Let Me Sink - Emotional Rainy Scene Photo Manipulation

Let Me Sink - Emotional Rainy Scene Photo Manipulation
Let Me Sink - Emotional Rainy Scene Photo Manipulation

In this tutorial I'll show you how to create an emotional photo manipulation called "Let me sink". We'll come through techniques of manipulating, retouching, using brush, layer mask, adjusting light and shadow a well as other several techniques to create an emotional rainy scene.

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new document with 1000 height and 1300 wide px and set background to white. It's my setting but sure you can start with your own value.


Open lake 1 stock. Use Retangular Marquee tool to make a selection for it as we don't need whole picture. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy this part into a new layer. Use Move Tool to drag this part into our canvas, place it at the bottom:


Name this layer as "lake".

Step 2

Now we will remove the ladder sunk under water. On lake layer, use any tools you like to make selection for the part beside the lader and set feather =1 for it, copy this part into a new layer. Move it to the right to hide the ladder then add layer mask with soft black brush to soften the rough edges:


Step 3

Open sky stock. Use method as we did in first step to copy the sky part and position it at the top of picture:


Use layer mask to hide rough edges of it:


Call it as "sky".

Step 4

To change color and brightness of sky to be fit the background, I add some adjustment layers with Clipping Mask option for sky:



Color Balance:




This is result we have:


Step 5

In this step we will retouch the sky to get more dramatic effect. There are some parts which need to be darker or brighter. First make a new layer ( hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to do it), take soft brush with color #b6bcd0 ( similar color to sky) painting in sky as shown below. Change the mode to Multipy 30%:


Create a new layer and we use soft brush with same color, painting on bright parts of sky. Put this layer as Soft light 100%:


Step 6

To make the part of lake which meets sky get more misty effect, I use a new layer and brush with color #c3c7da to paint on this part and set mode as Normal 80%:


Step 7

Create a new layer on the top and set foreground color to white. I use some random lightning brushes painting from bright parts of sky then use erase with opacity about 50% to blur lightning bottom to make it intergrate better with sky:


Step 8

Open lake 2 stock. Cut only mountain and place it at the horizonon our main document, lower opacity of it to 20%. Add layer mask and use soft black brush to clear uneccessary parts:


Duplicate this mountain and apply Flip Vertical for under layer ( Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical), set position to make mountain reflection, lower opacity to 3%. You should use transform tool ( Cmd/Ctrl+T) to stretch in vertical to make it narrower . Then press Cmd/Ctrl+U to open Hue/Saturation dialog, drag Lightness button to -50:


Step 9

Open model stock. I'll show you how to extract the shawl and a part of dress to get it transparent. First use any tools you're familiar with to make selection around model. Copy this into a new layer, name it "model". I add a new layer under this layer and fill it with black then I can see if I make any errors of cutting.


When you're sastified with the result, it's time to extract the shawl.


Add a background under extracted model, I use lake 1 image to help you see the result clearly. Choose model layer, hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+2 to load bright parts of picture. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy this part into a new layer, change opacity to 50%. Come back to model layer, load bright parts by Cmd/Ctrl+Alt+2 again. Take Erase Tool ( hit E to active it) with opacity about 70% and paint within the part which we need to remove white background. Remember that you should do it gently and avoid the contour of shawl and dress. Erase until you get desired look.


Merge two these layers.

Step 10

This step is done because a part of umbrella is missed. Move model after being merged into our document, resize and place her on the lake.


I use a closer-up shot of this model. Copy the part shown in screenshot below and drag it into our canvas, resize to make it smaller. Add layer mask to make this part blend well with the rest of umbrella:


To make model get a more delicate look, I use Liquify Tool. On model layer, choose Filter-Liquify-Forward Warp Tool:


Pull in the shoulder, arm, face, waist of model to make them slimmer:


This is result I get:


Add layer mask for model layer , use black brush with hardness about 10% to blur dress bottom. Try to make the masked part round to get rid of flat effect:


Step 11

I aim to set the main light souce to come from upper left and fall onto model back so she should have a shadow in front and to the right of her on the lake. To do it, I make a new layer under model layer, use soft black brush to paint on the lake as the image below shows. Lower opacity of this layer to 20%:


Name this layer as "model shadow".

