Pouring rain can be an excuse to stay home and do nothing. It can also be a great opportunity to go outside and use the elements at your advantage. Japan based photographer Ilko Allexandroff (interview) is maybe the master of shooting stunning portraits in the rain. You know what, it only takes perseverance and some knowledge to turn a rainy night into your playground.
Ilko uses a very consistent 2 lights setup, a soft(ish) front light and a hard backlight. The front light – a Nissin MG8000 with a 60×60 foldable softbox – lights the model, while the backlight – another Nissin – does a double duty. It freezes the rain drops and provides a kicker light. Both lights are triggered using a Cactus V6 trigger.
Here is where the clevers comes in, it only takes two small battery powered lights. This makes the entire setup relatively light, portable and waterproof. Two simple nylon bags protect both strobes. Ilko, the Canon 1Dx and the 135mm f/2 glass are protected by an assistant with an umbrella. Moving is easy, repositioning is easy and there are no high voltage power strobes that can shock you.
Think that a simple nylon bag is not enough? think again, look at the abuse those strobes are taking and totally surviving it
This “fast to build” setup help focusing on what’s important, directing the model, and asking her to change pose or jump, or move a bit.
A two lights setup combined with heavy rain, is also enough to create several different rain-inspired moods.
One thing you can do is play with the position of the back flash: it can be outside of the photo (see two photos above), slightly off to the side or directly behind the model (see above).
You can also get the back light for a more colorized look:
Ilko does a great job of documenting his shoots and you can see the two videos below to see how both he and his models brave the rain
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a Queen of Hearts photo manipulation.
First we’ll build the background with an ornament image and a rock one. After that we’ll import the frame and create the effect inside it with the Clouds filter and a nebula image. Later we’ll add the model and the crown and blend them together using adjustment layers, masking, and brushes.
We’ll create the cards with different hearts and arrange them to create a dynamic scene. Then we’ll use several adjustment layers and paint the red light to complete the final effect.
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
1. Build the Environment
Create a new 2000 x 2000 px document in Photoshop with the settings below:
Open the background image. Drag this image into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V):
There are some unwanted details on the background, and they might mess up
the final effect. To fix it, make a new layer and set it as Clipping
Mask. Use the Clone Tool (S) to remove the indicated details.
Add a Color Balance adjustment layer to make the background color red. Change the Shadows settings:
Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the background. On this layer
mask, use a soft black brush to reduce the effect around the middle
where the main model will be added.
Use another Curves adjustment layer to make the background darker. Paint around the middle to reveal the light there:
the rock image. Use the Move Tool to place it in the bottom of the
document and use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to narrow it as
Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the rock floor. On this layer
mask, use a soft black brush to reveal some light in the middle:
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer to add red to the floor:
The floor doesn’t look well blended with the background. Create a new
layer and use a soft black brush to paint the shadow on both sides of
the floor to fit the shadow on the lower background.
2. Add the Frame
Isolate the heart frame and add it to the top center of the background. Use Control-T with Warp mode to bend the heart a little.
Double click the frame layer, and choose Drop Shadow:
Make a Curves adjustment layer to match the lightness of the frame with the background:
a new layer and set the foreground and background to #5c0301 and #fd0000. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to grab a square and go
to Filter > Render > Clouds:
Move it onto the frame area and use a layer mask to make it fit inside the frame:
Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the effect, making it appear more subtle:
Open the nebula image. Drag it onto the cloud effect and change its mode
to Overlay 100%. Use a layer mask to erase the part outside the frame:
Use a Curves adjustment layer to make the effect more visible. Paint on the left side so that it’s not affected by this adjustment layer.
3. Add the Model
Open the model images pack. Choose the first image and Control-click the mask to load the selection. Hit Control-Shift-I to
invert the selection. Still keep the selection, choose the main image
(not mask), and use the Move Tool to place the isolated model in the
middle of the scene. Reduce her size using Control-T.
