This tutorial will show you how to create a dark, mystic photo manipulation. Along the way, you will learn some interesting tricks and techniques such as working with tree branches and ivies, advanced blending, and coloring techniques. Let’s get to it!
Preview of Final Results
- Model – by mjranum-stock
- Forest stock – by HumbleBeez
- Ivy – by Black-B-o-x
- Dead Tree 2 – by gd08
- Dead Tree 1 – Pixabay
- Sky – Pixabay
- Fog brush – Brusheezy
- Ray Light brush – Brusheezy
Step 1 – Create A New Document
Create a new document with the following settings
- Width: 1920 pixels
- Height: 1200 pixels
- Background Contents: Transparent
Step 2 – Extract The Forest
Open the Forest stock image. As you can see we want to create a mystic and dark piece so we can’t leave the bright sky like this, so we will get rid of it instead of trying to turn it dark. Select all the images with Ctrl + A then go to Select -> Color Range…
Hold Shift and left-click on the sky part of the image until all the forest part are turned to black. You can adjust the Fuzziness for more accurate selection but I recommend keeping it below 80, as keeping high Fuzziness will cause Photoshop to select unnecessary parts.
With the help of Color Range the forest has been extracted easily. This tool is a great choice for extracting detailed composition such as forest, trees, hair.
Step 3 – From Day to Night
Bring the extracted forest into our document. Resize it like the image below.
Begin adding this chain of Adjustment Layers to the forest. Remember to tick Create Clipping Mask on those adjustment layers so that they will only affect the forest layer.
Brightness/Contrast -> Levels -> Black&White -> Photo Filter.
And here is the result :
We need to add some extra shadow in order to fully turn our forest into a dark forest. Create a new layer, grab a soft brush with Black color and paint on these parts
Switch the Blend Mode to Soft Light and low down the Opacity to 75%
Dark blue is the main theme we want for our piece so we will begin to fill in the base color for the forest. Go to Layer -> New Fill Layer -> Solid Color then choose the color #4273b0, change the Blend Mode to Color with 77% Opacity, 78% Fill. By this simple step the forest will be blended with a nice dark blue color.
Add some Layer Mask to the Solid Color layer as some parts turned way too much blue than we needed.
Step 6 – Adding Base Fog
Download the Fog Brush in the Resources list, open it and grab any fog brush you want and start painting.
Layer Mask on these fog layers as we only want some subtle fog effect to spice up the atmosphere of the image.
Reduce the fog layer Opacity and Fill to 45%. The number can be changed as you desire, depends on how strong you want the fog to be.
Step 7 – Extracting The Model
Open the Model stock photo and start extracting her, you can use Quick Selection Tool to do so as the photo’s quality is high and the contrast is enough for Quick Selection Tool to do its work. Otherwise, you can use Pen Tool for a better result but more time-consuming, it’s up to you!
Place the model into our document after you’ve done the extracting.