How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful
 By T W I   •   26th Dec 2012   •   4,625 views   •   1 comments
How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

Software: Photoshop Elements 7 | Skill level: Intermediate

While in an equine photo manipulation, the horse is the focal point of the image, a gorgeous background can add much to the overall impact of your creation. Here are several tips and tricks to get that dreamy, beautiful background that you’ve always wanted.

First, pick out an appropriate background stock from a site like DeviantArt. Make sure the background’s lighting matches that of the horse’s. Now, we need to determine what color scheme we are aiming for. Right now the background is composed of mostly blues and greens. I’m going to change mine to a golden-purpley color, hinting at a sunset scene.

The first step of background editing is to blur the part of the image in the distance. I describe the process in another tutorial here:

How To Effectively Blur Horse Manipulations

Once that step is finished we can finalize the softening process that ensures that the image is as dreamy as possible. Duplicate the background layer and put the duplicate on the layer mode ‘soft light’. Pull the opacity of that layer down to 40%, or whatever strength you think it looks best at. Merge the layers.

Duplicate the layer again. Press the key ‘D’ to change the colors back to default (black and white) to ensure this step works. Go to filters - distort - diffuse glow. Now play around with the sliders until the image looks something like mine. You can use the setting I used, or do you own to get a slightly different effect.

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

Hit ‘okay’. Pull the opacity of the second layer, the one we just applied the filter to, down to 50%, or whatever you prefer.

Now it’s time to work on the colors! To start, we’ll head over the quick menu (circled below). Pull the ‘temperature’ slider (circled) to the right, towards the red side. Only pull it slightly, as this is a very powerful tool. Just a bit is enough to immediate change our image to a sunset-colored effect. If you’d like, you can also pull the tint slider a bit to the right towards the purple slide, but be even more conservative with this slider than the temperature one.

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

In the following steps I’m going to teach you three of my most coveted tricks that always ensure a stunning background!

Create a new layer. Choose a purple-ish color. Make sure it is very light-toned, and towards the grey side, as shown below. Fill that layer with the chosen color using the brush tool. Change the layer mode ‘color burn’ and pull the opacity down to around 15-25%. This will give the image even more contrast, but in a different way than duplicating the layer and putting it on ‘soft light’ did - it will also change the color of the image’s shadows to a richer purple which never fails to delight me.

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

Go onto DeviantArt or a similar stock site and search for “bokeh pack“. Don’t choose a bokeh that has a lot of black in the background, but rather something like my favorite pack (linked below). I’ve drawn arrows towards some that I think might work. If you don’t want to find your own, you can just use the one I’m using for the tutorial, which happens to be my very favorite, found here -

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

Download the the pack and choose a bokeh that has colors similar to the color you are trying to give the image. I used a purple and yellow one for this first step. Open it in photoshop and copy it. Then paste it overtop of the image we’re working on. Blur it using filter - blur - Gaussian blur. Blur it about 30 pixels.

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

Set the layer mode to ‘soft light’ or ‘overlay’, depending on what looks best to you. I put mine on ‘overlay’ and pulled the opacity down to 70%.

You can repeat these steps with up to 3-4 bokehs total. I also put a beautiful yellow and orange bokeh on, which you can see the effect of the final product (top before/after image). I put the yellow-orange bokeh on ‘overlay’ and the opacity on a mere 25%.

To finish, I made a new layer and with a fuzzy black brush (size 900 pixels, opacity 40%) and painted the lowest portion of the image, making the black heavier as a got near the bottom. Then I pulled the opacity down to 35%. And that’s all there is to it!

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful

How To Edit A Background From Boring To Beautiful
Horse News More In This Category:  Graphics      Horse News More From This Author:  T W I
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Thank you T W I, we always enjoy your graphic tutorials!
  Dec 28, 2012  •  4,673 views
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