Photo Manipulation in Photoshop: Introduction to Creating Surreal Imagery | Felicia Simion | Skillshare

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Photo Manipulation in Photoshop: Introduction to Creating Surreal Imagery

teacher avatar Felicia Simion, Photographer and digital artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Background and environment

    • 3. Figure

    • 4. Levitation and texture

    • 5. Light and color

    • 6. Final touches

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About This Class


Welcome to my Skillshare class! I am excited to share with you my process for capturing and creating ephemeral, atmospherical photos. Students will take their photography to a new level, nurture imagination, and learn to combine real with fictional. This type of photo manipulation work is often used in book cover design, illustrating album covers, and elements for interior decoration.

I’ve been an artist and photographer since I can remember. My work involves taking various figure and environmental photos and manipulating them to create an image that evokes a distinct feeling grounded in a place.


What You'll Learn

I’ll teach you my photo manipulation process in Photoshop and provide some tips in achieving your desired look.

  • Background and Environment. I will discuss how a simple background is essential to this creative process.
  • Figure. I will teach how to create a “levitation” posture with your figure, as if the body is flying – “no gravity” style.
  • Texture. We will explore some layering techniques to achieve different textures for your image.
  • Light and Color. I will teach you some techniques for exploring your concept through texture, light and color.
  • Final Touches. You will learn how to critique and perfect your work, and add finishing touches.

Students can either use found images or photographs they have captured for manipulation.


What You'll Do

I will walk students through creating an image depicting a figure in levitation in an environment. You will blend together different elements in nature to create a surreal atmosphere that evokes strong emotions.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Felicia Simion

Photographer and digital artist


For 6 years I have been exploring different areas of photography from conceptual to fashion to surreal to street photography. My works have appeared in various gallery exhibitions including The Center for Fine Art Photography, 1650 Gallery and Royal Geographical Society. I've recieved international photography awards such as Sony WPA, Travel Photographer of the Year, Metro Photo Challenge, Teen Photo Contest and Emerging Photographer of the Year.

Someone once told me that I press the shutter when God wants it pressed. I realized that photography is bigger than an ephemeral crotchet, it is beyond the crust of my soul and brighter than light itself. Art has made me a believer, a winner, a loser, a fighter, a dreamer, a doer, and above all- it has made me myself.

