How to Change Ordinary Photo into Fantasy Photo Manipulation

How to Change Ordinary Photo into Fantasy Photo Manipulation
In this tutorial I'd like to show you how you can change ordinary photo into a fantasy photo manipulation and also different ways how you can play with lights and shadows.

Preview of Final Results


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How to Change Ordinary Photo into Fantasy Photo Manipulation


Step 1 - Cleaning the Background

Open the photo of woman in Photoshop. Right now it's bit boring, ordinary photo. It was shot during day but you want to turn it into nigh. You also want to change the light from soft, diffuse light into spotted light coming from the butterfly. You'll learn how to do it in this tutorial. Let's start with cleaning the background. There are few bright spots (see the image below) which are distracting. You'll remove them in this step.
Create a new layer above the BACKGROUND and name it e.g. BACKGROUND RETOUCH. You can find the button "Create a new layer" in the bottom part of the palette Layers. If you don't see this palette simply press F7 on your keyboard or go to Window > Layers and it will appear.
Grab the Stamp Tool (S) and cover the highlighted area with some darker bokeh. (If you don't know how to use the Stamp Tool you can take a look at this video.) After this step your background should look like below.

Step 2 - Preparing Selection of Girl

In the following step you are adjusting the bottom part of the background - leaves. To be able to adjust only them and not the rest of the image you're creating mask of the girl and forest in this step. You need to create sharp mask of girl, you're using the Lasso Tool (L) for it. For the forest you should create mask with soft transition on the horizon. Using the Brush Tool (B) is ideal for it. Click on the layer BACKGROUND and grab the Lasso Tool (L). Then make a selection of the girl. You don't need to care about the part of her body which is in front of the forest but you should be very careful with selecting the bottom parts. I know that masking is quite boring and very uncreative part of doing photo manipulations but it's crucial to create realistic looking picture. So be as patient as possible. Below you can see how the mask of the bottom part of the body should look.
Click on the icon Edit in Quick Mask Mode (Q) which can be found on the Tools palette (or simply press Q on your keyboard). Because of this mode you see mask painted with red. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush and pick black color. Now paint over the forest. You should get something like this:
Press Q on your keyboard to switch back to normal view. You're seeing only borders of the mask again. To be able to work with the mask later you need to save it. To do that go to Select > Save Selection... and name it e.g. LEAVES.
Let the mask activated.

Step 3 - Adjusting Leaves

In this step you're changing color of leaves to give them little bit more magical atmosphere. To do that you'll use two adjustment layers - Selective Color and Hue/Saturation. Using of adjustment layers is much better than using direct adjustments. With adjustment layers all the changes you do are always reversible. If you use direct adjustments you can make only as many changes as your History goes plus you'll loose all the later steps.

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