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 responses to “Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Monk in the Caves”

  1.  Avatar

    Good job Awesome work

    1. Creator Avatar

      u’re wron

  2. MaximImages Photography Avatar
    MaximImages Photography

    Beautifully done.

  3. Dereck Avatar

    Love this TUT! it took me a couple of hours but well worth the end result. Great job!

  4. Ayaan Avatar

    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

  5.  Avatar

    Thanks a lot, I learn a lot form this tutorrials

  6. Maidul Islam Avatar
    Maidul Islam

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this experience with us………..and for the challenge.

  7. Mcearnie Avatar

    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.

  8. pepe0390 Avatar

    Hey man. Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial; thanks for being so specifici with everything. Here is what I did following your instructions, hope you like it:

    Regards from Mexico.

  9. Valeria Avatar

    Excellent tutorial! I can’t believe I did it! Thank you for such perfect instructions! I learned a lot!

  10. Yusuf Avatar

    Very nice examples. Thanks.

  11. jerry Avatar

    i love u jerry

  12. Wind Avatar

    Oh great! Thank you.

  13. Gohu Avatar

    Great tutorial =)
    Thanks a lot !

    Here’s my try : (in the bottom of the page)

  14. Brody Avatar

    Thanks Man, Good tutorial it really help with some techniques i already knew and did know :P Thanks!

  15. Steph Avatar

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

  16. Simpshop Avatar

    This worked ! Could do it as a beginner. Neat description. Great tutorials.Thank you!

  17. Hc Avatar

    A bit cheating with the cube but it works. Proper way is to create a cube with isometric transforms.

  18. Joakim Avatar

    <3 <3 <3
    I love your tuts!!

  19. Ganesh Avatar


  20. Theresa Avatar

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

    Wish you and your family have wonderful weekend.

  21. Ramster Avatar

    Awesome tutorial…keep them coming..Thanks

  22. Jonas Avatar

    Terrific tutorials, as ALWAYS!

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

    Thanks, as always!

  23. Steven Avatar

    I always learn something from the great Photoshop Tutorials here.

  24. Benjamin Avatar

    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.

    1. Lasse Selänne Avatar
      Lasse Selänne

      Better vextor mask to cut out than layer mask to fading edge

  25. Eriks Avatar

    One of the best tutorials- very detailed. Thanks a lot.

  26. Thomas Avatar

    Awesome work!!!!

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