The tonal range of the foreground rocks now match the rest of the image, but they also need some colour refinement. Clip another adjustment layer to the Levels – but this time select Color Balance. Set the midtone red to +16 and the blue to -32. Next, tick the Highlight box and set the blue to -14.
Next, we’ll fine-tune the colour range of the entire composition. Add a conventional Hue/Saturation adjustment layer at the top of the stack to affect all layers. Now use the Edit drop-down menu to set the reds to -67, the yellows to -29, the cyans to -44, and the blues to -18.
Drop an empty layer at the top, choose Image > Apply Image, then select the Blue channel from the drop-down menu. Set the layer’s blending mode to Multiply and its opacity to 90%, then name it ‘Blue channel multiply’. Add a mask and use a variety of soft-edged brushes to reveal the light source. You can paint directly on the mask and within layer-based selections from the ‘Girl’ and ‘Rocks’ – our mask is shown on the inset.
To finish, we’ll accentuate existing highlights on the model nearest the light source. Add a new layer set to Overlay labelled ‘Highlights’ and paint within a layer-based selection from the ‘Girl’ using a variety of white, soft-edged bushes at low opacity – this white layer is shown over black (for clarity) on the inset.
Who: Freelance illustrator and designer Mark Mayers is based in Cornwall. With more than 18 years’ experience, he can recall life before Macs and is a reformed technophobe. He has won awards including MetalFX Designer of the Year.
Software: Adobe Photoshop
Time to complete: 2 hours