Increase the brightness using Curves.
Now load selection from the second path and adjust the curves.
For the bottom most path we cannot use it directly. As You can see it is interfering with the other path. We need to subtract it. So load selection from the second path, on the Options Panel Select subtract from selection then right click on the third path and choose Make Selection.
Click on the texture and adjust Curves.
Duplicate the texture by pressing Ctrl+J.
Increase the layer brightness as a whole
Mask out the left portion of the Highlight pass.
Now we reached the base. Create a new layer above the base and clip it. I painted the base.
Let’s start detailing process. Follow the steps below and spend some time to get it correct. Start by adding loose details with a small brush.
Some subtle shadows and highlights.
Continue to add further details.
I created a shadow layer. Fill the layer with a dark tone. Again all these layers are clipped to the base layer.
Reduce the Opacity to 50%.
Use a mask to erase the shadow layer in the marked areas.
Integrate the base layer in to the background.
Paint a shadow to the base using a soft brush.
Step 6: Adding Island
Create a new group called Island. Bring the Mountain1 stock image into Photoshop. Use Magic Wand Tool to select the sky and remove it. Copy and paste into main file.
Flip it horizontally.
Resize the mountain. I stretched it extremely to match the perspective of the scene.
Clean up the edges.
Open up mountain2 stock image. Select and copy.
Resize. Stretch it slightly.
I trimmed the edge of the mountain. Select and erase.
Clear the water edge using a mask.
Stamp out any unwanted details using the Clone Stamp Tool.
We need color correct the image. Notice the color mountains in the background plate, the lighting and saturation of colors. Keep an eye on the surrounding environment and adjust the colors and lighting according to it.
Add Color Overlay.
I painted some reflections and highlights. Pick a small round brush and sample color tones from the mountain and paint. Vary the brush opacity to keep it a bit random. Since I have a Wacom tablet I have the shape dynamics on and enabled pen pressure settings to paint the fine details.
Step 7: Adding the Beach
Open up the Beach stock image. Copy a piece out of it. Paste into the main file.
Reposition it. Squeeze it down to match it to perspective of the scene.
Use a mask to merge the layer with the background and to create a smooth integration.
Stamp out the people from the image using Clone Stamp Tool.
Close the gap between the mountain and beach. I sampled colors from the beach to paint out the gap.
Remove the junk from the bottom side of the beach. I copied a patch from the original beach image and pasted above the trees. Again I squeezed it down horizontally. Use the brush tool to paint minor parts which are not covered by the patch.
Here is the result.
The water in the image is very saturated. Lower the saturation to match it with the background water.
Make a Quick Mask selection. Press “Q” to enter grab the brush tool and block the saturated area and return to normal mode. Invert the selection