Step 13 – Mist on the River

This will be really quick step in which you’ll add mist on the river. There is already some mist in the distance between trees and mountains but to make it believable it should also be on the river.

Add new layer on the top of all layers and name it e.g. RIVER MIST. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and select one of the mist brushes. Press Alt to activate the Eyedropper Tool and select some light color from the picture. Then paint some mist on the river.

To make the mist realistic looking paint it especially in the distance. If you look at some photos with mist you can see that in most cases the mist is thicker in the distance.

On the picture below you can get inspiration how to paint it.


The swan should be in front of the mist. To fix it grab the Eraser Tool (E), lower the opacity on 30% and erase some mist on the swan.


Step 14 – First Color Adjustment

The basic elements are already placed in the manipulation. Let’s focus on first color adjustment to set up the basic mood of the picture. The aim was to create peaceful, calm scenery. Because of that I decided to use warmer tones and lower saturation because more saturated colors feel more energic or dynamic.

First of all lower the saturation of the picture a little. To do that add new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation on the top of all layers and set the value Saturation on -15.


Let’s make the image lighter, with more contrast and more light yellow tones. All this you can do with only one adjustment layer – Gradient Map.

Set the gradient as shown on the picture below and change the Blending Mode of this layer on Soft Light.


To add even moe yellow tones to lights and violet tones to darks add one more adjustment layer Gradient Map and select one of the basic gradients named Violet, Orange. Change Blending Mode of this layer on Screen and lower the Opacity on 35%.

Below you can see how the adjustments affect the picture.


Step 15 – Adding Light Rays

In this step you’ll create light rays to make bit more fantasy feeling.

Create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it SUN RAYS. Download the light rays brushes listed in the beginning of the tutorial and install them into the Photoshop.

Select one of the brushes you’ve just installed and paint rays on the left on the same place as you can see on the final picture. Then paint less visible rays on the right.

To get the most realistic effect be very gentl with the brush. Use lower opacity of the brush and try to avoid using white color. Use light yellow instead. It looks more natural than pure white.


To make the lights even bit more dramatic let’s add lens flare above.

Create a new layer on the top of all layers and name it LENS FLARE. Grab the Gradient Tool (G) and fill this new layer with solid black color.

Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare and set the window which appears as it’s shown below.


‘To blend the lens flare with the rest of the image properly change the Blending Mode of this layer from Normal to Screen. To make the flare more natural looking lower the Opacity of the layer on about 50%.

The brightest spot of the flare is too bright and it doesn’t look well.


To fix the brightness add layer mask to LENS FLARE layer. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush, lower the Opacity on about 40% and paint with black over that bright spot.

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