Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Turn an Ordinary Landscape into a Dramatic Moonscape


As I already said before it’s all about making small changes that produce believable results.

Step 15 – Adding Details to Clouds

Right now there is very few details on the clouds and therefore they look quite uninteresting. To fix that grab the second photo of sky listed in the beginning of the tutorial and place it on the top of all layers and name it DETAILS IN SKY. Press Ctrl+T on your keyboard and resize on proper size. Press Enter. Right now the sky should look like the one below.


To blend the layer properly with the rest of the image change its Blending Mode from Normal to Soft Light and lower its Opacity on about 80%.


To blend the edges of this layer even better add layer mask. Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush, set the Opacity on about 80% and pick black color. Then paint over the edges of this layer.


Step 16 – Adding Light Beam

In this step you’ll add the main light source of the whole image – light beam coming from sky down on the man.

Add new empty layer on the top of all layers and name it LIGHT BEAM. Grab the Line Tool (U). Set the Weight on about 40px and pick some very light cyan color.


Draw the line coming from the upper right corner down on the man similarly as on the following picture.


Doesn’t look like light, does it? :) To fix it go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the value Radius on 40 pixels. Press OK.


There is another problem – right now it looks like light is coming from somewhere above the sky which doesn’t make sense. To make it realistic looking add layer mask to LIGHT BEAM. Drag the Brush Tool (B), set the Opacity on 40% and pick black color. Paint over the clouds to make that part of light disappear. On the following picture you see where to paint with black. It’s highlighted with red color.


Step 17 – Adding Vignette

To create more depth you’ll add one more vignette in this step.

Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and select the central part of the image. You want to have smooth transition between dark edges and the rest of the images. To achieve that you need to feather the selection. Go to Selection>Modify>Feather or press Shift+F6 to activate the tool. Set the Feather Radius on 50 pixels and press OK.


Invert the selection by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I on your keyboard or go to Select>Inverse.

Now add new adjustment layer Levels on the top of all layers and set the Adjustment Levels on 0; 0,80; 255.


Thanks to active mask only edges of the photo manipulations are darker.

On the following picture you can see how you photo manipulation should look like.


Step 18 – Sharpening

Only one last step remains – sharpening. It helps to add couple more details to the image.

Press Ctrl+A on your keyboard to select the whole picture. Go to Edit>Copy Merged or press Ctrl+Shift+C on your keyboard to copy merged image (=not only the active layer but all the layers you’re working with). Then go to Edit>Paste or press Ctrl+V to paste merged image. Place this new layer on the top of all layers and name it SHARPENING.

Go to Filter>Other>High Pass and set the value Radius on 0,5 pixels.


After pressing OK you should see grey image where only gentle edges of the picture are visible.

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