Reduce planet earth down to the size of an egg yolk using Photoshop’s adjustments and layer styles
Download and open the free image of earth from Nasa Visible Earth. Go to the Toolbar and find the Elliptical Marquee tool (Ctrl/right-click on the Rectangular Marquee tool for more options).
Find the approximate centre point of the image. Hold Opt/Alt+Shift while dragging an Elliptical Marquee selection. Form a perfect circle touching the outside edge of the planet. Don’t worry if the selection isn’t exactly the same size.
Hold Opt/Alt and double-click on the Background layer to turn it into an editable one. The Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers palette is now available to use. Click once on this to apply the selection as a mask around the earth.
Open the supplied image ‘Cracked Egg.jpg’. The orange colour in the egg’s shell is a little too strong for this composition, so go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation and hit OK in the pop-up box.
In the Hue/Saturation adjustment, choose the option Reds from the list of colours (Master is set as default). Reduce the Saturation slider down to -30. Change the blend mode of the adjustment layer to Color so it doesn’t affect the lighting.
Go back to the image of the earth and drag and drop it onto the cracked egg using the Move tool. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to activate the Free Transform tool and drag a corner point inwards while holding Opt/Alt+Shift. Position the earth so that it covers the entire yolk. Click on the tick in the Options bar to confirm its position.
Go to your Layers palette and Ctrl/right-click on the earth’s mask. Click on Apply Layer Mask to merge it with the layer’s contents. This way we can apply another mask to the earth later on. Click on the eye button on the layer to hide the earth temporarily.
Select the Background layer and then find the Pen tool. Make a new path around the edge of the yolk. Press Cmd/Ctrl as you go to bend each line of the path around its curved outline. Zoom in to get a better look at how accurate the path is.
When the path is connected, Ctrl/right-click and choose Make Selection. Leave Feather set to 0 in the pop-up box and hit OK. In the Layers palette, click on earth’s layer and its eye to reveal it. Adding a layer mask will apply the selection and hide the parts of the planet outside the yolk.
Select the Background layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+J to create a duplicate version just above it. On the duplicate version, go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate, or press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U, to turn this layer to monochrome.
Cmd/Ctrl-click on the layer mask of the earth to activate the outline of the yolk as a selection. On the desaturated duplicate layer, add a layer mask. This reveals the colour underneath. Click on the earth’s layer contents and change the blend mode to Overlay, which will bring through the reflections.
The Magic Wand tool works by detecting areas of colour. Select the tool and tick the Contiguous box in the Options bar at the top of Photoshop. Lower the tool’s Tolerance value to 4 and tick the Anti-alias box for a smoother selection.