This tutorial will show you how to create a dark, mystic photo manipulation. Along the way, you will learn some interesting tricks and techniques such as working with tree branches and ivies, advanced blending, and coloring techniques. Let’s get to it!

Preview of Final Results

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Tutorial Resources

Step 1 – Create A New Document

Create a new document with the following settings

  • Width: 1920 pixels
  • Height: 1200 pixels
  • Background Contents: Transparent
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Step 2 – Extract The Forest

Open the Forest stock image. As you can see we want to create a mystic and dark piece so we can’t leave the bright sky like this, so we will get rid of it instead of trying to turn it dark. Select all the images with Ctrl + A then go to Select -> Color Range…

Hold Shift and left-click on the sky part of the image until all the forest part are turned to black. You can adjust the Fuzzinessfor more accurate selection but I recommend keeping it below 80, as keeping high Fuzzinesswill cause Photoshop to select unnecessary parts.

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With the help of Color Rangethe forest has been extracted easily. This tool is a great choice for extracting detailed composition such as forest, trees, hair.

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Step 3 – From Day to Night

Bring the extracted forest into our document. Resize it like the image below.

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Begin adding this chain of Adjustment Layers to the forest. Remember to tick Create Clipping Maskon those adjustment layers so that they will only affect the forest layer.

Brightness/Contrast-> Levels-> Black&White-> Photo Filter.

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And here is the result :

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Step 4

We need to add some extra shadow in order to fully turn our forest into a dark forest. Create a new layer, grab a soft brush with Black color and paint on these parts

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Switch the Blend Modeto Soft Lightand low down the Opacityto 75%

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Step 5

Dark blue is the main theme we want for our piece so we will begin to fill in the base color for the forest. Go to Layer -> New Fill Layer -> Solid Colorthen choose the color #4273b0, change the Blend Modeto Colorwith 77%Opacity, 78%Fill. By this simple step the forest will be blended with a nice dark blue color.

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Add some Layer Mask to the Solid Color layer as some parts turned way too much blue than we needed.

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Step 6 – Adding Base Fog

Download the Fog Brush in the Resources list, open it and grab any fog brush you want and start painting.

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5 responses to “Create an Alluring and Magical Forest Photo Manipulation”

  1. Muhammad Azzam Avatar
    Muhammad Azzam

    cool Photoshop tutorial..

  2. Kawaii Desu Avatar
    Kawaii Desu


  3. Anonymous Avatar

    THANK YOU!! I have been trying to learn to create fog forever

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    The pixabay link works on my side using Safari and Chrome

  5. NIX Avatar

    I want to try this tutorial but the images on Pixabay don’t work. It’s telling me this: “Oh snap! Something went wrong! Don’t panic!! You can try reloading this page to solve the problem.”

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