Add a mask to the model layer and use a hard black brush to remove some remaining white edges:
Go to Edit > Puppet Warp and change the pose of the pointing arm following the eyes’ direction:
Go back to the model original image. Select the head only and add this head to the existing model, making it much bigger than the body.
Use a layer mask to blend the head with the body:
Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100%, and fill it with 50% gray:
Select the Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range, Exposure about 15-20% to
darken the model’s cheeks a bit. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and
the result with Overlay mode:
Hit U to activate the Custom Shape Tool. Choose the Heart shape and set
the foreground to #dc1c17. Draw a shape onto the lips area and change
the mode to Multiply 100%:
Duplicate this layer twice and move them to the eyes area. Use a layer
mask on each of these layers to remove the part covering the eyes.
Make a new layer and use a medium-hard black brush with the color #d03733 to paint more hair for the model.
Select the model layer and the related ones and press Control-G to
make a group for them. Change this group mode to Normal 100%. Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the model, and then on its layer mask,
use a soft black brush to show some light on the body and dress.
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones values. On
this layer mask, use a soft black brush to remove the red effect on the
model head and lower body, leave it visible on the middle dress part.
Create a new layer under the model one and paint her shadow on the floor with a soft black brush.
4. Add the Crown
Isolate the crown and add it to the top middle of the model head, making it a lot smaller than the head.
Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the crown:
Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the crown color:
To make the red light from the frame reflected on the crown, make a new
layer and use a medium-soft brush with red color and a small size
(about 3-4 px) to paint along the crown contour. Set this layer as Clipping Mask to make this step easier.
5. Add the Cards
Open the cards image and isolate the 8 of hearts card from the background.
We’re aiming to create cards with different numbers of hearts. To do it, first
create a new layer above the isolated card one. Use a medium-soft brush
with the color #d5d1c6 (picked from the card) to paint on the card and
hide the unwanted hearts. Name it "painting".
Use the Heart shape with red color to draw different shapes of heart on
the separate layers. I’ve made the card with one, two, three, four or
six hearts. With the card with one big heart in the center, select the
isolated card, the painting layer and the heart one and use the Move
Tool to drag these three layers into our main canvas. Merge them into a
new one and use Control-T to tweak it, making it curvy and bendy.
Use the same method to
create the cards with different hearts. You can mix the handmade hearts
with the original card to add to the scene. Make them fly around the
model, and arrange some on the floor. The Warp mode is very useful
in this case, so don’t be afraid to go wild with it! Apply a Gaussian Blur
of 6 px (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to some of the cards on the edges to create depth of field.
Make a group for the cards and add a Curves adjustment layer to darken these layers.
Use a soft black brush to reveal the light on the cards, especially on the middle ones.
Create a Color Balance adjustment layer to match the cards’ color with the background.
6. The Final Adjustment
Create a Gradient Map adjustment layer and pick the colors #e10019 and #00601b. Lower the Opacity of this layer to 20%.
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones and Highlights settings:
Use a Curves adjustment layer to change the color and contrast of the whole scene.
Create a new layer and use a hard brush with a red color (I’ve chosen #fd0000) to paint red light on the model’s body and on the cards near
the frame. The nearer the card, the stronger the light. Also paint red hair strands on top of the model’s head.
Make a new layer and change the mode to Overlay 100%. Use the same brush
to paint glowing red light on the cards around the frame.
Congratulations, You’re Done!
I hope that you’ve learned something useful for your future projects.
Feel free to leave your comments in the box below—I’d love to see them.
Facebook profile pics and cover images are a unique means of expression on the popular social media site. By nature, the two elements are rather detached. The profile pic appears next to every comment or status you add, whereas the cover photo is only seen on your own timeline. But what if you could design the cover photo and profile pic to work together in a single design?
In this tutorial, we explore how to create a cover image where you appear to be holding the profile pic in your hand. It’s a creative spin on using both design elements in a single coordinated design.
Facebook has an interesting approach to laying out the cover image and the profile picture. It’s important to understand some of the limitations before starting the project. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your vision thwarted by a limitation to the medium that you didn’t account for.