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2. Background and environment: - Hey, - guys, - welcome to my surreal photography course. - I'd like to thank you for joining it, - and I hope that you learn things that are both useful and fun. - First, - we're gonna talk about background and environment. - In order to create something inspirational, - you have to go out and explore to the beautiful place and test the environmental light. - The location you opt for can be an open field before summer storm, - which gives us an amazing sky, - a sunny side in the Green mountains, - a hidden and evocative place somewhere nearby, - the water or even an abandoned place. - By the end of this course, - we should be able to create a surreal image, - including delimitation posture, - a magical texture and some atmospherically collars. - Before starting the actual course, - I'd like to expand the background and environment subject. - As you may have noticed, - 99% of my shootings were taken outside with nature alike. - By practicing a different hours of the day, - you will get familiar with the sun and its influence upon our footers. - This will help a lot in choosing the right time to take your footers and developing your - concept. - The morning sun will create a sheer atmosphere and is suitable for sensitive and emotional - subjects that would lead you into a dreamy state. - Afternoon sun gives us a quite harsh light, - which works for strong and empowering concepts that may shock earlier or not. - The Sunset life may be perfect to reveal positive and motivational ideas, - while the dusk encourages concept, - which are rather dark and inspire fear, - sadness, - loneliness and so on. - As for the environment, - in my case, - toe work with passion in our satisfaction, - I always look for in crowded places where I can find my inspiration and feel free to ask - the model to do whatever comes to my mind. - Very legal things. - Of course. - I think photography is best on when you're comfortable with the situation you're handling - and when there's no traffic or accused to interrupt the creation process in art, - being lonely may be of benefit from time to time. - I'd like to give you some of my own tips before starting the photo shoot. - Usually, - inspiration comes spontaneously to me. - Well, - I have to do is one have a character to walk around and study the places three. - Find a beautiful spot, - although spot that no one else may have noticed Gazit it for some minutes and try to - imagine different situations that will later photograph. - This is how I sometimes order my ideas inside my mind. - If I leave home with a specific and ideal notion of how we should all turn out, - it's almost sure that it's not gonna happen the way I imagine it. 3. Figure: - the next topic recovering is figure. - We'll find an object for the models, - pose, - arranges and then find models equilibrium in. - Most of my surreal photo manipulations are used a bench in the park like here, - for example, - where the model may sit comfortably. - However, - as it is a large object, - it may be more difficult to work with it in post procession. - Another option would be a chair. - This is an example of a very quick to added photo, - as the object is quite small and the models pose can be easily adjusted to it. - A large chair was used for this photo, - which also required another person has help. - You really don't want your model to break their back or something. - This last shooting also contains the further will be manipulating during the course. - Here is the actual image before it was post processed, - and here is how it looks. - After we applied the editing techniques in the following videos, - I believe that oppose makes 50% of the photo. - You may have an outstanding background in the perfect like conditions, - but if the model does not feed into the photo and it's not gonna come out, - the way it should. - Myers of photography. - I almost never had a professional model during the photo shoot, - but the reason why the models and I got so well together and managed to get the right post - is that 90% of the characters in my pictures are my friends or my relatives. - I think that knowing the person you're gonna work with is an essential condition to make it - happen. - To show the right emotions you want to convey in the right environment. - If you and the model connect want to another than the figure in the background. - Also connect. - Try to search for natural emotions and don't make you look uncomfortable during a photo - shoot. - Tell funny thing. - Stopped the model and let him or her. - No, - they're doing great. - There has to be a bond between you and the model. - Otherwise, - the result was seem kind of artificial. - I consider the shootings is being little trips with a camera around my neck. - Don't panic, - Don't sweat. - Just keep it simple and remember that the best shots are the ones you take with your heart - . - The eyes are just a connector. - You have to feel the art and let it pierce through your consciousness. - Don't create unless you feel like creating. - Be brave and let your imagination grow wider than the sun. 4. Levitation and texture: - in this chapter, - we learn about levitation and texture. - First will remove the unnecessary elements. - Then we'll find a nice texture to fit our concept and bland it in photo shop. - Please remember that this is just my approach in terms of cost processing, - which may definitely be difference to others. - I have been working in photo shop sees three ever since I started taking photos, - but feel free to use any other version. - Okay, - here we have the original file and we'll start by removing the so called support for a - levitation post, - Start selecting parts of the background and paste them over the unwanted areas. - Repeating this until they're covered. - Also used the laser tool to select freeform areas and take similar actions. - I got a flat in the image and choose the spot healing brush to to correct various parts on - the background so that it looks less manipulated. - Play with it until you get a nice result. - - Now - back to the lay. - So too will work with the hair so that it looks old clean, - copy and face desired area. - You may want to use a different blandy move than the normal one in this case, - a dark and mood in the history option. - Choose a newer state of a photo and use the history brush to make some adjustments on the - hair. - You may alternate the history brush with the spot healing brush in order to obtain a fair - look. - What we're doing next is trying to find a handsome texture for our photo manipulation. - For this one, - I to some snowflake textures, - taking a fairytale like winter. - Here's the wanna chose. - After all, - we're gonna pace it onto our image in photo shop and opt for a suitable blending mode. - This can be the screen mode, - which blends beautifully on the photo. - Just move it around a photo until you get the perfect position. - We can adjust the brightest in contrast of highlight or fate of texture. - Oh, - so parts of it may be erased with the spot healing brush. - For a more dreamy look, - we may add a black and white radiant on the screen on hard light mode, - setting the opacity the way we like it best. - We can do the separation multiple times deciding how much of the photo will be covered in - light and how this will emphasize our constant 5. Light and color: - Our next topic is light and color. - We'll see how to give the photo on the there. - Oh, - magical look. - With only a few adjustments, - we're gonna play around with a selective color to adjusting the reds, - the yellows, - the white sore. - I chose to give the photo of bluish tone, - as I often use it in my colorization. - I think it kind of gives us fantasy aspect. - However, - you may speak another main color, - which would better describe the atmosphere you want to imply. - Now back to the Grady in to this combination of orange and purple is really appealing to me - as it relieves the magical appearance of the photo. - Try using it perhaps in a radio, - Grady and on a surgeon portion of the image with tools like curves in a black and white - radiant, - can adjust the brightness in the Contras to make the photo manipulation look much more - powerful and storytelling. - - We - can also use the Dodge tool on the highlight mode, - painting around various areas that we want to accent wait like the body, - the chair etcetera. - When we use the black radiant on the burn mode, - we can add a nice Veena Tinto our image. - Other radiant may be placed on the photo to make it look more balanced. - Use the brush with background quarters to bring out the mystery and take her for the - manipulation closer to a painting. 6. Final touches: - This is the last chapter which contains the final touch. - I believe that before finishing her artwork, - you must be 100% sure about the composition. - Two colors. - You may or may not add a bit more fantasy to your photos. - Please notice my hilarious year coming out of my hair. - You may choose to take it away with the spot healing brush, - or you can turn it into an elf here, - like I picked to do for this, - we will use the liquefy to, - which is a pretty quirky adjustment. - Well, - I've never seen an elf in my entire life, - but this is how I pictured easier. - Well, - kind of. - Once again, - you can leave photo like it was before, - or you can add your own magical touch to it. - No, - let's have a look at what we used to create it. - First aerial time. - One. - A simple background. - Further photo. - I chose, - um, - grass and trees in the foreground, - which I found during the trip to the marriages to a wood chair as a support for the Post - three. - Some clothes to fit our concept in the red mask as a proper for someone to hold the model - and make sure they don't fall on the ground. - Now our photo looks like this in photo shop. - We used a few basic tools to make our photo manipulation to, - such as the selection tools retained. - Remark it tool and laser to the spot. - Healing Brush the history. - Brush the Grady into tool. - The Dodge Tool, - the painting brush, - brightness and contrast. - Selective color, - radiant incurs. - There we go. - This is our final image, - so we made our model levitate out of the broom. - Sickle snowflakes, - texture, - change the colorization and built in l fear in just a few steps. - If there's anything that you didn't understand, - please feel free to ask and the answer as well as I can until the next time. - Don't forget around the streets. - Walk the forest. - Allers. - Find time to just sit and watch the sky piece of Golden League or eat some snow. - I promise it'll all end in ideas from new photographs. - All you have to do is think of something beautiful, - and beauty will come to you. - My true wishes that you find the scores both an inspiration and motivation for creating. - Then I will know that my work here was done