Create a conceptual surreal photo-manipulation (Part 1)

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In this Photoshop tutorial (Part 1 of 2), we will learn how to create a conceptual surreal photo-manipulation.


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Step 1

Create a new file with a width of 3500 px and a height of 3500 px at 300 dpi (Dots per Inch). Background Contents should be White.


Step 2

First off, let’s open the dark gray storm in Photoshop. We will be using sky from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl+t) as shown below:

Once again activate the Transform tool (Ctrl+T) then right click and choose “Flip Vertical”.


Step 3

Now, let’s open the Sea, Greece in Photoshop. We will be using the sea from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Sea, Greece image and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “Sea”.

Activate the Transform tool (Ctrl+t) as shown below:


Step 4

We do not need that sky in that sea stock so let’s erase it.

Activate the Erase tool (E) with these settings.  Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 300px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 100%

Flow: 100%

Color: #000000

Paint over the highlighted area.


Step 5

Let’s adjust the color and tone of our sea we are going to adjust with our image’s atmosphere.

Create a Color Balance adjustment layer which can be found by pressing on the create New Fill/Adjustment layer button shown on the layer window:

When the Color Balance box opens, input the following:

Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Sea layer and Color balance) to make a mask.

Now Create a new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Curves box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Sea layer and Curve) to make a mask.

Now create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Sea layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

Create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (sea layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.

When the Brightness/Contrast box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (sea layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.


Step 6

Open the American dream 4 in Photoshop. We will be using the mountain from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the American dream 4 and press P to activate the Pen tool and then make a selection around the mountain and then click V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change the layer name to “Mountain1″.

Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd +T), then while “Mountain1” layer is selected, resize it as shown below:


Step 7

Activate the Erase tool (E) with these settings.  Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 300px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 65%

Flow: 100%

Color: #000000

Paint over the highlighted area.


Step 8

Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer:

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following:

Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain1 layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

Now create a Color Balance adjustment layer:

When the Color Balance box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain1 layer and Color balance) to make a mask.

Now create a new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette.

When the Curves box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain1 layer and Curves) to make a mask.


Step 9

Let’s open the Las Vegas area mountain landscape stock in Photoshop. (Warning: Previous mountain photo used on this tutorial was removed from site and we had to find a new photo similar to the previous one. With this image you will get almost the same effect but tutorial screenshots still use old photo.)
We will be using the Mountain from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Stock179 and press P to activate Pen tool and then make a selection around the mountain and then click V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “Mountain2″.


Step 10

Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd +T) with the “Mountain2” layer selected and then resize it as shown below:


Step 11

Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following:

Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain2 layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

Now create a new Curves adjustment layer:

When the Curves box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain2 layer and Curve) to make a mask.


Step 12

Return to the Stock179 stock in Photoshop. We will again be using the Mountain from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Stock179 and press P to activate the Pen tool and then make a selection around the mountain and then click V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change the layer name to “Mountain3″.


Step 13

Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd +T), then while the “Mountain3” layer is selected, resize it as shown below:


Step 14

Now create a new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette.

When the Curves box opens, input the following:

Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain3 layer and Curves) to make a mask.

Create new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer:

When the Hue/Saturation box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain3 layer and Hue/Saturation) to make a mask.

Create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer:

When the Brightness/Contrast box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain3 layer and Brightness/Contrast) to make a mask.

Create a new Color balance adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Color Balance box opens, input the following. Press Alt+left click in between the 2 layer’s (Mountain3 layer and Color balance) to make a mask.


Part 2

Part 2 of this tutorial was published here.

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2 Responses

  1. Su Hall says:

    I want to try this tut. I don’t see the stock 179 image of the second mountain in the stock list. Could you point the direction? Thank you!

    Su