Week 32/52 : Leave them now and see what tomorrow brings. (Tutorial)

(For the “Theme of the week” group on Flickr  – “Freedom“)

Another photomanipulation with a sky background.  I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of these yet.  They’re really simple to do, which is why I end up doing them when I can’t think of anything else.  Plus I love clouds ❤

This was shot in our garden as usual.  My sister took the picture.  I added the birds (in Photoshop) because they seem to symbolize freedom for most people.

Title is from the song “Melodies of Life” from the Final Fantasy 9 OST.

Bird and cloud brushes from redheadstock.deviantart.com

EDIT: Since greysqrl wanted to know more about this photo, I decided to post some screen caps of my editing process 🙂  I normally don’t share my editing techniques but I figured I learned everything I know about Photoshop online, so there’s really nothing new here.

First I opened the original photo in Photoshop:

This was the original shot of me running in our garden.   My sister took the shot. Very simple, nothing fancy.

Then I took a picture of the sky and placed it over the original photo:

This is one of my favorite sky photos.  I really love the wispy clouds.  I use it in most of my photomanipulations.  I took this last January while we were at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

Then I used the Mask tool to hide parts of the sky.  I use a pen tablet (Wacom Bamboo Fun) when I edit my photos, it makes masking a thousand times easier.  I always use a soft brush when masking photos because it gives a more natural effect.  If you’re using a mouse, you can use the Lasso tool then go to Select > Feather to soften your selection.

I also added in more clouds using redheadstock‘s Photoshop brushes

For the birds, I made a new layer and used brushes also made by redheadstock.  I used a soft brush at 90% opacity to paint/draw more hair to give the picture more movement.  For this part I really rely on my pen tablet.  I can’t imagine having to paint hair using a mouse.  I mean, it’s possible (you can use the pen tool>stroke>simulate pressure) but you’ll have to do this for each strand of hair.

To make the hair appear more natural, I used the eraser tool set at 50% opacity on the tips to make them softer.  I used the eyedropper tool to pick up the color of my real hair while I was painting it.

Then after that I just added more mist using a soft brush at about 20% opacity and adjusted the curves.  I also added some solid color layers and set them to different blending modes (screen, exclusion, soft light, overlay, etc).  Here’s a screenshot to give you an idea on how many layers I normally work with when I edit a photo:

This part is mostly trial and error for me.  I keep adjusting the tones and lighting until I’m satisfied

It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually a very simple process.  I spent about 20 minutes editing this photo.  It’s the brainstorming part that’s hard for me.  It normally takes me a few hours to come up with a concept every week.

Hope that was helpful!

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10 thoughts on “Week 32/52 : Leave them now and see what tomorrow brings. (Tutorial)

  1. Especially since you don’t normally share your techniques, thank you very much! This is a wonderful tutorial and the end result is stunning. Thanks again for sharing this information, I really appreciate it! 🙂

  2. *bows* Nice work there :))

    I’m a bit of a Photoshopper wannabe at the best of times (lol) but I still have alot to learn. Do you photoshop all your photos? I think you should do more tutorials like this *hint*hint*nudge*nudge* Could def do w/ stealing, er, learning more tricks & tips xD

    • Thank you~ 🙂
      Yeah, i photoshop almost all my photos. Sometimes I just adjust the tones, but when I have time I like to do photo manipulations.
      Glad you found this helpful. I’ll try to post more tutorials in the future 🙂

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