Step 12

Now we will create the reflection for model through the lake surface. Do the same technique in step 8 and use layer mask to blur some parts of it. Rename it "model reflection". Place this layer under "model shadow" layer.


Step 13

In this step we will darken the part around model . Make two new layers which are set under model layers and with Multipy mode 100%. Use soft brush with color #b6bcd0 painting like the screenshot below shows:


Step 14

Since this steps I'll use many layers with Clipping Mask to retouch model. If you use your own model, you may not go over as many steps as I do. But I hope that through my process of retouching, you will learn how to take care of details.

Make a new layer above model layer with Clipping Mask. If you forget how to add a layer with Clipping Mask option, look at step 4. I use Clone Stamp Tool to remove one part on umbrella. You can follow many good tutorials over the web about Clone Tool if you don't know how to use it properly.


Step 15

I don't get sastified with the result after cloning so I take a new layer and use brush with color #52a2d0 painting on the part inside umbrella to brighten it a bit. Change the mode of it to Soft light 50%


New layer again and with same color for brush. I use it to paint an edge of umbrella to darken it a bit. Set the mode to Multipy 40%:


Step 16

In this step I use Clone Tool again to fix a part on model arm.


Step 17

I use two new layers to darken the skin and remove highlight on it. Take soft brush with color #edd9ce painting over bright parts of skin: face, neck, breast, arm, fingers. Put two these layers as Multipy 50%.


As you see in original picture, light on model comes from in front and from right to left. So it made a shadow of hand on the shawl . To fix it, make two new layers and set the mode to Soft light 100%. I use soft brush with color #fbb7b4 painting on this shadow.


Step 18

We will continue to retouch the shawl and dress. The left part of them need to be brighter to make the light balanced.


Make a new layer and use brush with color #fbb7b4 painting on left side of the shawl. Change the mode to Soft light 100%.


A new layer and I use soft white brush painting on left side of dress. Put it as Soft light 100%:


Step 19

Make a new layer and I set the mode to multipy 50%. I use brush and color #c08373 to paint on model hair to reduce highlight of it.


Step 20

Now we will darken an outer part of umbrella. On a new layer, use brush with color #4aaff1 painting on this part. Change the mode to Multipy 60%.


Make two new layers which are set to Soft light 50% and 100%. Use brush with same color #4aaff1 painting on left outer part of umbrella to brighten it.


Step 21

Now it's time to change color of the shawl . On model layer, use any tools you like to make selection for the shawl. Go to Layer-New Adjustment layer-Channel Mixer and choose Clipping Mask option for this layer. Move this layer on the top of layers.


We have:


Click on layer mask of this Channel Mixer layer to active it's selection. Choose Layer-New Adjustment layer-Selective Color ( Clipping Mask):


Step 22

With same method, I use some adjustment layers to change color of dress.

Channel Mixer


Selective Color:


Color Balance:




This is what we have:


Step 23

I use somement adjustment layers to change color of whole picture ( Clipping Mask)



Selective Color:






Use soft black brush on layer mask of Curves layer to erase face part:


Step 24

Add a new layer with Clipping Mask. I use Blur Tool with 50% strength to soften inside the face avoiding the face stroke:


Step 25

I use soft white brush again to brighten parts of model which catch the light from background. Create a new layer with Soft light mode 50%. Paint on shoulder, arm, dress :


Step 26

Make a new layer on the top with Clipping Mask option and fill it with 50% gray:


Take Dodge & Burn Tool with Midtones Range and Exposure 50-60% to darken and brighten some parts of model : face, nose, check, fingers, dress. You can see how I used these tools from Normal mode ( the brighter parts are touched by Dodge tool and dark parts by Burn tool) and result ( Overlay mode):


Step 27

As the main light source from behind model so I use Inner Shadow effect to add more light for model. Right click model layer, choose Blending options:


After adding glowing light for model, the dress bottom must be darkened as it doesn't catch light from background. Take a new layer which is set on the top ( no Clipping Mask). Use brush with color #726f75 painting on bottom of dress and change the mode of this layer to Multipy 20%:


Step 28

In this step I will add more hair for model. Depending on your model hair you can make different strands. Create a new layer, I use Polygonal Lasso Tool to make some selections and fill with color # 563e54:


Add a new layer with Clipping Mask like in step 26. Use Dodge and Burn Tool to make the hair look more realistic.


