Halloween is coming soon and it’s a good idea to create something spooky for this event. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a dark, obscured Halloween scenery by combining witch house, pumpkins, tombstones, crows and many more into one neat piece. There will be plenty of intermediate to advanced photo manipulation techniques, from lightning effect to blending color. Some parts could be tricky, but why not give a try ? Alright lets begin!

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1 – Create A New File

Open Photoshop and create a new document with Width 1920 and Height 1200, leave the Background Contents as Transparent.

step 1

Step 2 – Create The Sky

Firstly we will work on the sky first by combining two different images : Moon Sky and Dark Cloud Sky. Place the Dark Cloud Sky into the document first by go to File -> Place, by doing this the image will be set as Smart Object – allows you to work with it indestructibly, this step should be used all along this tutorial for every images. You can also transform any normal layer to Smart Object by right clicking on it and select Convert to Smart Object.

Resize the Sky like below. (Ctrl + T to open Transform tool)

step 2a

Adjust the Sky a little bit with Brightness&Contrast (Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Brightness&Contrast). Remember to tick on the box “Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask“, by this way the adjustment layer will only be used on the Sky layer without affecting other layers below.

step 2a1

step 2b

Next, open the Moon Sky image and apply Layer Mask. Layer Mask is a great way to erase unneccesary part on an image and you can still restore the erased part after that if you need to. Quick access to Layer Mask via the panel below the layer area.

step 2b1

Now grab a big Soft Brush with Black color and start painting on the Moon Sky’s layer mask, the masking part will be indicate with red color. Mask all the white part of this Moon Sky layer.

step 2c

Apply Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to the Moon Sky layer.

step 2d

And we’re done with the sky, here is the result.

step 2e

Step 3 – Create the Ground

Now we will make the ground with a Hill part and a Field part. Open the Hill image first, use Quick Selection Tool and select the hill like this.

step 3

Place the selected part into our document, rotate it to the right like this.

step 3a

Apply these following adjustment layers to the Hill.


step 3b


step 3c

And we will have the Hill look like this

step 3d

Step 4 – Adding the Field

Open the Field image and select the field like this.

step 4

Place the selected part into the document

step 4a

Apply Layer Mask to the Field image.

step 4b

Continue adding some adjustment layers to the Field.


step 4cstep 4d

step 4e

And we’re done with the basic background image for this piece.

step 4f

Step 5 – Extracting the Dead Forest

We will learn how to extract this Forest from the image which you can’t simply use Quick Selection or Magic Wand tool to get the forest part, instead we will use Color Range to solve this puzzle. Open the Dead Forest image and hit Ctrl + A to select the whole image, then go to Select -> Color Range…

21 thoughts on “Create a Halloween Photo Manipulation in Photoshop”

  1. There are about 3 links that don’t seem to work for me. I can’t seem to know why for example the house. Even the link that Henk posted doesn’t work for me. Very confused and worried as I have to finish a project.

  2. Great tutorial!! However I need some help on Step 18. I am not familiar with using the Perspective tool and I can’t get it to conform to the landscape. Can you give us some tips on how to do this?

    Thank You

  3. I have reahed the stage of lighting the windows in the witch house, I make a new layer and use the pen tool to draw around the window but I cant replicate the yellow light that is supposed to be emmited. I follow the instrutction to the letter and have tried many times. I also dont have the red colour with the brush tool when applying masks. Please help :(

    1. Hi Jules,

      After you’ve finished drawing with pen, just right click on the draw path and choose Fill Path, you should be able to fill with drawing path with the color in the tutorial provided.

      Also, the red color in the layer mask is just a sample for better visual view, its actually the black color you use when masking.

      Let me know if there’s anything more you want to know, contact me via my email : [email protected].



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