There are a few hard and fast rules to know beforehand.
The Cover image must be exactly 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If it isn’t these dimensions then Facebook will attempt to crop or resize it for you.
The Profile pic must be square and will display as 160 pixels by 160 pixels on your computer (or even smaller on mobile devices). Curiously, Facebook does not allow you to upload a profile pic of these exact dimensions. It insists on scaling the image down for you. In fact, the minimum image size Facebook will allow is 180 pixels by 180 pixels.
There will always be a solid white border around the profile pic. It’s hard-coded into the Facebook interface display, and you have no control over it. The best approach is to make sure that it is incorporated into your design.
To make the entire process easier, there is a Photoshop file included with this tutorial for you to download and use as a template. Just look for the FB Cover Template.psdattachment.
2. Take Your Photos!
My concept for this design was to make the profile pic appear to be a photo card I was holding up in the cover image. I used some square pieces of blank white cardstock as props with the intention of compositing photos onto the cards for the final design.
The most difficult shot to get is the photo for the cover image. The dimensions are very narrow, yet wide, which means that the cards will need to be held up in a position that feels unnaturally high.
After getting the shot for the cover image, the next task is to get several different profile shots. Be creative, and use a variety of poses, clothing, and props. It’s important that the different images appear to be visually connected in some way, for example by using the same framing, background, and camera setting.
3. Position the Cover Image
The template file makes use of smart objects to make certain that the exported files will always be exactly the correct pixel size. But working within the smart object file, it’s difficult to get a feel for overall positioning. Instead, use the template to get the position correct, and then transfer the image into the smart object.
Open FB Cover Template.psd in Photoshop. Then go to File > Place > Linked to deposit the cover photo into the template. Position the photo layer just above the Cover Photo layer.
Clip the photo layer to the cover photo layer by going to Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G). This constrains the visibility of the photo to the bounds of the cover.
Go to Edit > Free Transform to get the transformation handles to move, scale and rotate the photo until the card aligns with the profile picture box.
It’s rather unlikely that the photo will have the card held at the ideal size and angle for optimal framing. That’s when the narrow confines of the cover dimensions are actually useful. The idea is to use the image twice: once for the hand perfectly positioned, and again for the rest of the image to create a more compelling composition.
Duplicate the photo layer with Layer > Duplicate Layer. Then clip the copied layer onto the previous one with Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G).
Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to draw out a selection just around the hand holding the profile card. Then use that selection as a layer mask by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. There will not be any visible change to the image just yet because of the exact copy just below this layer.
Select the original photo layer and use Edit > Free Transform (Control-T) to position the image in a slightly better composition, ensuring that the other cards are clearly visible.
Select both the photo layers by Shift-clicking on both the thumbnails in the Layers panel. Then merge them together with Layer > Merge Layers (Control-E).
Now that the positioning of the cover image is nailed down, the more intensive photo editing work can be done within the cover photo smart object. Make sure the photo layer is the current layer and Control-click on the thumbnail for the Cover Photo smart object to create a selection around it. Then go to Edit > Copy (Control-C) to copy the pixels of the photo in this exact selection shape.
4. Build the Cover Image Effect
Now it’s time to transfer the cover pixels into the smart object and build up the final effect. I chose to use a high-contrast monochrome effect on the cover photo. You can follow along with that, or build your very own effect instead!
Double-click on the thumbnail for the Cover Photo to open that smart object. Then go to Edit > Paste (Control-V) to paste the copied photo pixels into a new layer.
Use the Quick Selection Tool (W) to create a selection around the figure and the cards to isolate them from the background. Then use the selection to create a layer mask with Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.
Make adjustments as you feel are required to the background image. For example, you could add a Curves adjustment layer and alter the curve to significantly brighten the background.
Use File > Place (linked or embedded) to drop in one of the profile pictures. Scale, rotate and position it to fit over one of the cards in the opposite hand. Change the layer’s blending mode to Multiply to allow the photo to blend with the shadowing of the cover photo.
