Cre­ate your own cool land­scape in min­utes

Jon Adams crafts a bland sun­set into the per­fect lone-tree land­scape

Digital Camera World - - JUST FOR FUN -

Land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy in its purest form is a re­ac­tive game. Once you’ve made the ef­fort to get your­self to the right lo­ca­tion at the right time, you com­pose the el­e­ments pre­sented to you and wait for the ideal light to cap­ture the shot. When you con­sider all the vari­ables at play – par­tic­u­larly where the weather is con­cerned – the odds are against you land­ing the pre­cise shot you might have in your mind’s eye. But in this fun ex­er­cise, you’re go­ing to stack those odds in your favour and build your own evoca­tive land­scape in Pho­to­shop, ar­rang­ing all the el­e­ments just as you want them.

To cre­ate my sun­set land­scape, I started with a spec­tac­u­lar sun­set shot (which I took from the car on a coun­try road), then used the Lasso tool to draw in some ‘ground’ at about one-third height. I filled this with black. On an­other layer, I used the Grass brush to paint in some con­vinc­ing grassy de­tail. To do this, I set both the brush and the layer to the Mul­ti­ply Blend­ing mode.

1 On an­other new layer, I then drew some moun­tain­ous shapes and filled these with a slightly lighter tone to give the im­pres­sion of dis­tance. I placed this layer be­neath the grass and fore­ground. I then re­peated this step with some more moun­tain shapes, plac­ing them just above the sky layer and mak­ing them a lit­tle brighter again.

I thought a lone tree would make a good fo­cal point. On a new layer, I went to Fil­ter > Ren­der > Tree, which en­ables you to gen­er­ate a con­vinc­ing tree within Pho­to­shop. I chose the Maple Tree shape and cre­ated a shapely of­fer­ing with no leaves. Once the tree shape was made, I filled it with black to make a sil­hou­ette and used Free Trans­form to scale it down to suit the im­age.

I now needed a sun in the shot, so I filled a new layer with black, se­lected the Screen Blend­ing mode and went to Fil­ter > Ren­der > Lens Flare. With the Move tool I placed the ‘sun’ close to the hori­zon.

2 To fin­ish, on yet an­other layer I added an eight-point star­burst ef­fect, all made with the Pen­cil tool and some Mo­tion Blur.

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