Step 11:

Add a Layer Mask to the pattern layer to control how much of the rainfall is visible.

Step 12:

The hands need a slight adjustment, as they should be lighter to match the amount of light in the clouds. Add a Curves adjustment layer to the hands layer, making sure it is clipped to the hands layer. Adjust the lightness on the RGB curve and the blue curve as shown.

Step 13:

The clouds need to appear as if they are being squeezed close to the hands. The Liquify filter is the perfect tool for this. Identify the area that needs to be squeezed, then go to Filter > Liquify. Use the Pucker tool and press in short bursts to achieve the effect. Repeat the process on various parts of the cloud where the clouds and hands meet.

Step 14:

Finally, the hands are mingling with a lot of cloud of different densities, so we would expect to see various patterns of light and shadow over the hands. Add a Pattern Overlay layer style to the hands layer, and from within the default pattern set, choose the clouds swatch. Apply the settings displayed.

Now you're ready to check out part 2.

Digit recommends

This article was extracted from Surreal Digital Photography by Barry Huggins – a Digit highly recommended read – available now at a retail price of £17.95 from ILEX, the digital creative’s publisher of choice.

Surreal Digital Photography takes you behind the scenes with some of the leading exponents of this fledgling art form. As the experts take the lid off the digital trickery that underlies so many of the images we see every day, learn how to manipulate, edit, enhance, and combine digital images to produce fantastic results.

From photo-editing tricks to complex digital montages, Surreal Digital Photography offers the inside track on digital special effects, and will help you take your work to a whole new level.

Barry Huggins runs Matrix Training, his own training and consultancy company in London, where he specializes in graphics and multimedia. He is also author of ILEX’s Creative Photoshop Lighting Techniques.

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