You’ve taken a stunning portrait in the studio, but now have grand visions of it with a sweeping sunset landscape, bustling city, or even underwater scene. Sometimes shooting these in the real world just aren’t an option, so you have to take matters into your own hands. In this tutorial, we will show you how to take your studio shot and merge it with a landscape of your choice.
Start by opening two images in Photoshop – a portrait with a subject you’ll cut out, and background you will place them into.
This is the portrait we choose, it should be easy to remove her from the white background as it provides contrast.
She will be placed in this background.
Use your favorite selection tool to make a selection of your model. For this tutorial, I used the magic wand tool. Once your model is selected, create a layer mask by clicking on the small rectangular icon with the circle in the middle of it, located in the bottom right corner.
You’ll see a small, black box pop up in the layer panel and the background of the portrait will fall away.
Next you will drag the whole masked layer to the new image like so.
Now the masked layer is sitting on the background.
Next we need to make her look like she belongs in the background. By using the same layer mask as the portrait, we are able to use a Hue/Saturation Adjustment to make her black and white to match the background.
Next you will copy a layer of your model, and fill it with black. Hold ( Command + T ) and click on the bounding box and click distort. This way you are able to layer the black layer down to create a shadow.
Next you will blur the shadow so it looks similar to the other long shadows in the image. Use filter -> Gaussian Blur and adjust pixel radius accordinaly.
The next step will to use the existing mask to add a curves layer to the portrait to make her brightness level closer to the scenes.
See something fishy? It’s missing the grain of the original image.
To add grain, go to Filter -> Add Noise and drag the amount slider until it matches the existing image.
Next you will need to darken the her right side to fit the lighting in the original image. Use the original mask and make a new curves layer and paint the right side dark.
Next, you will do the same setup, but paint the left side to add a highlight from the sun hitting her down the city street. This will be a thinner selection since only her edge would be highlighted by the sun.
And you’re done!