This photoshop project should only take you about 20 to 30 minutes to complete depending on your familiarity to photoshop. If you are brand new to photoshop don’t worry, you are in good hands with this very detailed step by step tutorial. No matter your skill level you should be able to rock out your own Night Fairy Garden pictures in no time.
You can use the photo above to practice on or use your own. This tutorial works either way. Just remember the better your original photo is the better the end result will turn out.
All right lets get started. Ive broken this down into 6 easy step with loads of photos to follow along with.
1. First thing you want to do with your photo is darken your background so it looks more like night. To do this and make it look more realistic use the Burn tool. Just click on the Burn tool and go up to your option bar where is says “Range”. Next to that you will have three option: Highlight, midtones, shadow. Click “Shadow” As you brush around the background this will darken only the darkest colors of your photos and leave the midtowns and highlight of your photos the same lightness. You may want to play with darkening using the other range options to get just the right look.
Tip: Make sure your edges of your photo are darker than the middle where the light from the fairies will hit, for a more realistic look.
2. Now we are going to give the photo a purple hew to it to give it that mysterious, magical feel. This is simply done by adding a purple square over your photo on a new layer with the rectangle tool.
2.2 Take your purple square layer and click on layers on your right hand side in the Pallets. Set the blending mode for this layer by clicking on the box next to the opacity and scroll down to “Color”. This will color anything below your purple layer that a purple hew. Now bring the opacity down on your purple layer to around 30% to get just the right look.
3. Now we get to do the really fun part. we get to add the fairy dust!
On a new layer select your brush tool and set your settings to a small round brush size with low hardness. You don’t want it too blurry when we add the other effects. Then go over to the Brush Presets. This is either located in your pallets section or you can go to Window>Brush Preset. Set your presets for this bush just like so…
Brush Tip Shape> Spacing: 600%
Shape Dynamics> Size Jitter: 100%
Scattering> Scatter: 325% Count:1 Count Jitter:80%
Transfer> Opacity Jitter: 60%
Then your brush tool should now be already set to make a beautiful natural looking fairy dust. You may need to play with the size a bit to get the right look.
4. Now we are going to turn that fairy dust into glowing magical fair dust. You can do this by double clicking on your fairy dust layer in the Layers Pallet. That should take you right to the Layer Style. First click on the Outer Glow. Adjust your Outer Glow option with a pretty purple color and adjust the size, opacity, and spread.
Tip:You can use my settings but each photo is different so you really should play with it to get just the right look for yourself.
5. Your photo is looking pretty magical now. But there are just a few more steps to take it to another level. We are going to add some warm glows and highlights to light up the little lady and the area around the fairies. On a new layer under your fairy dust layer use your brush tool to make some soft light glows. Select a soft brush with an opacity of 20% or lower. Select a soft yellow color and brush it around any light sources in your photo. I used mine on the lamp, fairies and where the light from my lamp should hit the surrounding area.
Set the blending mode to that Yellow Light layer to “Soft Light” in your layers pallet. (Next to the opacity box). Now duplicate that same Yellow Light layer and set the new layer blending mode to Normal and then bring down the opacity so that the light looks more natural.
Tip: Use the Dodge Tool on “highlights” to light up the dress, face and skin to give it that glow.
6. If you would like to give your entire photos a soft glow I have a quick technique for that. First duplicate all your layers and then merge them into one layer. You can do that by selecting all your layers than right clicking on it. Click Duplicate. Than select all the duplicated layers and right click on them and then select Merge Layers.
Take that new merged layer go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set a light radius blur to 2.5 or more and click ok. Then all you have to do is adjust the opacity of this layer to about 20% and it will set a lovely glow on your whole photo to give it a more glamorous and magical feel.