – Darkening the Picture

To have the right dramatic atmosphere the picture should be bit more darker and with higher contrast. You’ll fix it in this step. First of all add new adjustment layer Selective Color on the top of all layers and set it as shown below.

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Sky could have more contrast. Add new adjustment layer Gradient Map on the top of all layers and set the gradient similarly to the one shown below. Then change Blending Mode of this layer on Soft Light and lower its Opacity on 50%.

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Gradient Map should adjust only the backgrount not the woman. She would be contrasted more than it’s pretty. To avoid that grab the Brush Tool (B), pick black color and paint on the layer mask of this adjustment layer to hide parts you want to let as they were before. According to me the picture is bit too saturated right now. To fix it add new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation and set the value Saturation on -25.

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After this step your image should be similar to the one below.

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Step 20 – Adding the Flash

As I’ve already mentioned few times you’re trying to create storm weather condition. But two key elements are still missing – rain and flash. You’ll add two flashes and rain in this and following steps. Download the picture of flash and drag it into your manipulation. Place it on the top of all layers and name it e.g. BIG FLASH. Press Ctrl + T and resize it and also rotate it to it has similar position and direction as on the preview picture.

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You need to blend it properly. It would be quite hard to do it with the Lasso Tool (L) and you would loose the aura arround the flash. Because of that you’ll change Blending Mode instead. Change it from Normal to Screen. You’ll get something as on the following picture.

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As you can see there is the lighter rectangle still visible. To hide it add new adjustment layer Levels on the top of all layers and set the Input Levels on 62; 1,00; 255. The rectangle dissapears.

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To adjust only BIG FLASH and not the whole image create clipping mask from this adjustment layer. After this step your image should look like the one below.

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Step 21 – Small Flash

According to me the picture would look more balanced if there is one more smaller flash near the woman. Right click on the BIG FLASH and select the option Duplicate Layer… . Name this new layer SMALL FLASH. Press Ctrl + T on your keyboard and make flash smaller. Move it on the same place as you can see on the preview picture. To blend the layer properly add new adjustment layer Levels above it and set the Input Levels on 62; 1,00; 255 as in the previous step. Create clipping mask too. You don’t want to this flash look completely the same as the big one. It would be weird because in nature you won’t see the exactly same things. To add some variability you’ll flip it and then use Warp to change its shape. To flip the SMALL FLASH go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Then go to Edit > Transform > Warp. The gridd will appear. Adjust it to change the shape of flash and then press Enter on your keyboard to apply these changes.

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On the following picture you can see how the manipulation looks so far.

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Step 22 – Adding Rain

In this step you’ll finally add the last missing element – rain. Download the rain brushes and install them into Photoshop. Create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it RAIN. Grab the Gradient Tool (G) and fill the layer with solid black color. Change its Blending Mode on Screen. It’s not necessary to do that, you can paint rain directly on empty layer. But if you fill it with black you can switch from Screen to Normal Blending Mode to see exactly where you paint the rain and be able to correct mistakes easily. To get realistic result don’t paint the rain over the whole image. Below you can see where I painted it to get some inspiration. (The layer has Normal Blending Mode.)

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Another very important thing to get realistic result – you should have all the parts of the rain in the same direction. After this step your image should be similar to the following one.

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Step 23 – Adjusting the Woman

Right now the woman is bit more darker and has warmer tones than the rest of the image. Because of that it doesn’t fit to the rest of the scene well. You’ll fix it in this step. Let’s start with lightening. Add new adjustment layer Levels on the top of all layers and set the Output Levels on 12; 244.

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You want to adjust only the woman not the rest of the image. Because of that go to Select > Load Selection and as Channel select Woman. Tick the option Invert and press OK.

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Make sure that the layer mask of Levels adjustment layer is active (just click on it) and then go to Edit > Fill and use black color.

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Now let’s adjust the color palette. As I said at the beginning of this step it’s bit warmer than the rest of the image and because of that it doesn’t fit to the scene properly. Add new adjustment layer Color Balance on the top of all layers and set the window as on the following picture.

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You want to adjust the woman only. Because of that do the same process as after adding Levels adjustment layer. On the picture below you can see how these two adjustment affect the picture.

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Step 24 – First Global Adjustment

As you can see the final picture has more cyan/green tones and clouds are little less contrasted. You’ll do both in this step. Add new adjustment layer Color Balance on the top of all layers and set it as on the following picture.

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Now let’s move on changing contrast. According to me some parts should be little lighter to get more balanced look. I highlighted these parts with red on the following picture.

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Add new layer on the top of all layers and name it CONTRAST. Grab the Brush Tool (B). Select some soft round brush and lower its Opacity on about 15%. Press Alt on your keyboard to activate Eyedropper Tool and select some light blue color from sky. Now gently paint over the red areas from the previous picture. Your picture should be similar to the one below.

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Step 25 – Second Global Adjustment

You’re almost finished with the tutorial. There are only few minor things to do left. One of them is adjusting the color tones with Gradient Map and making the whole picture bit darker. You’ll do it in this step. Add new adjustment layer Gradient Map on the top of all layers and set the gradient as shown on the picture below.

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Now let’s make the picture bit darker. To do that add new adjustment layer Levels on the top of all layers and set the Input Levels on 0; 0,75; 255.

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You get the result similar to the picture below after this step.

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Step 26 – Adding Vignette

I really like using gentle vignette because it helps to keep viewer’s attention longer in the picture. To add vignette create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it VIGNETTE. Grab the Gradient Tool (G) and fill the layer with solid white color. Now go to Filter > Lens Correction… (the path may vary in different versions of Photoshop, if you can’t find it simply press Shifht + Ctrl + R on your keyboard) and set the window as on the following picture.

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To blend VIGNETTE properly with the rest of the image change its Blending Mode on Multiply.

Final Results

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Download the PSD

Against the Storm.zip | 5 MB

Authors Comment

profileThank you very much for reading the tutorial. I really hope that you’ve learnt something new or found inspiration for your next work. I’d love to see your results in comments under the article. If you want to read more Photoshop tips written by me you can visit my blog at Pelleron-Art. Have a great day! - Jarka