The making of ‘I love NY’

NOTE: I have used Adobe Photoshop Elements to make this image. If you're using a proper version of Photoshop, things will be slightly different.
In this tutorial I will teach you to make the image 'I love NY'. It will introduce you to simple cutting out and positioning.

Start off with the image you will be positioning yourself (or anyone else) in. I used this image of New York city I found on Wikipedia.

NY tut 1

Next, find a picture of yourself. Cut yourself out using the polygon lasso tool. Also, you might want to adjust the colour so that the image blends into your background image a little better. The image I used of myself was taken in artificial light and so looked very yellow. In Elements, you can go Enhance>Adjust Color>Color Cast. I don't know what that is in a proper version of Photoshop.

NY tut 2

Position the image of yourself onto your background image as shown. Make sure you put it on a new layer.
NY tut 3

Select the brush tool and use a grey colour to create a cloud of dust around your feet. Use several different shades, brush sizes and brush opacities to give the cloud depth.

NY tut 4

If the cloud should be obscured by anything, use the polygon lasso tool to select those areas and delete them. You can touch it up with the eraser tool. 

NY tut 5

Now to create the shadow. Select the layer witht the image of yourself on it. Duplicate the layer and put it behind the original. Use themove tool to position it on the surface you want the shadow to be cast on. Make sure to check which direction the light is naturally coming from.

NY tut 6

Go Enhance>Adjust Brightness/Contrast>Levels. In a real version of Photoshop, this might be slightly different. Drag the left slider all the way to the right. You should have something that looks like this.

NY tut 7

Set the opacity down. I used a value of about 50% for mine, but just do whatever looks good.

NY tut 8

Go FIlter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and use a radius of about 10. The gloomier the picture, the bigger the blur you want to use (the more overcast the sky, the more diffuse the sunlight and so the more diffuse the shadows).

Once you have done that, use the free transform tool to transform any parts of the shadow you want to make it look more realistic. Image>Transform>Skew is particularly useful. I skewed the right side of the shadow down as shown.

NY tut 9

Erase any parts of the shadow that should not be visible. You are almost done!

All that remains is for you to add anything you think might enhance the image. I wanted to add a New York taxicab, for effect. First, I found an image of a yellow taxi, also from Wikipedia.

NY tut 10

I pasted it in on a new layer and positioned it how I wanted it. I used the polygon select tool to remove the part my fingers should be obscuring so it looked like I was holding it.

NY tut 11

And that's it! you're done. Any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment.

This is my final product:

I love NY


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  1. * Kel says:

    Hey that looks really great! thanks for the tutorial 🙂

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 3 months ago

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