Learn how to create this freezing cold manipulation with Photoshop! You’ll learn how to work with difference ice and crystal photos and complete the look with a cold blue photo effect.
Preview of Final Results
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Frozen.zip | 6.63 MB
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Freezing Cold Portrait Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial
- Background – sxc.hu
- Girl – sxc.hu
- Frost Texture – sxc.hu
- Icicles – sxc.hu
- Snowflakes – sxc.hu
- Crystal – enchantedgal
Create a new document in Photoshop. It should be around 11 inches wide by 17 inches long and with a depth resolution of 300dpi.
Drag to your document the background frozen road stock image and resize it to fill all the canvas by dragging the anchor points to fit the whole image:
The background looks too bright at the moment and we need to change that in order to create a gloomy dark night mood. Open up the levels menu (Image > Adjustments > Levels or Ctrl+L) and apply the settings as shown below:
Use the Brightness/Contrast tool (Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast) and set the Brightness value to 75 and Contrast to 90
Since we made some changes to the lighting of the background, the colors got a bit too saturated. To fix this, use the Hue/Saturation tool (Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or Ctrl+U) to lower the saturation to –45.
Here’s how your background should look.
Now we’re going to blur the background to add some depth to the overall image and ensure it doesn’t upstage the rest of the photo manipulation. Apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 8 pixels.
Here’s how the background should look now.
In this step, we’re going to set our adjustment layers so that we can work under them and create a moody feel to our composition. Start by selecting all the adjustment layers in the Layers palette then place them all into a new layer group (Ctrl+G). Name this group “Adjustments”. Next, add a Gradient Map fill layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map). Click on the Gradient to bring up the Gradient editor.
Create a gradient like shown below. To create this gradient, click on the bottom left stop then change the color to black (#000000) then click OK. Click on the bottom right stop then set the color to #032871 then click OK and OK again to exit out of the Gradient Editor.
Set the blending mode of this layer to Color then lower the opacity to around 73%.
Create a new Solid Color fill layer (Layer > New FIll Layer > Solid Color) on top of the Gradient Map adjustment layer. Set the color of this fill layer to #031E40.
Change the blending mode of the Color Fill layer to Color and lower its opacity to around 37%.
Add a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast) and position it as the top layer. Apply the settings shown in the image below.
Add a new Color Balance adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance) and set it as the top layer. Set the tone to Midtones then apply the settings shown in the image below.
Set the Tone to Shadows then apply the settings shown below.
Set the tone to Highlights then apply the settings shown in the image below.
This is how your Layers palette should look right now.
Open the image of the model then use the Pen tool (P) to draw a path along the edge of the girl trying to keep as much detail as you can so you can make a clean extraction from the background.
Once you’ve closed the path, right-click on the path then select “Make Selection”. Copy and paste it into the other document. You can close this image of the model.
After pasting your model into your original document, position this new layer under the “Adjustments” group. Resize it slightly so that it covers a bigger area of the canvas. You can resize layers with the Free Transform tool (Ctrl+T or Edit > Free Transform).
Next, sharpen (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) the model to enhance the quality of the image (You can repeat this filter by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+F). You can also place this layer into a new group (Ctrl/Cmd+G) called “Model” to keep things organized.
Select the Burn tool (O) then set your brush size to a small round brush around 30 pixels with a hardness of 0%. Lower the exposure to 12% then set the range type to Shadows. Gently brush along the darker areas of the skin to darken the shadows and give it a slight HDR look. We’re going to do this directly on the models face so be careful to not overdo it.
Follow the example below:
Burn the shadows on the hands, especially over the wrinkles following the direction of the shadows.
Also burn over the hairline and inside the eyes.
Switch to the Dodge tool (You can also hold shift while using the Burn tool) then change the range to “Highlights” and exposure to 9%. The brush size and hardness should be the same. We’re going to do the same we did with the Burn tool except this time we’ll be dodging over the brightest highlights in the image to give them more punch.
Here’s the before and after comparison of this dodge/burn technique..
Now we’re going to increase the vibrancy and brighten the eyes. To do this, select the Brush tool (B) then switch to “Quick Mask Mode”. Brush over the eyes then turn Quick Mask Mode off by clicking on the quick mask button again. You’ll get a selection of the eyes. Invert the selection (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+I or Select > Invert).