...for a photo manipulation tutorial

I'm going through a phase of absolutely loving photo manipulation images! There's some absolutely incredible ones out there. Search for them on Youtube for thousands of actually very simply Photoshop edits that look incredible. 

All photomanipulations rely on two main things:

  1. Never directly edit an image - always use masks.
  2. Add elements and interest to compositions by downloading Photoshop brushes, e.g. I found some free Bird Brushes for the image I created here used.

I'm going to go through this image I created today, inspired by one I found on Pinterest:


1. First of all find an high quality image of the Empire State (ES) and an image of some woods with sunlight coming through trees. The sun creates some beautiful shadows and adds some depth to the image. You'll need to either remove the background of the ES image or google 'Empire State building no background'.

Crop the woods image to fit the width of the ES. Don't delete sections!! Create a mask to reduce the width of the image. I then edited the light and colour of the Empire State to complement the woods.


2. Next we want to edit both images so it looks like they're exploding or shattering. Google 'shattered glass photoshop brush'. You can then download them to your Photoshop presets folder found in the application itself. Load these into Photoshop:


4. This is really where the importance of masks comes into play! We are basically removing parts of the image in the shape of the brush you have selected. First select the mask in the Layers window and make sure that Black is in the foreground (found in the on the bottom left of the toolbar).


5. I've changed the colour of the background so it's easier for us to see what we're doing. I've contunied to remove the background, making sure to rotate and change the size of the brush as I go. Swapping the foreground colour to white allows us to show parts of the image. This is how the exploding part on the left has been created.

Now you'll want to select a round brush, with 0% hardness, and start removing the bottom of the ES. The bottom will start loosing it's opacity, allowing us to merge the two images more effectively. Remember again to use a mask! Change the foreground colour to white if you erase too much.


6. I've also shattered the edges of the ES slightly. Now the two images are successfully merged and look like they're shattering. Now to add the detail! I found a moon on google and softened the edges using a round brush with 0% hardness. 


7. Start adding more moons, adding drop shadows and highlights to add depth to the images. For the moons at the bottom (shown here), I also changed the lighting using a Levels mask. I also added a slight dark overlay to add drama.


9. Finally, using a Bird brush I found online (Google 'Bird Photoshop Brush), I added a few birds to the composition and a couple more moons to the top. Changing the sizes of the moons and the birds adds perspective! I also added a radial gradient to the background.




Hope you've enjoyed reading and it inspires you to have a try! Have a happy weekend, L x