(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!