Use the Quick Selection Tool (W) again to create a selection of the fingers, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection.
Place other profile images into the scene in the same way. Mask them out to create the appearance that each card is another photo.
Create a merged layer at the top of the layer stack by holding down the Alt key and going to Layer > Merge Visible. Then transform the merged layer into a smart object with Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.
Go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter and in the Basic tab make the following settings:
Switch to the Effects tab and make the following settings:
Post Crop Vignetting Amount: -33
After applying the Camera Raw filter, click on the thumbnail for the Smart Filter mask in the Layers panel. Create a selection around the profile pics on the cards, and then fill the selection with black by using Edit > Fill with Content set to Black. This removes the monochrome effect from the photos on the cards.
Save the Cover Photo file and return to the FB Cover Template file. Hide or delete the cover image layer that was used for initial positioning. This should then reveal an updated cover image in the smart object.
5. Customize the Profile Pic
Now it’s on to the profile pic! Although Facebook will display the image no larger than 180 x 180 pixels, it is wise to add a larger image. The template is built to handle a profile pic 1000 x 1000 pixels.
Double-click on the Profile-Blank smart object to open it. Notice that the source file is considerably larger than the required 180 x 180. That is intentional as the higher quality the image is, the better the final pic will appear.
Use File > Place (embedded or linked) to deposit your chosen profile pic into the file. Then Save the file, but don’t close it just yet!
Return to the template file to check how the profile image looks. It looks good, but the illusion would benefit greatly from some subtle shadows from the fingers. Keep in mind that there’s nothing you can do about the white border, so the shadows will need to be pretty subtle.
Add a new layer over the profile layer for shadows. Control-click on the profile layer to create a selection in that shape. Then use the Brush Tool (B) with a Soft Round preset with low opacity and a gray color to gently paint in the shadows beneath the fingers.
Use the Move Tool (V) to drag the shadow layer over onto the profile file. Then use Edit > Free Transform (Control-T) to scale the shadows up to fit the larger profile image. If the shadows appear pixelated due to the enlargement, then use the Brush Tool (B) to touch them up.
Save the profile file again and check back on the template file. Delete the original shadows layer and check that the profile image updated to include them there.
Open up both the Profile and the Cover Image smart objects. Use File > Export > Export As and save each file as a JPG with 100% Quality (Facebook will do its own compression).
How did your creative Facebook cover design turn out? Take a screenshot and share it with us in the comments below.
These days, you can’t really expect any kind of decent exposure for your work on Instagram if you don’t use hashtags. It’s just become the nature of the beast.
But where do you begin to determine what hashtags to use? Well, Reddit user Nick Smith has come up with a tool to at least get you started, suggesting hashtags based on your subject and location.
There’s not much to it at the moment beyond a few basic styles of photography and locations, but it has the makings of being a pretty good tool. Suggestions for improvements are certainly coming through thick and fast on Reddit and Product Hunt.
You can check out Dehaze for yourself here, and whether you’re shooting a Macro in Mexico, a Landscape in London, or Travel in Tokyo, you’ll have a good selection of hastags handy from which to choose.
It will be interesting to see how this develops as Nick receives more styles and locations. It could end up being a whole lot of data that users don’t want to have to sift through needlessly, so keeping an efficient method of searching through them is going to be vital.
So, a handy tool with a lot of potential? Are you better off just doing the research yourself if you want the best exposure? Or do you think hashtags are a waste of time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
When you think of the popular boudoir photographers out there at the moment, Lindsay Adler’s name is one of those that immediately springs to mind, and for good reason. Her work’s fantastic. In this video, Lindsay goes through her thought process when lighting a boudoir set in the studio, and demonstrates that you really don’t need […]
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create and use droplets, a handy tool for process automation with Photoshop, by making one from a simple export action.
Droplets are Actions, App-ified
Here at Envato Tuts+ we’re big fans of anything that saves you time when you’re post-processing your images; it’s the reason I’ve written thousands of words about how great actions are! Today we’re going to take a look at droplets: a way to take actions and use them outside of Adobe Photoshop.
