Create an Eerie Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, I’ll show you how to create an eerie photo manipulation in Photoshop. We’ll first convert an ordinary forest into the dark forest and we’ll also create a light effect. After adding a forest, we’ll continue placing model to the scene and we’ll blend her using adjustment layers. Finally, we’ll make the scene more eerie, misty and mysterious by painting mist and make the scene dark using adjustment layers.


Tutorial Resources

Creating background

Step 1

Start by creating a new document in Photoshop. Use the followings settings for document:


Add Forest

Step 2

Place the forest image to main document by selecting File > Place Embedded. You can also use Transform Tool (CTRL + T) to get the perspective shown below.


Step 3

Make a Curves adjustment layer for forest. Use the Red and Blue channel to add the combination of Cyan and Yellow color tones to forest. See the settings below.


Results :


You can add an adjustment layer by clicking on the third icon at the bottom of layer panel. Read our basic tutorial for further explanation on adjustment layers.

Step 4

Make Curves adjustment layer again for forest. Now use the RGB channel to reduce the brightness and darken the forest using the following settings.


On the layer mask of Curves, erase the effect on the highlighted parts and maintain brightness there. Use a soft, basic black brush for masking and for better results always use Brush Tool (B) with lower opacity and flow settings.




Step 5

Continue coloring the forest using Color Balance adjustment layer. Use the following settings to enhance the colors.




Step 6

The corners of the forest still have brightness and I don’t want that. Because the overall results depict the scene in a Vignette way and we need to darken them. Create a new layer and fill this layer with 50% gray color, then change the blending mode to Overlay.


Activate the Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range and Exposure about 9-12%. Now using the above mentioned settings darken the forest’s corners indicated by arrows.


You can also see the results in Overlay mode.


Create the Light Effect

Step 7

Create a new layer and name it ‘light’. Set the foreground color to #554d14. Activate the Brush Tool(B). Now paint the light on top of forest as shown below.


Set the light’s layer blend mode to Linear Dodge and reduce the opacity to 64%.


Add the Mode

Step 8

Isolate the model from its background and place her to the main document. While extracting try to leave some parts below the model’s dress and may be around the hair as well.


Step 9

Make a Curves adjustment layer for model and set it as Clipping Mask (press the red icon ). Now darken the model as she looks too bright at the moment.


Step 10

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and choose the Green. Now drag the Saturation slider to -100 and this will reduce the color on the grassy parts of the model. See the effect indicated by arrows.


Bunty Pundir

Bunty Pundir is the founder of PSD Stack. He loves writing Photoshop tutorials and sharing knowledge with others. Follow him on Behance, Twitter and Google+

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