Use several tools to create a surreal world where only your technique and imagination can reach
To make a clear sky with just a few clouds it will be necessary to combine two pictures. Place stock images to create something that looks calm and tranquil.
Place a stock image of some mountains in the scene. Duplicate it and go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal. Make an Erase mask, select the black colour and with the Brush tool erase the excesses. Duplicate again and add some trees at the base.
Now start working on the garden where the egg timer will be placed. To make the grass place a stock image of some grass at the bottom of the image and another for the background. Make a mask to erase the excess.
Make the side base, place the side of a field and with the Warp tool, shape just like the above. Change the Hue/ Saturation to -33. Place a yellow field and make the same procedure, but keep the original colour. Duplicate all layers and make a horizontal flip.
It’s time to make the garden more colourful. Add some flowers into the image leaving only the side curve. Duplicate the layer and do a horizontal flip to occupy all of the garden. Finally, make clipping masks to eliminate the unnecessary parts and merge with the rest of the grass.
One of the biggest secrets for making a good photomanipulation is adding elements that will make the scene more interesting. So place a lake which will be positioned behind the garden and the egg timer.
Give more depth to the scene by adding some trees near to the lake. Place trees and cut the background. Then do a horizontal flip. Don’t worry about the fact that the picture is not perfect; remember that the egg timer will be sitting in front of everything that is in the scene so far.
Place the main image of the scene, the egg timer. First take out all the Saturation (Ctrl/Cmd+U) -100. This will help in the next few steps to merge the photos that will be inside the glass. Make a mask and erase some of the photo details, especially the bottom.
To make it easier, create a folder (Ctrl/Cmd+G) to group all layers and make a general mask. Add fishes , and with the mask, erase the unnecessary parts. Adjust the colour Saturation to -50 and 0/1/234 of Levels.
Correct the image of your diver with the Colour Balance tool and use the configuration -36/0/12. With the same procedure, place a reefe in front of the diver. Add some light on the egg timer; with the Pen tool, make a path and paint it white, then apply a Gaussian Blur or 30px.
Place a ship into the top of the egg timer. To add more reality in the scene, place a wave next to the ship, showing the impact caused by its fall. To make the water shape place a sea and use the Warp tool. Then adjust the colour with the Color Balance tool -36/0/12.
This step requires a lot of attention. Place the a pink tree, cut a branch and with the Warp tool shape its way around the egg timer. To wrap the branch of flowers around the whole egg timer use the same photo three times, one for the top, one for the middle and one for the base.
It’s time to put the leaves on the branches. Place flowers and cut out some leaves. With the Warp tool, model it to follow the branch’s shape. With the Color Balance tool adjust the saturation to -34 and Levels to 0/1.30/255.
Small details are essential, so add two butterflies that will be placed outside the edges of the egg timer. Also add more flower stock images on the top of the image and the bottom in front of the egg timer to give more depth to the scene.
Make the whole scene more shiny and smokey. This will add a fantasy feel to the image. First add some adjustment layers, such as Levels (10/1/255) Photo Filter (Sepia – 25%) and Brightness and Contrast (5/10). Then with a blurred brush add some white lights on the scene with 40% Opacity.