Old Man Photo Manipulation

Learn how to create an emotional photo manipulation of an old man in a beautiful sunset. In this tutorial, you’ll be brushing up your basics photo manipulation skills. This tutorial is recommended for those who are eager to get started with their first photo manipulation and for those who are keen to level up their skills in Photoshop.

Getting Started with Photo Manipulation

Getting started with your first photo manipulation can be a fun and a little bit difficult as well. Whenever every beginner wants to create his first photo manipulation, he has a lot of question in mind such what will be the idea, choosing stock images, about colors and much more.

From my opinion all these thing doesn’t matter when you are beginner in Photoshop. So, how we can begin in Photoshop ? Answer is that just simply pick any image in which you think that I can create something on this image. There are lot of stock images website such as Pixabay, DeviantArt , MorgueFile, Freeimages and many more. All you have to do just simply visit on these website and pick any image you want to get start.

Let’s take a look at my first photo manipulation and believe me on that time I really don’t know about choosing stock images, colors, blendings and many things. I just picked an image start manipulating the stocks and I ended up with these results.


Now it’s time to implement all the basic of Photoshop by creating your first manipulation by creating an emotional scene of the old man.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Setting up the Background

To work in Photoshop you need to create a new document by selecting File > New and set the setting as shown in the image below or feel free to choose your own settings.


Step 2

Download the sky image and place it onto the main document by selecting File > Place then place it to the main document.


So basically I picked up this beach image and it has a beautiful sky with sunset. So the idea is that I’ll create a sunset effect on this image.

Step 3

Make a Curves Adjustment layer to Sky as clipping mask by clicking on the New Adjustment Layer icon at layer panel to add yellow tones to the Sky. Set the setting as shown in the image below.


Here are the results and we’ve added yellow tones to the sky.


Step 4

To add some more yellow tones to the sky I added a Color Balance Adjustment layer to the sky.


As you can see I only added yellow tones to shadow and midtones because the highlights are minimum.

Here are the results.


Step 5

Let’s add another sky image to the main document. Since the another sky image will appear on the top of the scene then first I need to hide
sky image part using a layer mask. Add Layer Mask to the sky image and activate the Gradient tool by pressing (G) on keyboard, choose the Linear Black/White gradient then apply it vertically ( hold shift to apply it vertically ) from top to bottom on the layer mask of sky.

Here are the results.

You can also see the results on the layer mask.


Now place the sky 2 image below the sky layer. Make sure to transform it (Activate the Transform tool by selecting Edit > Transform > Free Transform or pressing CTRL + T) so it can cover the entire canvas.

Here are the results.


Step 6

Hide the selected part of sky 2 image using soft round black brush with opacity & flow to 30% and you can also see the layer mask results.


Now add the sky 3 image below the sky 2 layer to add some clouds to the scene.


As you can see we’ve some clouds added to the scene.

Step 7

Now we have our basic ambient ready and it’s time for coloring. So add the Curves Adjustment layer to sky 2 to match it with the rest of scene.

Here are the values. Note that I am adding golden yellow tones to the entire scene because we are creating a sunset effect. So choosing colors depend on you that what kind of photo manipulation you are creating.


Here are the results.


Step 8

Time to adjust the sky 2 image with the scene. Add the following adjustment layer to the sky 2 but don’t use it as clipping mask because I want this adjustment layer to affect the below layer (sky 2).


Here are the results.


Step 9

Light up the sky by applying Gradient Map adjustment layer ( Use color #082b39 for shadow and use #b85711 for highlights). Change the blend mode of Gradient Map to Color Dodge and reduce the opacity to 59%. Also, make the Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to reduce the brightness of the sky.


Here are the results.


Step 10

Add some glow to the sun, to do this create a new layer then activate the Brush tool (B). Change your foreground color to #714d1e and size around 700 to 800 pixels. Make a stroke at the sun as shown in the image below.


Change the blend mode to Color Dodge and reduce the opacity to 31% (reducing the opacity depends on you as how much glow you want to add).




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