Create a Vivid Winter Aurora Landscape

Create a Vivid Winter Aurora Landscape
winter13

On the second Curves layer mask use soft brush to reduce lightness on the right side of this mountain:

winter13a

Step 14

In this step we'll be brightening the right mountain more. Make a new layer (Clipping Mask), change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:

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Use Dodge Tool with Midtones Range and Exposure about 20% to brighten the edge of the mountain. You can see how I applied this tool with Normal mode and result with Overlay mode:

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winter14b

Step 15

Isolate the trees from its background and place it at the left side of our picture, remember to convert it to Smart Object before resizing:

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winter15a

Step 16

Duplicate this layer and flip it horizontally. Move it to the right side and enlarge it .

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Use layer mask to remove some hard edges and blend it with background:

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Step 17

Make group for the trees layer as done with aurora ones but change the mode to Normal 100%. I name these layer "1" and "2". Create some adjustment layers within this group to change color and darken them:

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On Curves layer mask I use black brush with opacity about 20% to erase the top of the trees as they should be brighter than the rest:

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On Color Balance layer mask I erase the bottom right of the trees:

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On Levels layer mask I erase the top of the trees and the bottom right of them:

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winter17d

Step 18

Open foreground image. Use Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to select the ground :

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Drag this selection into our picture, place it at the bottom:

winter18a

Duplicate this layer, flip it horizontally and use Warp Tool (Edit-Transform-Warp) to bend it:

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Step 19

Make group for the foreground layers. I name them "1" and "2". I use three adjustment layers to darken and alter color of them:

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On Curves layer mask I use brush with very low opacity (10-15%) to reveal some parts of the ground. On Levels layer mask I use brush with 100% opacity to erase the front part of the ground (which is nearer the light from the sky ):

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winter19b

Step 20

Extract the bear and place him onto the contour of the left mountain:

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Step 21

To make shadow for the bear, I make a new layer under the bear one. Hold Cmd/Ctrl while clicking bear thumbnail layer to load his selection:

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Go to Edit-Fill (or press Shift+F5) and fill this selection with black. Choose Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical then convert it to Smart Object. Use Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform this shadow as the screenshot below shows:

winter21a

Lower opacity to 50% and use layer mask to blur the bottom of this shadow:

winter21b

Go to Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur and choose radius as 3 px:

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Step 22

To correct shadow on the bear I make a new layer with Clipping Mask. I use color #c5bf9f (similar color of the bear) and paint over the dark parts:

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Step 23

I use some adjustment layers to change color and darken the bear:

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On Curves layer mask I use brush to erase some parts as I don't want them too dark:

winter23a

Step 24

Make some adjustment layers on the top to change color and contrast of the whole picture:

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On Levels layer mask I use brush to erase the sky part, mountain edges and front part of foreground:

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Step 25

To create a stronger focus and contrast I make a new layer on the top. Apply Radial Gradient with default colors (black and white) and change the mode to Soft Light 100%:

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12 comments on “Create a Vivid Winter Aurora Landscape”

  1. OMG!! What a humongous polar bear!

    Not bad for a tut but you need to learn perspective... unless you intentionally decided to make a dinosaur-sized polar bear.

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