02. We’re going to use the Brush tool with a layer mask to cut out the model: select Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. With the foreground colour set to black and the layer mask active, start painting with a variety of small and large soft brushes until the background is completely removed – zoom in for greater accuracy. This takes time but the advantage is that the mask is totally editable – which is handy if you need to make changes at a later stage. Reposition the woman in the right-hand bottom corner of the document.
03. Open the background image you downloaded at the start and drag and drop it into the new canvas. Resize the image (Edit > Transform > Scale > 150%) and position it, then add a layer mask (Select Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All). Now we’re going to use a large, soft brush (about 400 pixels, 30% opacity) to remove the top of the image – paint on the mask until it looks something like the screenshot above.
04. Next we’re going to add some shadows and highlights around the model to create some depth and drama. With the background layer still active, select the Dodge tool with the range set to Midtones, and the exposure set to 37%. Using a soft, 200-pixel brush, start highlighting around the legs and arm area. Now, using the Burn tool set to Midtones and the exposure set to 26%, use a soft brush size of about 165 pixels to add a darker tone around the underside of the model. I’ve shown the affected areas here with a marquee.