Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Monk in the Caves

Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Monk in the Caves
Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Monk in the Caves

Here is the result, and how your layers should look like so far:


To finish our sky, let’s add a layer to correct the lighting of it. Press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N and chose the following settings for this new layer:


Now grab the Dodge Tool (Shortcut: O). Make sure the range is set to Midtones, and the Exposure is around 10%.


With the Lighting layer selected, start paining the areas of the sky that should be lighter. To paint the darker areas we need to use the Burn Tool, which can easily be accessed by holding Alt/Opt while you’re painting. This also works the other way around, if you have the Burn Tool selected and hold Alt/Opt you’ll start using the Dodge Tool.

Try to create a good contrast between the dark and light areas, cause that’s what’s going to make this adjustment looks good, don’t be afraid to zoom in in some areas to do some details. Here is what my Lighting layer looks like in normal mode:


And here is the result of it:


Let’s clean our workspace a little bit. Select all the layers we created so far by clicking in the first one, holding Shift, and then clicking on the last one. Then, drag all of them to that little folder in the layers panel, which will create a new group with all of them. You could also select them and use the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd+G. Name this new group Sky/Clouds.


Step 4:Adding the Cave

Before we start creating the cave, let’s paint the area where we want it to be. Create a new layer by clicking in the sixth button in the layers panel, and name it Cave.


Now get the Brush Tool (Shortcut:B), select a soft brush (Hardness 0%), and keep the size around 500px. Now select the black color (Shortcut D) and start painting the contour of the cave around our image. Remember that you don’t have to create a cave exactly like mine, use your creativity!


We are not going to place the image of the cave straight into our canvas, we only need small pieces of the stock image (Little Island) to create our cave, so we’re only going to open it. Go to File -> Open to open the stock in another tab.

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29 comments on “Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Monk in the Caves”

  1. Please re uploaded PSD file because when i click on download showing 404 error, this is best work for me i want check how did you do this

  2. Thanks for this great tutorial. One of the best I found so far. But I do have a question, since one step doesn't work out like it should. I have finished the cave and put the layers in a Group Folder as the tutorial says. The next step would be the cave lighting layer. But when I try to create it, Photoshop won't let me add a clipping mask. For some reason it won't do that above a group folder. To help myself I merged all cave layers into one, that way it works, but of course I can't change any details now, which is a bit annoying. I would be glad if you or someone else could tell me what I've been doing wrong. I use Photoshop CS4.

  3. i love u jerry

  4. Great tutorial. I loved it, and my end result turned out really well. I learned a tonne about layer masks so thank you :D

  5. Thank you for your tutoring.I am very appreciate your time.

    Wish you and your family have wonderful weekend.

  6. Terrific tutorials, as ALWAYS!

    And trust me, a lot of users see your tutorials, even if they don't leave feedback.

    Thanks, as always!

  7. On the part where you pick random parts from the island, you should have placed the layer inside the main PSD & use layer masks. Duplicate layer, paint in layer mask, repeat.

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