How to Create a Photo Manipulation of a Medieval Woman Riding Horse in a Night Scene

How to Create a Photo Manipulation of a Medieval Woman Riding Horse in a Night Scene
In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a night landscape featuring a medieval woman riding a horse. First, we'll build the base scene using several images of sky, landscape and rocks. Later, we'll add the bridge, moon and model. We'll import the tree and use several adjustment layers to complete the final effect.

Preview of the Final Result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new 1800x1361 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white. Open the sky image and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the sky part and drag it into our white canvas using the Move Tool (V).  Convert this layer to a Smart Object.

Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 9 px.

Step 3

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and set it as Clipping Mask to bring more light to the sky. 

Step 4

Make another Curves adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and decrease the lightness. On this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color. Use this brush to remove the dark effect on the upper of the sky, leaving the effect visible on the bottom only.

Step 5

Create a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones settings:

Step 6

 Open the landscape image and drag it into our main document using the Move Tool and place it in the bottom of the canvas. Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to remove the hard edges and hide the lake part.

Step 7

 Make a Curves adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and decrease the lightness. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush with the opacity about 10% to reduce the dark effect on the mountains in the middle.

Step 8

 Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and bring the Saturation values down to -73.

Step 9

 Open the rocks 1 image and isolate them from the background using the Magnetic Lasso Tool (L) . Select the left rock to add to the right of the foreground of the main canvas and use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) to tweak the rock a bit. Flip it horizontally by choosing Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. 
Take the right rock from the original image to add to the left of our main document. 

Step 10

Create a new layer above the first rock layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray. Activate the Dodge Tool (O) with Highlights range, Exposure about 40-50% to paint more bright details for the rock. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with Overlay mode.

Step 11

Select the rock layers and the dodging one and hit Ctrl+G to make a group for them Change the group's mode to Normal 100% and create a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the rocks.

Step 12

Add a Curves adjustment layer on top of the layers to darken the whole scene.

Step 13

Place the rock 2 image over the image and set the rock on the right of the canvas. Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to remove most of the details, leaving the rock visible mostly.

Step 14

Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and reduce the Saturation values down to -85:

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