How to Create a Surreal Upside Down Landscape with Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a surreal upsidedown landscape featuring the time of day and night.  First, we’ll build the base environment with several stock images of sky and landscape. After that, we’ll add the underground mountains, the moon, and birds. Later, we’ll add more details and refine the scene using brushes, dodging and layer modes. We’ll use several adjustment layers to enhance the final effect.

Preview of the Final Result

Tutorial Resources:

Step 1

Create a new 2000×1500 px document and fill it with white. Open the sky 1 image an drag it into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V).  Show the right of the sky to cover the canvas.

Step 2

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and increase the hazy light much to make the sky look lighter . On the layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color . Use this brush with the opacity about 5-10%  to erase the left bottom of the sky to make it a bit darker than the rest. 

Step 3

Open the landscape 1 image and drag it onto the upper of the main canvas and use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) to resize it to fit the size of the document. 
Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a medium-soft black brush to remove the bottom of the landscape image .

Step 4

Place the landscape 2 image below the landscape 1 image. Flip it vertically (Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical) and set this layer below the landscape 1 one. 
Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush with the opacity about 40-50% to reduce the sky’s visibility and blend the trees and mountains with the existing sky.

Step 5

On the landscape 2 layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and set it as Clipping Mask. Bring the Saturation values down to -55:

Step 6

Make a Curves adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and decrease the lightness. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to reduce the effect on the trees or any details you feel too dark.

Step 7

Place the mountains image below the landscape 2 and flip it vertically. Move it to the lower section of the scene and change the mode to Hard Light 100%
Add a mask to this layer to reduce the sky’s visibility and blend it with the existing one.

Step 8

Create a Curves adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to darken the mountains area.

Step 9

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the mountains. Decrease the Saturation values to -100.

Step 10

Open the sky 2 image and place it over the sky of the landscape 1 image. 
Change this layer mask to Soft Light 100% and add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to remove the part covered the ground and mountains.

Step 11

Open the soil image. I’ve chosen the image 26 but feel free to take your own. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the part on the bottom and add it to the part below the landscape 1 image. Use Ctrl+T to make this part thinner. Set this layer on top of the layers.

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