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Learn how to create this dangerous scene of a tightrope dancer over a beautiful twilight cityscape. This tutorial will show you how to blend photos together using color matching and light painting techniques.

Preview of Final Results


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Equilibrium.zip | 106.38 MB
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Tightrope Dancer Photoshop Tutorial


Step 1

Open the ‘City’ Stock.


Step 2

Add a Color balance Layer adjustment:

  • Shadows: -33 0 +14
  • Midtones: -20 0 +26
  • Highlights: -19 0 +5

You’ll have this result.


Step 3

Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustments Layer with these settings:

  • Brightness: -105
  • Contrast: +64

This is the result.


Step 4

Now we have to add the ‘Sky’ to our work. So let’s create some space above the city. Go to Image > Canvas Size and click on the arrow I’m going to show you below (1). Then replace the Height with 4912 Pixels (2).


This is what we have now.


Step 5

Open the ‘Sky’ stock. After cropping the stock rules advise put it in a new layer above everything.


Step 6

Now resize the sky to fit it in the canvas.


Step 7

Add a Mask to the Sky layer. We need to blend it with the rest of the manipulation. Choose a soft round brush (Settings: Opacity > 30-40% – Size > 180 – Color > Black) and on the layer Mask start to paint at the bottom of the sky to gently delete the strong contrast between it and the city.


Step 8

Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer ONLY for the Sky.

  • Shadows -37 0 0
  • Midtones -43 0 52
  • Highlights -38 0 42

This is the result.


Step 9

The background looks too saturated. Let’s add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

  • Saturation -14
  • Lightness -4


Step 10

Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer to give more Light. Set the brightness to +20. Here’s the result.