Photoshop Sunday; Fantasy Yoga

I had an itch when I woke up this morning, I wanted to create a composite image. A composite image is an image made up of several elements from different sources. Usually when I create composites I will use one image as a base and build on it from there.
Lying in bed I started to think about what I would want in the image, starting simple. Looking up at my ceiling and the sun rising I had an idea of a sunrise/sunset landscape with a single figure. I went to the kitchen put my half baked bread in the oven, put on some relaxing music and started sketching out ideas. I dont like to have too many elements in my composites, with three being the most I will generally use.

From playing around with a few ideas I came up with a basic concept for an image. A man doing yoga at an entrance to a cave high up above the clouds with a temple in the background. With my basic premise I went looking for my stock images.

First I took two sky images, a clearish one and a one with fluffy clouds. Placing the clear one on top I used a gradient on a layer mask to merge them together to create a horizon line.


To create my cave I used the quick selection tool to select areas of my rock images and then placed them over each other, taking into consideration the direction that the light in the sky background.


Once the cave entrance was created I grouped the layers into a smart object and applied a lighting effect via render filters. Clipping a hue and saturation as well as a levels adjustment layers to the smart object, I gave the cave a slight colour toning.


Now I added the stock image of a man doing yoga, I removed the background and imported the image. I added a vibrance and levels adjustment so that he matched the rest of the image.


I then duplicated the yoga man and flipped the layer to create a shadow on the cave floor.


The final piece of my composite now needed to be added, the temple. This was simply done by adding a gradient at the bottom of the element, to make it seem as if it was coming out of the clouds. I then used a cloud brush on a new layer to hide the bottom of the building and make it seem more realistic.


Now all the elements were in place. I used a mixture of black and white adjustment layers, gradient maps, fill layers and levels all at different opacities to to create a stylized tone for the image. The colours are not realistic which is ok as the whole scene is really a fantasy.


Last but not least was adding of a lens flare to simulate the sun. When I first added this it didn’t look right because it did not match the lighting in the cave. I selected the cave layer and used focus selection to create a focus mask. I placed this mas on the lens flare layer stopping it from effecting the cave.


I really wasn’t happy with the green in the cave as it seemed more than strange. To correct this I added a color balance adjustment layer and shifted the green tones in the shadows towrds magenta making the colours more appealing to the eye.


I quite like the image and it really got my brain working with shadows and light as well as  colours. I think the image would work well as an advert of some sort with the stylized colours and contrast. I am glad I used the lighting effects on the cave as it really is the most important step in tying the image together along with the lighting effects simulating the sun.
It took about 2 hours to have everything put together with another hour for tweaking settings as well as naming naming and organizing layers.

What do you think of the image? Have you created anything in Photoshop recently? Let me know and put a link in the comment box below, also you can just say hi if you like.

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8 thoughts on “Photoshop Sunday; Fantasy Yoga

  1. Hey ho…I like this, and have been intending to do some composite images myself…one day! And that day has still not come, largely because for me it’s a lot of time to spend in front of a screen…. 😦

  2. Good morning, Ben. Amazing! I am not at the point that I can understand every step you took, but I still appreciate all the details. Thanks for taking time to write your steps. I’ll definitely come back to read it again when I am better at Photoshop.
    I have a question: are there two light sources? If I look at his face and his right arm, it seems like the light is coming from the right side, but the shadow shows the light is not from the right. It’s possible there are two light sources, right?

    • Hi Helen, the model is being lit by two sources and although I did darken the right side I still wanted some details so I kept them in. You could say there is two a fill in flash from the right and the sun from the left.
      In reality to shot this shot you would need to use a flash as well to add light from the front or side.
      Good question and good eye.

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