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Have you ever wanted to create those stark and dramatic landscapes? In this tutorial you'll learn how to combine different stock photos and lighting styles to create dramatic, movie like photo manipulation. Let's get started!
Preview of Final Results
Step 1 - Preparing the Document
Open Photoshop and create a new document (File > New...). Set its dimensions on 3500 x 2300px. Press OK. Download the stock photo of rocks listed in the beginning of the tutorial under Tutorial Resources and drag it into your new document. Name this new layer ROCKS and place it on the top of all layers. Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontally to have the same direction as on the preview picture.
Step 2 - Adjusting the Rocks
Let's focus on colors of the layer ROCKS you've added in previous step. In this photo manipulation you want to create strong dramatic atmosphere and I believe you can achieve it better with photos with less saturated colors. Add new adjustment layer Vibrance on the top of all layers. (You can find the button Add new fill or adjustment layer on the bottom part of your layers palette.)
Set the value Vibrance on - 30 and change its Blending Mode on Color. By choosing this blending mode the adjustment change only color and not lightness of your image.
To lower saturation of cyan tones even more add new adjustment layer Hue/Saturation and set the value Saturation of Cyan tones on -70. By this adjustment you'll create stronger feel of "before the storm" weather.
After this step your photo manipulation should look like on the following image.
Step 3 - Adding Waves
Download stock photo of waves listed in the beginning of the tutorial and drag it into your photo manipulation. Name this new layer WAVES and place it on the top of all layers. Go to Edit > Free Transform (or press Ctrl + T on your keyboard) and resize waves on proper size. After you're done press Enter to apply the changes. You should get something similar to the picture below.
Add layer mask to WAVES. You can find the button Add layer mask on the bottom part of the palette Layers (next to the button Add new fill or adjustment layer you've used in previous step).