Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Create an Emotional Abstract Photo Manipulation of a Rose

Learn how to make this abstract and very emotional composite in Adobe Photoshop. You will learn some technical things – as using adjustments for making masks, loading brushes etc. You’ll also learn some photo manipulation principles such as how the golden proportion works.

What you’ll be creating

You will be creating photomanipulation which is filled by symbols of transformation. I’ll show you, how to blend stock images in abstract composition. I’ll show you how shadows works. You can also learn, how to make photo looks like hand-drawn and more. You will need Adobe Photoshop CS5 or newer, to follow this tutorial.


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start. Create new file. Go to File > New… Set size to 1884 x 1480 px.


Step 2

Place “Old Paper” stock. It will be base to whole project. Drag stock from folder and drop to your Photoshop file.


Step 3

I really want to achieve grunge style of paper, not old. Add adjustment layer (shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment layer…) with Hue/Saturation.


Now, add Brightness/Contrast.


Step 4

Optional – You can add Gradient fill (shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment layer…). Radial gradient allows you to make vintage look.


Step 5

Let’s the game begin, huhu. You will learn, how to mask layer, without using brush. It works with black and white background. Place “Dead branches stock” to your file.


Duplicate the stock – drag layer on new layer symbol.


Click on duplicated layer with RMB. Choose “Rasterize layer”.


From top menu choose Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.


Again go to top menu Image > Adjustments and choose “Levels”.


It’s time to decrease saturation. Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.


Now, add again Brightness/Contrast effect. Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.


Choose bucket tool and fill with white rest of the layer.


With white brush, erase not hidden sky.


Now go to Image > Adjustments > Invert.


Marquee created layer. (ctrl + A, or just by tool) Copy it. (ctrl +c or Edit > Copy)


Step 6

Now go to first layer. With holding alt, click on layer mask (white canvas on the left). Paste created layer (ctrl + v).


Step 7

Now you can delete duplicated layer.


Step 8

Add adjustment layer (shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment layer…) with Hue/Saturation. You will make monochrome tones. Click on adjustment layer with RMB and choose “Create clipping mask”.


Step 9

Now with holding Ctrl, click on “Dead branches” layer and on Hue/Saturation clipping layer. Drag and drop it to “New layer” symbol.


Step 10

Duplicate it several times and transform it (Ctrl + T). Use golden ratio proportions to make focus point.


Step 11

Place “Rose” stock to your file. Use trick from Step 5 to mask it. Remember about golden ratio! :)


Step 12

Colors are weak. Let’s fix that! Add adjustment layer (shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment layer…) with Brightness/Contrast. Then, click on it with RMB and choose “Create clipping mask”.


Step 13

It’s time to transform effect on the rose. At first, place “Ashes” stock image to your file. Then, click on it with RMB and choose “Create clipping mask”.


Step 14

With big, soft brush, mask part of stock.

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