Droplets work by tying a single action to a shortcut icon in your file system. When you drag and drop files onto a droplet, Photoshop opens in the background and runs whatever action you’ve configured it with. The best thing about droplets is that they can handle multiple files at once, which makes them perfect for batch exporting images.
What Kind of Actions Work?
Droplets work best with relatively automatic actions. If you have to enter a load of values or paint in an effect for the action to work, it doesn’t make much sense to use a droplet. You’re far better to load your image in through Lightroom or Bridge, so you can keep things organised, and then run the action from within Photoshop.
For example, I recently put together a list of 100 awesome black and white images for Tuts+. I used public domain and Creative Commons work I found online so the images weren’t already in my Lightroom catalogue. To upload them to Tuts+ they had to be 850px wide and under 200kb in size. Rather than process them all individually, I created a droplet that ran an action that resized and exported them. I was able to drag all 100 photos onto it and in a few moments they were ready to be uploaded. Doing it by hand would have taken hours!
These kind of export actions are where droplets are at their best. You can take a high-res export file and in seconds have a low-res, watermarked file ready for sharing online or with clients. An action like this is what we’re going to make as our example in this tutorial.
With that said, there are no limits on how you choose to use droplets. If they fill a different place in your workflow, that’s great!
Record a Simple Export Action
Recording actions in Photoshop is simple. If you haven’t done it before, you can follow along very carefully here or read some of our other great tutorials on it before continuing.
To start, open a sample image in Photoshop. It doesn’t really matter what it is. You just need to have something for Photoshop to work with.
Make sure the Actions panel is visible. If it isn’t, select Window > Actions to make it appear.
Click the New Action icon and name it something like Droplet Export. I’m putting mine in the Action Set called Personal Actions. If you’re planning to create a lot of droplets, create an Action Set just for them.
Click Record. Now Photoshop is tracking everything you do. Be careful, any mistakes you make are also saved into the action.
This action is going to be a variation of my normal finishing action. It’s going to resize an image to 1200px wide, sharpen it and add a simple watermark. Let’s start with resizing the image.
Select Image > Image Size or use the keyboard shortcut Command- or Control-Shift-I to get the Image Size dialogue box. Enter 1200px for the Width. All the other defaults are perfect so click OK.
Next let’s add a sharpening layer. Although there’s only the Background layer in my document we can’t count on that being the case for every image so I’m going to use a technique that works no matter how many layers there are.
Create a new layer and call it Final Sharpening. Next, use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-Alt-E to merge all visible layers to the new layer. Change the Layer Blend Mode to Soft Light then go to Filter > Other and select High Pass.
For a 1200px image, I’ve found a Radius of 1.5 Pixels to work well in 90% of circumstances. Enter that and press OK.
Select the Type tool and use it to enter a simple watermark. I just use my name in size 16 text. Use the Transform command to position it in your image.
In the Layer Menu select Flatten Image and then go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy). In the Preset dropdown, pick JPEG High and then click Save.
Select the folder you want all the photos you run through the droplet to be saved to. Something like your Desktop works well.
Click Save and then stop recording the action. It’s now ready for use.
Create the Droplet
To create the Droplet, go to File > Automate > Create Droplet…
For Save Droplet In, enter a name for your droplet and choose the location you want it to save. I’ll put it on my Desktop so I have easy access to it.
Under Play, select Droplet Export from the Action dropdown menu.
For the Destination, choose your Desktop and make sure Override Action “Save As” Commands is checked.
I like to add _1200px to the end of any exported files so in File Naming, just to keep things tidy. Add that after the Document Name but before the extension.
Click OK and your droplet will be saved to the Desktop. To make sure it works, grab a couple of test images and drop them on top of it. If you’ve followed along correctly, Photoshop will run them through the export action we created and save the files to the Desktop.
