In this Photoshop Tutorial I'll show you how to create a surreal photo manipulation called "Sky Gate". We'll work with manipulating techniques, blending, masking, lighting, layer style and more. Resources needed:  Sky LINK Desert LINK Man LINK Door handle LINK Light 1 LINK Light 2 LINK Star brushes LINK    

By pureromance88, on July 20, 2012, under Photoshop Tutorials

Final Result Preview


Step 1

Create a new document and fill it with white. I use the size of 1000x1000 px.
Open desert stock. Take only the desert part and place it into our white canvas, use transform tool ( Cmd/Ctrl+T ) to make it fit:
I use a Hue/Saturation layer to reduce its saturation. Go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue/Saturation:



Step 2

Open sky stock. Take this part and place into our document, above the desert. Place this layer under desert one:
Add layer mask for sky layer and use black brush to remove its bottom part:


Step 3

On sky layer, use Rectangular Marquee Tool ( M ) to make a selection as shown below:
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate (copy) this selection into a new layer, call it "door 1". You will not see any changes in our picture. Now turn off sky layer:
On "door 1" layer, press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer with Clipping Mask for this door. Change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:
Use Dodge and Burn Tool with Midtones Range and Exposure about 30-40% to darken and brighten the edges and corners of this sky part ( door 1) to make a 3D look.
Normal mode:
Overlay mode (I turn on sky layer):


Step 4

Copy a left part of sky into a new layer as done with "door 1". Call it "door 2". As I want it to be opened so I use Cmd/Ctrl+T to make it a bit skew as the screenshot below shows:
Use layer mask and hard black brush to remove a small part on the right edge:
Call it "door 2".
Use Dodge and Burn Tool for this door on a separate layer ( Clipping Mask) as done with "door 1". My result:


Step 5

Now make a new layer under door ones. Use soft black brush with very small size to paint along the door 2 bottom to make a shadow:


Step 6

Duplicate door 1 layer and move it to the top. Go to Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical then move it a bit to the left:
Use layer mask to erase selected parts:


Step 7

Create a layer on the top. I use soft brush with color #98a7af to paint on the bottom right of door 1. Change the mode to Soft Light 100% to brighten this part:


Step 8

Extract the handle and place it at the right side of door 2:
I use two adjustment layers with Clipping Mask to change color of the handle.



Step 9

New layer (Clipping Mask) and use soft brush with color #ced2d5. Paint on some parts of handle to reduce highlights there. Set the mode as Multipy 100%:

Make a Levels layer ( Clipping Mask) and use soft brush with opacity about 50% on the mask of Levels layer to reduce brightness of the parts as shown:


Step 10

Create a new layer under handle one. Make a selection of a circle:
Go to Edit-Stroke:
Then double click this layer, choose Drop Shadow:
Name this layer "handle part 1".
Do the same for another part of this handle: