Photo Manipulation

Combine Photo Elements to Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation

This Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to use a variety of color, lighting, and cut and paste techniques to create a surreal photo manipulation. Combine your creativity with these Photoshop techniques to create your own photo manipulation artworks.

Final Results

image_3

Step 1 – Place the background

The first step it’s to place the sky, our background, into the image. As you can see, we have changed the color of it. We’re going to create a half of the image with a warm tone and another with a cool tone using the color balance tool. To do this, select the sky and then choose Image > Adjustments > Color Balance. Adjust the input sliders to add red and yellow. Select “highlights” and “shadows” then try adding more of these colors until you like the tones in your image.

01

02

Step 2 – Coloring the sky

Duplicate the layer with the sky. Now we are going to repeat the previous step with the color balance tool (Image > Adjustments > Color Balance) but this time adding blue and cyan tones. Remember to add some color to highlights and shadows as well.

03

Select the eraser tool then, in the option bar, select a blurred brush like shown below:

04

Now use the eraser tool to erase the left side of the sky in the top layer. This will make the warm tones from the layer below appear wherever you paint. When using the eraser, create curved strokes rather than a straight cut. When you have finished this step, you can reduce the opacity of the current layer to make the color more subtle.

05

Step 3 – Add the model

Now let’s open picture of the model. Use the magic wand tool to create a selection of the model then click on the add layer mask button in the layers palette to create a mask of the model. Refine the mask by painting in the layer mask using a brush with a harder edge. When you’re done, position the woman in the centre of the image.

06

Step 4 – Coloring the model

As you can see the lighting of the model isn’t blending in well with the background. We’re going to fix this with the levels tool. Choose Image > Adjustments > levels and move the input sliders to add contrast that matches the contrast of the background

07

Now choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and reduce the saturation to reduce the saturation created when we used the levels tool. For the image used in this tutorial, the saturation was reduced by –24.

The next step will be exactly the same that in step 2 (when we used the color balance tool) except we’re going to use it on the model. First, duplicate the layer with the model so that you have two layers. Select one of the layers with the model then, like step two, use the color balance tool (Image > Adjustments > Color Balance) to add some red/yellow tones.

08

As you can see, it looks blended better with the left half of the background. Now, select the other layer of the model then choose Image > Adjustments > Color Balance and add some blue and cyan tones.

Now, as you did before with the sky, use the eraser tool with a soft edge to remove the left side of the layer with the girl in blue tones. Reduce the opacity on the current layer to reduce the strength of the color effect.

09

We’ve done the hardest part matching the lighting of the model with the background. Merge the layers of the model into one layer. Now you can play again with the levels, color balance, and saturation (found in the Image > Adjustments menu) to make further adjustments.

Step 5 – Lightning the model

For the image used in this tutorial, the light comes from the background left. And to make the lighting match, we’ll have to darken the back of the model. To begin, select the burn tool.

10

Use a soft brush, edit the midtones, and set the exposure to around 30%.

11

Now use the brush over the models back. Try not make it too dark, just a little. Use this tool in the skirt too.

Related posts
Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Create an Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Create Vivid Arabian Night Composite in Photoshop

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Create an Emotional Soft-Tone Photo Manipulation

Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Turn an Ordinary Landscape into a Dramatic Moonscape

31 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join Our V.I.P. Mailing List!

Subscribe and get the latest Photoshop tutorials, tips, and more via email. As a way of saying thanks, you'll also receive a free copy of Lomocam Photoshop Actions ($7 retail value).