Preview of Final Results
Step 1Download the Backgrounds pack and open in Photoshop the background number 5.
Double click on the layer to unlock it.
Flip the image horizontally (CTRL + T > Flip Horizontally).
Crop the part we want to be the base of our work.
Step 2We want to give to the background some contrast. Duplicate the background twice (CTRL + J).
Set the first duplicated background to Screen to enanche the lights.
Set the second to Multiply to enanche the shadows.
This is what you will have.
Step 3Extract the Lady from the background (I used the Quick Selection Tool + Refine Edges, but everyone has their own best method). I previously smudged the model skin, but this is not the aim of this tutorial and it doesn't affect the final result. Put her in a new layer above the backgrounds layers.
Step 4Now we have to blend the Lady with the Background.
I desaturated a bit the lady and removed some of brightness. To do that add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the Lady and set the Saturation to -19 and Lightness to -8.
Step 5Now we work on the colors. Add a Color Balance Adjusment Layer only to the Lady and put these settings:
Shadows > +14 +7 -16
Midtones > +11 +7 0
Highlights > +10 +5 -5
Step 6We want to blend more everything. Open the pack containing the bokeh and add the number 2 in a new layer above everything. Rotate it like in the picture below (CTRL + T).
Step 7Set the Bokeh to Soft Light. Opacity and Fill to 75%.
Step 8Add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer and choose the one you see below from the presets.
Step 9Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill to 80%.
Step 10Add another Gradient Map and set it like below.
Step 11Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill 80%.
Step 12Let's work now on shadows and lights.
First of all we need to make the background darker. Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer above the 3 backgrounds and put:
Brightness -54 and Contrast +48
Step 13Create a new layer below the Lady and paint with white below her, going out her edges.
Step 14Create a layer below the one you have just done. Pick the color #572e07. With the Gradient tool (linear - #572e07 to transparent) make a gradient like the image below.
Step 15Create a new layer below the one containing the bokeh texture and add the flying bird.
Step 16Add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the bird. Check 'Colorize' and put these settings:
Step 17Create a new layer over the Hue/Sat you edited in the previous step. Pick the color #ffe7ba and with a sofr round brush paint something like the image below.
Step 18Create a new layer above everything and paint with yellow tones some lights as shown before. (I used mostly #efd981, #f6d373 and #f6d373).
Step 19Create a new Layer and paint some light where shown below as you did in the previous step. I did it with color #fff3b0.
Step 20Create a new layer and we're going to do the same as before. This time we'll add some shadows. Pick a dark color from the background (not pure Black) and paint something like you see below in the image.
Step 21Create a new layer and fill it with 50% Gray (Edit > Fill > 50% Gray). Set the layer to Overlay. Now we have to Burn and Dodge. I used two different Range: Midtones and Highlights.
Burn: Range > Midtones, Exposure > 10% (It's where you see dark parts)
Dodge: Range > Midtones, Exposure > 10% (It's where there is white)
Where you see lighter white I used Dodge with same settings but putting Range: Highlights. Below you can see where I painted shadows and lights.