Once the clouds layer is ready, press Ctrl + T and drag the bottom line upwards, “compressing” the clouds into a smaller strap, about half of the canvas. Set the blending mode of the clouds layer to “Pin Light”. This way, you will only see the WHITE areas of the clouds and totally won’t see the black areas.
Move the clouds in a way that will allow the white areas in clouds to lay over the balloon, this way we can see that the balloons are actually floating somewhere in the area, partly obscured by the heavy sky… Use Eraser Tool with soft edge to remove any edges of the clouds layer once it’s moved and you can also duplicate that layer and make a few of them, so you will have more cloudy effect (which is what we have done).
Next, crop our beautiful Becca.
The cropping technique will not be explained here as being pretty much basic, but we want to emphasize that if you use our particular image, the cropping will be rather complicated, since at some points (such as arms) the contrast between skin and background is minimal, which makes the cropping rather difficult and we had to use a few steps to complete this task, first we used Polygonal Lasso Tool, them Magnetic Lasso Tool, them we “refine edges” as pictured below..
Place the girl unto the canvas, and desize her so she will fit in nicely..
To add our own contrast to the image, we want to make the clothes texture more visible, less dark areas yet without losing the overall contrast and juiciness of the image, so with the girl’s image selected, we went to Image >> Adjustments >> Curves, and created a custom curve that consists from 3 points, as pictured here:
Next we need a shadow underneath her legs. Draw a circle using the round shape tool and black color as your foreground Photoshop color. make sure it’s placed correctly underneath her feet and has an elliptical shape.
Resterize the layer and go to Filter >> Blur >> Gaussian Blur
Set the shadow’s opacity to Multiply 57%, and you will see that the shadow is mildly visible yet it is present and gives a more realistic illusion of the jump or fly in the air. Please also make sure that you place the shadow underneath the girl’s image!
Although most of the colors we used here blended in well and eventually created an organically looking picture, we still need to equalize the layers together. What some people do, and I used to do it myself in previous tutorials, is to merge all the layers, or even flatten the image, and then work on the colorization and the levels. This is very easy and perhaps will do the trick with most beginners, but even if you are not yet that much of a pro with Photoshop, you need to learn how to work with Layer Adjustments.
In your layers’ panel, you have a small icon below, that looks like Yin-Yang symbol.