A Few Other Uses for Droplets
Batch processing files is the most obvious use for droplets: they’re great for applying the same resizing, sharpening, colour toning, watermark and the like to hundreds of finals in just a few moments. That’s not the only use for them however.
For example, if you do any retouching work for other photographers or for graphic artists you could use a droplet to handle your file importing rather than exporting. You could have a droplet that opens the files they send you, applies all your default layers, puts the document in the correct colour space and bit depth and gets you ready for work.
Another great use would be to have a droplet that creates three versions of one file in sizes you commonly use for web design work.
You can also have droplets that run more involved processes like creating business card mockups, or applying images to sample product packaging.
If anything you do can be automated in Photoshop, it can be turned into a droplet. Examine your workflows and think about where they could fit in. Droplets won’t work in every instance, but there’s always a few spots where they’re awesome.
Automating different processes is one of the best things you can do to speed up your workflow. Rather than painstakingly working through repetitive steps by hand, you can have Photoshop do it all for you in the background.
If you’ve started to add actions into your toolkit, droplets are an obvious next step. They give you all the power of actions but without the hassle of opening files in Photoshop. For batch processing images, you won’t find a better tool.
I’ve seen a lot of threads and questions in /r/photography regarding how to increase an Instagram following and get more traffic. There are plenty of great articles online explaining various techniques (i.e. posting times, consistency, engagement, etc.) but I haven’t seen a lesson on hashtags. What little I have seen on the topic clearly indicates that […]
Shadows are often the hardest part when creating composites. In my workshop I often get the question can’t we just take a copy of the model, duplicate that, make it black and use that as a shadow. My answer was always ‘no’ till recently. I am gonna show you a way how you can (often) use […]
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a floral portrait of a woman with flowers, leaves, branches and butterflies. We’ll not only combine different images using standard blending techniques but also learn how to make abstract elements. We’ll also use filters and enhance the color to achieve a fresh and creative result.
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
1. Add the Background
Create a new 1500 x 1500 px document in Photoshop with the following settings:
Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and pick the color #e4dbe7:
Select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and decrease the lightness a bit:
On this layer mask, use a soft round brush with black color (soft black
brush) and Opacity about 20-30% to paint on the middle of the canvas
to make this area a bit brighter than the edges. It will help to focus
on the center. Here are the results on the mask and on the picture:
2. Add the Model
the model image and isolate her from the background using your favorite method. In this case, I used a layer mask with a hard black brush.
Create a new fill layer between the background and the isolated model
and pick any light colors.
Create two new layers and use a soft brush with the colors #331f18 and
#9c7966 (these colors are picked from the head) to fill in the hair.
Hide the background and the fill layer and hit Control-Shift-Alt-E to
merge all the transparent layers into a new one. Move the merged model
into our main canvas using the Move Tool (V):
Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to
this layer. Use a medium-soft black brush to remove the bottom of the model’s body:
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer set as Clipping Mask to
desaturate the model. Change the Master settings as the screenshot below
Make a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the model. On this layer
mask, use a soft black brush to erase the areas which are bright
3. Make the Branches
First we’ll be making the abstract branches. Open the flower 1 image.
Isolate the flower using the Magic Wand Tool (W) and add it to the main
canvas. Go to Filter > Liquify and choose the Forward Warp Tool. Set
the brush size to about 300 px (it depends on the flower size you’ve
chosen). Stretch it to change the shape and make it much longer, like a
Duplicate this layer many times and liquify them to get results in a similar style to the first. Arrange them on both sides of the model.
Select all of these layers, press Control-G to make a group for them, and change this group mode to Normal 100%. Add a mask to this group and use
a medium-soft black brush to erase the bottom of some of the branches
to make them look as if they’re growing from the model’s body.
Duplicate several branches, make them smaller and move them to the eye:
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer within this group to change the branches’ color.
Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the branches:
Open the branch image and cut it out from the white background. Add it
to the bottom of the model’s body and duplicate it. Flip it horizontally by
choosing Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Place these layers
under the abstract branches group.
