photoshop creative

How to create vivid photo effects in Photoshop, part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
December 13, 2013

Continued… How to use surreal light, beautiful brushwork and a little imagination to transform basic photography into a magical scene


Drop in the supplied image of the blue flower. Add a Levels adjustment layer with input sliders set to 40, 0.90 and 255. Add a Hue/Saturation layer with Lightness pulled to -50 and mask out areas of shadow within the flower.


Drop in another flower and go to Edit>Transform> Scale (or press Cmd/Ctrl+T) and scale down to 45%. Again add a Levels layer with input sliders set to 28, 0.88, and 200.

 STEP 13 

Drop in the supplied vector lines image. Add a layer mask and paint out the areas you don’t want. Use your instinct to decide which parts work.


Double-click on the vector lines’ layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog. Check Color Overlay and highlight it to see the options. Click the colour swatch and select a hue, in this case R205, G95, B180.


Make a new folder in your Layers palette called Butterflies. Open the supplied image of a butterfly and duplicate it several times. Disperse them around your model however you like then use Cmd/Ctrl+T to scale and rotate them to your desired location and size.


Open the supplied carnival image and drop it behind the model and hit Cmd/Ctrl+T again to rotate and scale. Add a layer mask to feather the hard edges of the image. Duplicate the image to create a background horizon.


Open the supplied image of the leaf and beads, drop them in and arrange around her head. For both, press Cmd/Ctrl+L to bring up Levels and adjust the lighting to match the rest of the image.


We return to the technique in step 8 with new layer set to Overlay, only this time we are painting over the whole montage to make the colours pop. With your brush active and at 25% Opacity, hold down Alt/Opt to sample a light tone from the area you want to enhance, and then paint it on.

STEP 19 

Hold down Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E to compress the image to a single layer at the top of the stack. Set that layer to Overlay and then go to Filter> Other> High Pass, setting the Radius to approximately 5px.