In this tutorial you will learn to create a portrait of a beautiful lady in a warm autumn background using lights, contrast, colors and other adjustments.
Preview of Final Results
Download the Backgrounds pack and open in Photoshop the background number 5. Double click on the layer to unlock it. Flip the image horizontally (CTRL + T > Flip Horizontally). Crop the part we want to be the base of our work.
We want to give to the background some contrast. Duplicate the background twice (CTRL + J). Set the first duplicated background to Screen to enhance the lights. Set the second to Multiply to enhance the shadows. This is what you will have.
Extract the Lady from the background (I used the Quick Selection Tool + Refine Edges, but everyone has their own best method). I previously smudged the model skin, but this is not the aim of this tutorial and it doesn’t affect the final result. Put her in a new layer above the backgrounds layers.
Now we have to blend the Lady with the Background. I desaturated a bit the lady and removed some of brightness. To do that add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the Lady and set the Saturation to -19 and Lightness to -8.
Now we work on the colors. Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer only to the Lady and put these settings:
- Shadows > +14 +7 -16
- Midtones > +11 +7 0
- Highlights > +10 +5 -5
We want to blend more everything. Open the pack containing the bokeh and add the number 2 in a new layer above everything. Rotate it like in the picture below (CTRL + T).
Set the Bokeh to Soft Light. Opacity and Fill to 75%.
Add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer and choose the one you see below from the presets.
Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill to 80%.
Add another Gradient Map and set it like below.
Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill 80%.
Let’s work now on shadows and lights. First of all we need to make the background darker. Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer above the 3 backgrounds and put:
- Brightness -54 and Contrast +48
This is so far what you’ll have.
Create a new layer below the Lady and paint with white below her, going out her edges.
Set the layer to Soft Light.
Create a layer below the one you have just done. Pick the color #572e07. With the Gradient tool (linear – #572e07 to transparent) make a gradient like the image below.
Set the layer to Multiply with Opacity and Fill at 80%.
Create a new layer below the one containing the bokeh texture and add the flying bird.
Add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the bird. Check ‘Colorize’ and put these settings:
- Hue 44
- Saturation 15
Create a new layer over the Hue/Sat you edited in the previous step. Pick the color #ffe7ba and with a soft round brush paint something like the image below.
Set the layer to Soft Light with Opacity 81% and Fill 87%.