Learn how to create a fantasy, emotional dreamy lake scene with Adobe Photoshop. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a beautiful and colorful photo manipulation of the dreamy lake. You’ll also learn how to manage colors to achieve great results and during this tutorial, you’ll learn how to work with a layer mask, adjustments layer, and tools to achieve a perfect composition. Moreover, I’ve two colors variants for this tutorial and you’ll get to know about it at the end of the tutorial.

Tutorial Resources

Preparing the Background

Create a new document in Photoshop by selecting File > New . Use the following settings or feel free to choose your own.


Adding Lake

Step 2

Open the lake image in Photoshop. Drag it into our main canvas using Move Tool (V). If needed enlarge it using Transform Tool (CTRL + T), so it can cover the entire document.


Step 3

If you zoom into lake, you may notice that there are a lot of unwanted details (indicated by arrows) like houses. Since we are creating a dreamy scene then we should clean up these details. We will use Clone Stamp Tool (S) to remove all these details. Create a new layer and clip it to lake layer (hover your mouse between Lake and newly created layer and then click on them). Activate the Clone Stamp Tool (S) and now start cloning these details. Remember you need to take the source from original layer and then clone it in the newly created layer.


Results after cloning :


Step 4

Make a Curves (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves or click the third button at bottom of layer panel) adjustment layer to lake. Now reduce the brightness of lake using Curves. Here the settings for Curves :


Results with reduced brightness on highlights of lake :


Step 5

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer for lake to add some colors to it. I am aiming to add Yellow and Magenta color tones. Here the values only for Midtones and Highlights.


Results :


Adding Sky to Fantasy scene

Step 6

Place the sky image to main document by selecting File > Place Embedded or Place . The aim is to add clouds to scene as the lake sky doesn’t seems to fit for dreamy scene.


Add a Layer Mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All or click the second button at bottom of layer panel) to sky layer. Activate the Brush Tool (B). Set its opacity and flow about 30%. Now start masking the selected right side part of clouds using a soft round black brush. You can also vary the brush size and opacity during masking process for better results.


Step 7

Now our task is to match colors of sky as its color not matching with the rest. To do this, make a Curves adjustment layer to sky as Clipping Mask (click the red icon for clipping mask). Select the Red Channel to add red color tones to it.


Results :




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