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Step 15 – Coloring

Add new adjustment layer Gradient Map on the top of all layers and set the gradient as shown below.
15_1
To blend this layer properly with the rest of the image change its Blending Mode on Color and lower its Opacity on 20%.
15_2

Step 16 – Adding Plasticity

It’s time to add more plasticity to your image. It basically means that you want to make highlights lighter and shadows darker. Add new empty layer on the top of all layers and name it PLASTICITY. Change its Blending Mode from Normal to Soft Light.
16_1
Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush, pick black color and set the Opacity of the brush on 10%. Paint over the shadows on the picture to make them darker. After you’re done switch to white color and paint over the highlights. To get better idea of where you should paint let’s take a look at the following picture. You should paint with black over the parts highlighted with red color and with white over the blue parts.
16_2
On the following image you can compare how the photo manipulation looks before and after this step.
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Step 17 – Creating Interesting Light

To make your photo manipulation more interesting you’ll add some light behind the woman in this step.Start by adding new empty layer on the top of all layers and name it LIGHT. Take a look at the following image to see your layer order so far.
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Change the Blending mode of the layer LIGHT from Normal to Color Dodge. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush and set its Opacity on about 10%. Pick some orange color ( I used #b68854) and paint around the edges of woman’s hair, face and dress. Paint also around the light source behind the woman. Take your time with painting and build the light effect slowly to get the most realistic result.Take a look at the photo below to see where you should paint. Those parts are highlighted with red color.
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Step 18 – Retouching

There are still some parts of the image which should be lighter or darker to create more balanced feel. You’ll fix it in this step.Add new empty layer on the top of all layers and name it RETOUCH. Change its Blending Mode from Normal to Soft Light. Grab the Brush Tool (B). Use the same setting as in the previous step, only switch to black color. Paint over the areas highlighted on the following image. As you can see you should make the bottom part of the image and the bottom right corner bit darker to draw the attention to woman. Also there are some too bright parts in her hair which should be bit darker.
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After you’re done pick white color and paint over the highlights in woman’s hair. You’ll make them healthier looking. See the image below for an example.
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On the following photo you can compare how the photo manipulation looks before and after this step.
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Step 19 – More Light

In this step you’ll add even more light behind the woman to create more magical atmosphere.Download Sun Rays Brushes listed in the beginning of the tutorial and install them into Photoshop. Add new empty layer on the top of all layers and name it SUN RAYS. Change its Blending Mode from Normal or Color Dodge. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some of the sun rays brushes you’ve just installed, set its Opacity on 25% and pick bright orange color (for example #b9a587). You can see where you should paint on the image below.

8 thoughts on “How to Create Dramatic Light in Your Fantasy Photo Manipulation”

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