Take a new layer ( Clipping Mask) and use soft white brush painting outside the hair strands to add more light for it. Set the mode as Soft light 100%.


Step 29

Open ripple stock. Take a part of it and drag it to our document, resize and place it on the lake surface. Change the mode to Color Dodge 100% and add layer mask to erase some rough edges of it:


Hit Cmd/Ctrl+M to open Curves dialog, down the light to get this result :


Duplicate it many times ( I used 51 layers for this ripple effect, then you should group them for easily browing), resize and change opacity from 50-70%, also change the mode to Screen for some layers ( I set the mode for ripples r in dark part as Color Dodge and in bright parts as Screen):


Step 30

Create a new layer and set foreground color to white. Use drop splash brush, number 83 to paint on lake surface. Put the mode as Soft light 70%:


You may notice that I don't add much ripple and drop splash to the part around model. I'll explain it in next step.

Step 31

In this step I'll make mist effect for model to be intergrated better with misty background. Create a new layer and I place it on the top. Use Lasso Tool ( press L to choose this tool) and draw a selection around model, set feather for it = 30:


Fill this selection with color #b6bcd0 and lower opacity to 10%:


Step 32

We will make rain in this step. We will make rain falling straightly from above to be suitable with direction of umbrella. Make a new layer and fill it with black. Choose Filter-Noise-Add Noise:


After adding noise, choose Image-Adjustment-Threshold:


Then click Filter-Blur-Motion Blur:


After that press Cmd/Ctrl+L to open Levels dialog:


Change the mode to Screen 50%:


Duplicate this layer and apply a filter to make rain look softer and more realistic. On duplicated rain layer, choose Filter-Artistic-Poster Edges:


Name these layers as "rain 1" and "rain 2". With each rain layer, I add layer mask to blur rain parts to get natural look ( use brush with low opacity):


Because the cover of umbrella, a part around dress bottom( on the lake) is not affected much by falling rain so I only add a little ripple, drop splash as well as trim rain drops falling around.


Step 33

In this step we will make wet effect for umbrella. Create a new layer above drop splashes layer and I use brush and color #5e7293, hardness from 100% to paint as shown below. Change the mode to Multipy 70%. You should vary opacity and the size of brush because there are some parts which need to be wetter than the rest:


Apply Gassian Blur with 9px:


I use a new layer to add some smaller rain traces on umbrella. Take hard brush with same color, small size ( 2-3 px) and paint on umbrella. Apply Gassian Blur with 1.5 px:


Step 34

I want to add some rain drops on umbrella. Make a new layer, I use white brush with hardness 30-50% and 3-5 px to spot on umbrella and change the mode to Soft light 100%. Lower the fill to 0% and apply Bevel and Emboss, Inner Shadow from Blending options:


Make a new layer, use same method to make a tear drop falling from left eye:


Step 35

We finished adding all elements. Now we'll color picture with some adjustment layers. On the top of layers, click Layer-New adjustment Layer-Gradient Map. Change the mode of this Gradient Map layer to Soft light 80%.


Selective Color :


Color Balance:


Step 36

Final step: Make a new layer on the top, choose Radiant Gradient and take color from #163653 to # f5f5f2, drag from left to right to get result like this:


Set the mode to Soft light 100%. Add layer mask to reduce the light of the left part on picture as shown below:


Final Results


Download the PSD

Let Me Rain.zip | 12.98 MB

Download from Website

Tutorial by Jenny Le

avatar0[9] I'm a self taught designer from Vietnam who enjoys doing most kinds of design, especially photo manipulation. You can also visit my website for free photoshop tutorials written by me.

- Jenny

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