Time is an important factor to consider when taking photographs. An early start enables you to capture a warm, low sun that casts long raking shadows over the landscape, and which bring out the contours and textures of the land. Seasonal changes can make a dramatic difference, too.
Our original shot (above) was taken in the summer and features a spectrum of lush green throughout the image’s shadows, midtones and highlights. The same scene will look dramatically different in the autumn as the dying leaves turn a rich range of russet reds and browns.
Instead of waiting for the seasons to change, you can use Photoshop’s tools and commands to give your shots a seasonal makeover. It’s a simple job to adjust the image’s hue and shift the colours from a summer colour palette to an autumnal one.
You can also give the shot a romantic feel by using the Gradient Tool to add an early morning mist to the scene. Here’s how it’s done…
01 Open image file
Open your start image. Choose Window>Layers to open the Layers palette. Click on the Create Adjustment Layer icon at the top of the Layers palette (or at the bottom of the palette if you’re using Photoshop CS). Choose the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer option from the list.
02 Adjust the hue
In the Hue/Saturation window, go to Edit and change the drop-down menu to Yellows to target and change a specific range of colours. Drag the Hue slider left to a value of -38. Change the Greens Hue to -82 to turn the foliage and grass a more autumnal russet brown.
03 Selective adjustment
In autumn the grass will still be green when the leaves turn red. To restore some green to the grass select the Brush tool (B). Set Size to 400 pixels and Opacity to 21%. Click on the Adjustment Layer’s masks and spray over the grass to restore some of its original colour.
04 Create a graduated sky
Click Edit in the Options bar, choose the Foreground to Transparent preset and click OK. Click the Linear Gradient icon. Set the foreground colour to black. Create a new layer and draw a gradient from the top down. Set the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay. Reduce Opacity to 75%.
05 Morning mist
Create a new layer called ‘Mist’. Press X to swap the black foreground colour to white. With the Gradient tool, click on the Reflected Gradient icon. Click-and-drag the Gradient tool down the middle of the image to create a band of mist. Set Opacity to 51%.
06 Mask the mist
Create a Levels Adjustment Layer and drag it below the ‘Mist’ layer. Place the cursor between the two layers and hold Alt to activate a clipping group icon. Click OK. Target the Adjustment Layer’s mask then spray a black brush (Opacity 21%) over the foreground tree.
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