photoshop creative

How to create an atmospheric landscape effect in Photoshop

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Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 7, 2012

The early morning, subdued landscape can be a wonderful sight. Here’s how to create a similar sort of effect in Photoshop



Mist effect in landscapes

Step 1 – Dim the lighting

Start by adding a new Levels adjustment layer from the Layers palette. To dim down the light, shift the midtones marker to the right towards the highlights. A setting of about 0.53 works well. Under Output Levels, move the white marker to the left to about 223. This will reduce the overall strength of the highlights.

Step 2 – Tint the image

We can do this step using the Photo Filter adjustment layer. Choose the Warming Filter (LBA) within the adjustment and set the Density slider to around 86%. Tick the Preserve Luminosity box in this menu. The image should turn a nice shade of sunrise orange.

Step 3 – Boost contrast

To create a stark contrast in the image, add a new adjustment layer, this time call upon Brightness/Contrast. Push the Brightness slider up to 20 and then pump up the contrast to around 60. As these are adjustment layers, they can re-edited/removed at any stage.

Step 4 – Add mist

To top off the effect mist can be added into the landscape. A quick way to do this is with the Brush tool set to white. A low opacity is also needed, such as 20%, and a large soft brush tip. On a new layer, brush over the horizon area to apply soft white mist. Use the Opacity slider that comes with the layer to reduce the impact of the mist if required.

  • Julie

    Thanks. I like that effect a lot. Very easy and effective. 😉