Add a mask to each of these layers and clear their bottom.
Duplicate them several times and arrange them around the bottom of the model’s body and her
head. Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to vary their size and
Make a group for these branches and add a Color Balance adjustment layer. Increase the Red value of the Midtones:
Use a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color #ec0075:
4. Add the Flowers
Open the flowers 3 image and isolate the flowers using the Magic Wand Tool.
Place the image at the bottom of the model and cover the holes between the
leaves and branches.
Use a layer mask to blend the flowers with the existing elements:
Create a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones and Highlights settings:
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and change the Master settings:
Make a Curves adjustment layer and increase the lightness to make the flower brighter:
Open the flowers 2 image and cut the flowers out as you did with the other
elements. Move it into the main document and rotate the side with the
flowers and buds in the direction of the eyes.
Here is the result after masking off the parts covering the face:
Duplicate this several times and arrange them around the model. Use a
layer mask to delete the areas you don’t want to show on the picture.
Use the Lasso Tool (L) to select the flower on the top of the model, and
press Control-J to duplicate this flower on a new layer. Choose the
Liquify Tool and pick the Twirl Clockwise Tool to bend and tweak this
flower to make it appear like an abstract one. Feel free to form it in
the way you want but keep it still looking like a flower, so don’t tweak it too much. Place it on the left of the head area with the leaves.
Duplicate this flower several times and continue bending them to make
them appear different but still in a similar style. Place them above the top of the abstract branches and on the arm.
Make a group for all the elements made from the flowers 2 image. Use a
Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and reduce the Saturation value to –40:
5. Create the Abstract Makeup
We’ll be going through a very interesting stage. Press D to turn the
foreground and background to default (black and white). Create a new
layer on top of the layers and use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) to
draw a circle on the canvas. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds:
Press Control-D to deselect this circle and go to Filter > Pixelate > Pointillize. Set the Cell Size to 67:
Tweak this circle using the Liquify Tools to get a result similar to the one below, or any shapes you wish for.
Change this layer mode to Soft Light 100% and use a layer mask to make the effect visible only on the model’s cheek:
Duplicate this layer twice and move them to the forehead and arm. Mask
off the unwanted details to make the effect subtle and soft.
Create a group for these layers (remember to change the group mode to Soft Light 100%) and use an Invert adjustment layer to invert the effect color:
6. Add the Butterflies
the butterfly 1 image and isolate the butterflies from the background. Select the
middle butterfly and place it above the highest abstract flower on the
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to make the butterfly more saturated:
Open the butterfly 2 image. Take the blue butterfly on the top left and move it above the highest abstract flower on the left of the main document:
Change the butterfly color using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer:
Use a Curves adjustment layer to make the butterfly brighter:
7. The Final Adjustment
We’ve finished adding the elements, and now it’s time to change the color.
Create a Color Fill layer on top of the layers and pick the color
#1f0901. Set this layer mode to Exclusion 100%:
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones and Highlights values:
Add a Curves adjustment layer to change the contrast and color of the whole image:
Make a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color #bbb85d:
another Photo Filter adjustment layer and select the color #f7014c. On
this layer mask, use a soft black brush to reduce the effect on the
edges and the model’s face. This aims to avoid making the color effect look flat.
Use a Selective Color adjustment layer to alter the color of the leaves and butterfly 1.
Add a Vibrance adjustment layer to enhance the effect. You know it’s my all-time favorite adjustment layer!
Make a Levels adjustment layer and decrease the Midtones value. Select
this layer mask and paint on the middle to make the edges a bit darker. It helps to create a subtle vignette effect.
Congratulations, You’re Done!
I hope that you’ve learned something useful for your future projects.
Feel free to leave your comments in the box below—I’d love to see them.
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Creating realistic photo composites or photo manipulation isn’t as hard as it looks. The steps you have to take to create a good composite are actually all pretty logical. I will try to explain the steps and common mistakes many people make in the following article. [editor’s note: we are huge fans of Aad Sommeling. […]