Welcome To Ghost Town – Manipulation Tutorial

Welcome To Ghost Town – Manipulation Tutorial

In this beginers to intermediate tutorial we’ll learn how to create a ghostly town in just a few easy steps.We’ll use selective desaturation,play with opacity and combine a few layers to match a scene and create a hdr effect.So let’s begin.

Final Result


Stock used

Step 1

For this first step we’ll create a new document. I chose this for helping me to lay the two basic stocks i chose as background. Because the stocks are quite high resolution i chose a 4000×4000 pixels image with white background.


Step 2

For this step we bring our ground layer.


Step 3

Now it’s time for the sky to get in the picture. I chose to be quite at the horizon line so can give a natural look.


Step 4

Here we crop both images so we can have equal sides.Using a soft brush we erase the midle of the image where the horizon meets the sea so this will give it a natural look.


Step 5

Selecting the sky layer we chose to desaturate it a little bit. Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation (Ctrl+U) and chose the right value you think it fits best.



Step 6

Here we bring our lighthouse and with this layer selected we change a little the saturation,hue and lightness.


Step 7

It’s time to put the road. After we put the layer using a soft brush we erase the parts we don’t want in the picture.


Step 8

For this step we bring the same picture of the road again but now we flip it to make another part of the road. After you flip it erase again the parts you don’t need.


Step 9-14

It’s time for some abandoned buildings and cars in our manipulation. Using the settings in the picture we play again with the hue,lighting and saturation. I chose to desaturate them separately because it has different saturations and lightness. I also erased the lower parts of the buildings and cars with a soft brush.

9a 9b 10 11 12 13 14

Step 15

Here i used the Quick Selection Tool (W) on the grass to reduce the lightness and the Burn tool (O).


Step 16

Now it’s time for our ghost to get in the picture. I chose to lower the opacity to give the ghostly look on our girl.

Step 17

Here we put the road sign and we put the birds in the sky using the birds brushes.

Step 18

For this final step i wanted to add a HDR effect so i chose the values bellow for this look but you can play with the adjustments you like best. Go to Image>Adjustments>HDR Toning for this.


Final Result



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My name is Andreea Bianca Grigore. I was born in Romania, a beautiful country in the East Europe. My interest towards art begin in my early ages. At that time I used to draw and paint, later switching to photography. In the late 2005, I discovered Photoshop, the tool which combined photography and drawing and opened a new door for me.It was my motivation to learn how to use Photoshop and today I'm proud to say that I'm a self taught artist.I kept improving my skills trying almost every kind of art, from fantasy to conceptual and from surreal to dark and different media types like 3D, digital painting, etc. I decided to stick on the fantasy and dark side. I find it easier to express my feelings with fantasy elements. I do not like realistic photomanipulation, especially because I see art as a gate to another world, an imaginary one. That's the reason why my name has the "Imaginary" word in it. Because ordinary has limits. Imaginary doesn't. I enjoy working and putting together different elements to help me portray the image I have in my head and showcase it to the world. I joined deviantART in 2005, the largest art community. http://imaginaryrosse.deviantart.com It was the place in which I grew and develop as an artist, thanks to the feedback of everyone there. I got to meet and later work with different artists which I admire, and from which I also got to learn different things. I decided to step up and start using art to help less talented people to portray their own imaginary worlds, and have something of their own. Something they can escape to. Something imaginary, they can relate to, when ordinary gets too limited.


  1. Ioan R.D. Muresan says:

    Hola campeon !
    Seria muy interesante hacer un videotutoial de esto…se entiende mucho mejor asi !
    Muy guapo igualmente.

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