How to Create an Emotional Soft-Tone Photo Manipulation

How to Create an Emotional Soft-Tone Photo Manipulation

Create this emotional blue-tone photo manipualtion of a woman in a forest with flying petals. This tutorial uses few resources and will show you how to use techniques such as dodging and burning to create a dramatic look.

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1 - The Background

Open the Background and cut the part you're interested in.
We want to give more visibility to the subject, so let's apply some blur here. Duplicate the background layer and add Gaussian Blur. (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) The amount depends on the picture, it's not always the same. (I generally use a range between 5px and 10px)
This step is optional. It depends on your taste! Duplicate the blurred background and set the blend mode to Multiply. Play with Opacity and Fill because sometimes Multiply blend gives the picture too much darkness. (In this case I left both at 100%).

Step 2 - The Lady

Open the stock with the lady and extract her.
Create a new layer above the background layers and put there the lady. I previously worked on hair and skin but we're not here for that! You can easily find tutorials about hair and skin.
Create a layer between the lady and the background and paint some hair (I suggest you a little hard brush). In alternative you can download some strands stock and place them in the layer you created. When you're done just smudge the part that is under the dress of the lady.
Below you can see the result.

Step 3 - Petals

Create a new layer above everything. Download the PSD containing the petals and paste them into this layer. Put them in the position you like. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment level just for the petals layer (with ALT button) and set the Lightness at -30 because they have too brightness. Now we want they seem to fall. We can achieve that result with blur. (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur). Amount can vary. It depends on how big is the resolution and on your taste.

Step 4 - Diamondsw

Create a new layer above the petals layer and with the diamonds brush paint some of them with white color. They have a lot of opacity so duplicate this layer 3 times and merge all 4 layers in one.
As you can see the brush will paint a lot of diamonds. So delete the ones you don't want and put the remaining like they are falling from her hand.

Step 5 - Shadows

It's time to shading! Add a Curve Adjustment layer above everything and drag the curve down like the image below. I set these values: Input 169 and Output 100. Set this layer to Multiply. Everything will be darker but we don't want this effect on the whole manipulation! So add a Mask to this level and fill it with black or, in alternative, go to Masks (the button close the Adjustments) and click the button Invert. The manipulation will turn as it was before, like you did nothing. Now with a white soft brush paint over the black mask and the darkness will appear where you brush. You can now choose where shadows go! I use a brush with low opacity and flow (generally 30% for both, it depends on the areas to paint).
Below you can see so far where I painted the shadows.

Step 6 - Dodge & Burn

Create a new layer and set it to Overlay.

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