How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop

How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop

How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop

In the image below I tried to show you which areas to dodge and which areas to burn but it's just a reference, try to make your own lightning of this image.


The image below is just my gray layer after I was done with the Dodge/Burn Tool painting. You don't have to do that, but if you want to see what yours look like just change the Blend Mode to Normal again.


And here is my outcome:


We're almost finished. Press Ctrl/Command + Shift + Alt/Option + E to make a new layer merging all the layers of your project together. Don't worry, your layers will not be deleted.

Now change the blend mode of this new layer to Lighten and lower the opacity to around 35%.


Now let's add a dreamy effect to our image. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to around 10px.


With the dreamy effect:


Just two more adjustments! Add a Selective Color Adjustment Layer (non-destructively) and check the image below for the input values in each of the Colors values. The Colors that don't appear in the image were not changed.


With the Selective Color Adjustment:


To finish off, repeat the shortcut to create a new layer merging all the previous layers (Ctrl/Command + Shift + Alt/Option + E).


And add a Lens Correction by going to Filter > Lens Correction.

Select the custom tab and change the Vignette Amount and Midpoint (see the image below for the values).


And here it is, finally, our final image:

Final Results

Tutorial by Guilherme Pejon

profileThanks for following this tutorial! I know it was a really long tutorial but I hope you've learned a thing or two here (even if it was just some shortcuts). Also, this is the first tutorial I ever made so I hope you were able to follow along. Give your opinions in the comments below and expect more tutorials soon. Have Fun!.

- Guilherme Pejon


Step 1: Create a new Photoshop file

Open up a new file in Photoshop using these settings

  • Width: 2500px
  • Height: 1700px
  • Resolution: 300px/in
  • Color Mode: RGB Color - 8 bit

Step 2: Add the background image and clean it

Let's start with the background image. Download the ocean stock and open it. Press Ctrl/Command + A to select all the image. Then copy (Ctrl/Command+C) and paste (Ctrl/Command+V) into our project.


As you can see, the stock image is way too large, so we're going to have to resize it. To do that, we're going to use the Free Transform Tool, remember it well because we're going to use it for the rest of this tutorial. Go to Edit > Free Transform (or press Ctrl/Command + T).

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Dark Conceptual Portraits Course (71% Off)

Discover how to create stunning photo manipulations in Photoshop. In this course, you'll learn everything from photographing models to creating dark conceptual artworks. If you enjoy our photo manipulation tutorials, you will absolutely love this course.

32 comments on “How to Create a Surreal Scene Full of Life in Photoshop”

  1. You've made a very nice and comprehensive collection of WordPress Themes. I appreciate it. Really great art work with typography. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

  2. Outstanding tutorial!Clear instructions and awesome picture instructions. Very nice, thank you a bunch.

  3. I can not thank you enough, the amount of things I've learnt in two hours is incredible, would usually take me a week of watching and reading tutorials, but nope, you've used many techniques that made my life easier! Thank you is not enough!

    1. just do what i did , 
      download the attached PSD from up there and take the mountain photo from there :D

    2. @SalahKabbani OK! Got it!I decided to replace the mountain photo with a desert one ^_^Thanks anyway :)

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial really great photo and great explanation love it. 
    but i have a problem with the mountain photo , the link of this photo doesn't work , can you please upload it again or give me another photo that could be good for the tutorial ?

  5. Hi Guilherme, From the start of your tutorial you say to go to lens correction and distort the image to + 25,00, it distorts the image considerably !, is that right, ?, by the way it is a great tutorial,
    regards and respect johnny

    1. Its ok, all i did was after the lens correction was used the free transform tool and adjusted the image to cover my canvas again lol, My bad..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *