Want a free year on Tuts+ (worth $180)? Start an InMotion Hosting plan for $3.49/mo.
Winter is now in full swing for the Northern Hemisphere. Snow and cold have engulfed the northern latitudes. In the Southern Hemisphere, summer has taken hold, bringing with it blazing temperatures. For those of you in the north, the image manipulations below can help us appreciate the beauty of winter. And for those in the south, they can bring some much-needed relief from the heat.
Photo manipulations are probably one of the most entertaining and interesting things to do with Photoshop. Combining unrelated elements into a single image, often combined with other filters, textures, and effects, to create one-of-a-kind works of art can be as challenging or simple as you want it to be, depending on exactly what you're trying to create.
There are a variety of ways these artists use to combine individual elements into a cohesive whole. Lighting effects, texture overlays, softening, and more are all put to the test with some of the examples below. And if you try all of those and aren't happy with the results, sometimes emphasizing the fact that the image is a composite can work wonders.
One of the quickest ways to tell that an image is a composite is by the lighting. Combining elements that have different light sources can be a dead giveaway, and takes extra time to correct in Photoshop. Added lighting effects can also obscure the edges of individual elements, further unifying the overall composite.
Lighting effects can bring consistency to images with otherwise-disparate elements.
An unexpected element (such as the hummingbird in this winter scene) adds interest to photo manipulations.
The icy colors and glowing snowflakes make this evoke the chilly temperatures of winter.
The Coming of Winter's Rain
Another image that includes unexpected elements.
by Glenn Karlsen
by Geir Akselsen
Snow has Funny Ways Sometimes
Color, specifically saturation and tone, can go a long way toward bringing harmony to individual elements within a photo manipulation. The examples below showcase this technique beautifully.
Using the same hues and saturations throughout a composition does wonders to unify the overall image.
Icy eyes are a popular manipulation subject.
The Goddess of Winter
Winter at the Ruins
This is My Winter Song to You
Another case where a monochromatic color scheme lends consistency to the image.
Listen to the Silence
by Talie Lines
Early Morning Snowfall
by Talie Lines
The Road to Recovery
by Talie Lines
by Draganea and Ljilja
Adding texture overlays to your images works well to obscure the edges of individual elements.
The hint of wings in this image adds an element of fantasy, and the use of textures throughout and the monochromatic color scheme blends everything together.
Adding a texture to the entire image can help blend the elements included and obscure any outlines.
Queen of the Winter
Another example where texture (in this case, a ripple filter) blends everything beautifully.
Snow Blue Blood
Adding a bit of blur, layer feathering, or a soft glow filter can work wonders on the overall effect of a photo manipulation. These filters do tend to add a feminine touch to images, so they're best reserved for compositions where that's desirable.
The Sugarplum Fairy
Softening the edges throughout your image helps tie everything together.
A Snow Covered Dream..
Emphasizing Separate Elements
When all else fails, stop trying to hide the fact that your image is a composite. Sometimes emphasizing the separateness can make your manipulation look more artistic, and lets you stop bashing your head against the wall trying to get it just right. If done right, it'll look like an artsy collage.
A World Apart
Increasing the contrast around individual elements can be a good way to add unity to an image when obscuring the outlines is proving difficult.
Collector Of Hearts
Subscribe to the Psdtuts+ RSS Feed for the best Photoshop tuts and articles on the web.