Song For A Raven – Manipulation Tutorial

Song For A Raven – Manipulation Tutorial

We are going to create an eerie manipulation today in Photoshop. So get ready to enter into a fairytale mood.In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use Gaussian Blur for backgrounds, apply textures for changing the tones,use the brushes and make your images sharpen without losing the quality of the image. This is an intermediate users tutorial. Have fun.

Final result

Stock used

Step 1

First we take our background to create an blured effect for more impact on the model using Gausian Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gausian Blur).Duplicate the background layer and apply the desired amount of blur.I used an Radiusof 25,0 pixels.After this using a soft air brush erase the lower part of the background to create an depth of field effect.Then merge the layers.


Step 2

Cut the model and extract it on a new created layer.Create a Curves Layer to adjust the light.Also create a Hue&Saturation Layerand set the desired tones and saturation.I only desturated it a little bit.


 Step 3

Now we’ll create a new texture layer to create the blue tone on our manip.I used #07bcf8 color for this and set it to Soft Light.I also added some vignette effect on the layer using Brush Tool with Opacityand Flow to20%.


Step 4

Now is the time to add the other stocks,raven and the sword.You can also play with the Dodgeand Burn Toolon these layers for lighter and darker areas and create the shadows on the model’s hand.


 Step 5

Now let’s add some sharpness to our manipulation.A technique that i usually use is the one that most professional photographers use very often using the Unsharp Mask.This technique helps you to get sharp and crisp images without creating nasty halos and colour artefacts might otherwise occur when you use lots of sharpening.There are three purposes so i’ll show you wich fits the best for your work.But first let’s see how we get there.Go to Image >Mode >Lab Color.Go to Channelpalette and click on the Lightness channel.Now go to to Filter >Sharpen >Unsharp Mask.So here are the three settings that i found most useful:

1. For people: Amount 150%, Radius 1, Threshold 10

2. For cityscapes, urban photography, or travel: Amount 65%, Radius 3, Threshold 2

3. For general everyday use: Amount 85%, Radius 1, Threshold 4

I used the first setting for this manipulation.After applying the Unsharp Maskgo back to Image >Mode > RGB Color. You can apply the Unsharp Mask filter again, using the same settings. If your photo appears too sharp, before you do anything else, go under the Edit menu and choose Fade Unsharp Mask. In the Fade dialog, lower the Opacity slider to 50%, so you only get halfstrength on the second application of the filter.

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Step 6

It’s time again for some Dodge&Burn.First create a New Layer filled with 50% gray.Set it to Overlay and start to burn the shadows and dodge the lights.For detailed information about this technique visit the Tutorials-Manipulation Secrets section.

Final result


  1. sakunika says:

    Hi, Thank you very much for providing such great tutorials on photo manipulations. You are doing a great job. I think I owe you. I touched photoshop for the first time in January this year. I’m not an artist or anything. I didn’t know anything about digital art. But your site helped me a lot. I think now I can do something that someone can enjoy.( I do not say that I’m perfect ). It is really hard to find good tutorials on the internet. Of course there are tutorials for photoshop and stuff. But most of them are useless. It’s been only about four month since I started to do this. There are millions of things more for me to learn. So please keep up the good work. I am looking forward for your amazing tutorials. And I should thank Fabrizio Panattoni who helped me a lot with his superb tutorials. Thank you guys. Please take a look at my work here that’s what I could do so far. Thanks again. (Sorry for my bad English)

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