photoshop creative

Create an incredible sunset with blend modes in just 9 steps!

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
November 12, 2014

Combine different photographs with blend modes to create beautiful images full of vibrant colour

1. Adjust your main image

Start by adjusting the main image to the size you want. This is done very simply by using Edit>Free Transform. This will enable you to shape the image to the desired size and form.

2. Add the foreground

Next we’re going to add the sand texture to give the image an authentic feel. After opening the image and placing it in the desired location, go to the blend modes and set it to Soft Light (Opacity 100%). This will add a transparent note to the sand, letting the colours from the previous layer seep through. Use a large soft Eraser to clean the edges of the image.

3. Bring in the sky

We chose a vivid picture and will use this in the reflection. Flip the image using Edit>Free Transform, then go to your layer options and set them both to Overlay at 100% Opacity.

4. Intensify colours

Duplicate the layer twice; the first will be set to Multiply , the second to Soft Light. Keep Opacity at 100% for both layers. You should now have three sky layers and a reflection sky layer. Use the Eraser to hide and blend the margins.

5. Tree tweaks

Open the tree image, or any kind of subject, and add it to the landscape, setting the blend mode to Overlay. This will give a wow factor to the image. Use a large soft Eraser to merge the image into its surroundings seamlessly.

6. Define the crown

It’s not time to focus on the details. Duplicate the layer with the tree’s flowers, keeping it on Overlay at 100% Opacity. You should get a clear yet blended image of the flowers make the basic crown of our tree.

7. A final touch of colour

To make the image even more spectacular, open another copy of the original and add it underneath the previous two layers with the white flowers. It is very important that this image is placed underneath both of them otherwise you will not get the desired effect.

8. Add more reflection

We want to add the reflection of the crown. You can do this by duplicating one of the two flower layers that were added in step 5 and 6. By using Edit>Free Transform, flip the image upside down and add it on the reflection of the tree’s branches. Leave the layer on Overlay, but set its Opacity to 75%.

9. Enhance the lights

Use the Dodge and Burn tools at this final stage. Select the Dodge tool to add more light to the centre and the Burn tool around the edges to make the contrast more obvious.