Use Photoshop to put together all the wonders of America into a single suitcase for the ultimate travel composition
Create a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N) set to 210 x 310mm. Set the background with the Gradient tool (G). Use the linear option with the colours #b22234/ #85161a. Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J), put it on the top and change the blend mode to Multiply, then use the Gaussian Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) with 195px.
First we’ll create the light that will be behind the suitcase. Make a white circle with the Elliptical Marquee tool (M), apply the Gaussian Blur with 575px and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Carry out the same procedure for the floor light.
Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and put it in a new layer folder (Cmd/Ctrl+G). With the Pen tool (P) draw the shape of the suitcase base. Activate the selection, select the layer folder and click Add Layer Mask. Make a gradient and paint it with the colours #2f67a4/#3b3d70.
Draw the top of the suitcase and paint it with #155490. Draw the lights shape using the Pen tool. To save the selections, go to the Paths menu and rename it. Paint the lights with white and change the blend mode to Soft Light, then apply the Gaussian Blur with 44px.
To make the middle part of the suitcase, first draw the shape of the base with the Pen tool, then draw the top section. As this part will be hidden by the scene inside, just paint it red for now.
When drawing, giving depth to the lights is important, so add some lights at the top and in the base to make the suitcase look more real. Draw the lights with the Pen tool, change the blend mode to Soft Light and use the Gaussian Blur with 4px.
Let’s start to create the scenario that will be inside the suitcase. First place a sky image it inside the layer folder with a mask. Adjust the saturation using the Hue/Saturation tool (Cmd/Ctrl+U) with the configuration 0/-40/0.
Add the Statue of Liberty. Duplicate the layer, and with the Pen tool crop the base of the scene, leaving only the statue, then increase the size. Crop the statue from the original layer and use the Warp tool (Edit>Transform>Warp) to shape the base of the scene.
Let’s add the buildings to the scene. Add a skyline of New York and place it as the screenshot shows. To blend the image with the scene, activate the selection of the layer, use the Feather (Select>Modify>Feather) with 2px, invert your selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I) and press delete three times.
Now add another wonder of America, Mount Rushmore. First make a mask, erase some details of the buildings, and place Mount Rushmore behind. To adjust the colour tone, use the Hue/Saturation tool (Cmd/Ctrl+U) with the configuration 0/-30/0.
Place a photo of Hollywood, then to make the Hollywood sign bigger. Place another image of Hollywood above the other layer. To blend the layer, make a mask and use a Soft Round brush with 40% Opacity to erase the unnecessary parts.
Use an image of the Golden Gate Bridge. Apply the feather (2px). Some of the bridge’s cable will disappear, so re-make the cables making rectangles. Paint it with the colour #fe9e4f and make a mask to blend it with the scene. Use the Gradient tool and choose the option foreground to transparent with 60% Opacity.
Now let’s add elements that will pop out of the suitcase. Add the Golden Gate Bridge and place it above the bridge’s mountain. Flip it horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Make a mask to blend the image with the mountain and use the Warp tool to make the right shape. Finally add a bear.
Add water and put it behind the statue, like we’ve done here. Make a mask to erase unnecessary parts. To give movement to the scene, add water splashes above the bridge, and change the blend mode to Screen.
Use a rocket and apply the feather with 2px. To have more control over the smoke of the rocket, use the Rectangular Marquee tool and make a square around the left part, then press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+right arrow and arrange the smoke to the right. Add smoke above the trees and change the blend mode to Screen.
Now let’s add more American icons. Add the White House, Las Vegas and Route 66 and put them behind the statue. Add the Washington Monument and put it behind the buildings.
Let’s complete the right side by adding a white mountain. Apply the feather with 2px. To make the composition like the image, duplicate the layer and flip it horizontally. Put this layer above the suitcase to make it look like it is popping out.
Place trees and apply the feather with 2px. Duplicate the layer, flip it horizontally and put it on the left side. Adjust the green tone using the Brush tool with white in the top of the trees, then change the blend mode to Soft Light.
Add water and place it inside the layer folder with the suitcase base shape mask, then put it under the statue scene. Now add wave to make it fill the spaces, duplicate the layer and use the Warp tool to adjust the shapes.
Now add details to give more depth to the water. Use the Pen tool to draw the shadows, paint with the colour #717872 and change the blend mode to Multiply. Add water splashes, change the blend mode to Screen and arrange.
Now place the elements that will pop out of the case: an eagle, a balloon and some clouds. Once placed, duplicate the layer, apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass) with 2px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.
With the Pen tool, draw the handle with #4d4b78 and draw the lights/ shadows. Add a texture, put it inside the layer folder with a mask, make it grey with Hue/Saturation tool (0/-100/0). Change the blend mode to Soft Light with 50% Opacity.
Make a white circle, change the blend mode to Soft Light and use the Gaussian Blur. Select white, and with the Brush, make lights around the scene, then change the blend mode to Soft Light. Use Brightness/Contrast (10/02) and Photo Filter>Warming Filter (85).