Photo Manipulation

Create this Breathtaking Photo Manipulation of a Tightrope Dancer in Photoshop

Learn how to create this dangerous scene of a tightrope dancer over a beautiful twilight cityscape. This tutorial will show you how to blend photos together using color matching and light painting techniques.

Preview of Final Results


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Tightrope Dancer Photoshop Tutorial


Step 1

Open the ‘City’ Stock.


Step 2

Add a Color balance Layer adjustment:

  • Shadows: -33 0 +14
  • Midtones: -20 0 +26
  • Highlights: -19 0 +5

You’ll have this result.


Step 3

Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustments Layer with these settings:

  • Brightness: -105
  • Contrast: +64

This is the result.


Step 4

Now we have to add the ‘Sky’ to our work. So let’s create some space above the city. Go to Image > Canvas Size and click on the arrow I’m going to show you below (1). Then replace the Height with 4912 Pixels (2).


This is what we have now.


Step 5

Open the ‘Sky’ stock. After cropping the stock rules advise put it in a new layer above everything.


Step 6

Now resize the sky to fit it in the canvas.


Step 7

Add a Mask to the Sky layer. We need to blend it with the rest of the manipulation. Choose a soft round brush (Settings: Opacity > 30-40% – Size > 180 – Color > Black) and on the layer Mask start to paint at the bottom of the sky to gently delete the strong contrast between it and the city.


Step 8

Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer ONLY for the Sky.

  • Shadows -37 0 0
  • Midtones -43 0 52
  • Highlights -38 0 42

This is the result.


Step 9

The background looks too saturated. Let’s add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

  • Saturation -14
  • Lightness -4


Step 10

Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer to give more Light. Set the brightness to +20. Here’s the result.


Step 11

Open the ‘Lady’ stock and cut her off her background. I know there are a lot of methods to do it. In this case I used the Pen Tool to be more precise. Place the Lady above all layers.


Step 12

Add a Hue / Saturation Layer ONLY for the Lady layer.

  • Master: Saturation -42
  • Reds: Saturation -41
  • Yellows: Saturation -18; Lightness -16


Step 13

Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer ONLY for the Lady layer.

  • Shadows -10 0 +24
  • Midtones -14 0 +86
  • Highlights -18 0 +31

And this is the result.


Step 14

Add a Photo Filter ONLY for the Lady layer.

  • Filter: Cooling Filter 82
  • Density: 11%

Set this layer to Overlay with Opacity and Fill at 50%.


Step 15

Let’s add some light. Create a new layer. Pick the White color and use the Gradient Tool (Radial) in the middle of the manipulation (as you see in the image below).


Set this layer to Overlay with Opacity at 70%. And this is the result.


Step 16

To Blend better the Lady we have to add some light behind her. Create a layer under the Lady layer and set it to Soft Light with Opacity 80%. Pick a soft round brush (Opacity > 30%; Size > 900px) and paint some light around her.


Step 17

Let’s work now on the mood. Add a Selective Color Adjustment Layer above everything with these settings:

  • Blues: Cyan 0; Magenta: +6; Yellow: +54; Black +3.

This is the result.

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