Night Horse Background

Step 1.

I collect the stock images I am going to use for my manipulation. All stock used in this tutorial was purchased from Big Stock Photo I use photoshop CS4 and a Wacom Bamboo Fun graphic tablet.
Here you can see the images I chose;

1) Horse

2) Space

3) Meadow

4) Horsehead Nebula

As you can see there is still some of the horses original background left over, so I will use the pen tool to cut the rest of the background out of the horse. I also used the clone stamp tool to remove the horse’s halter. Also if the horse is too small or big for the background I would use the free transform tool. (Edit > Free Transform) to position the horse. In the picture below you can see the free transform tool (the box around the horse.) Once you have made your changes with the free transform tool, hit enter on your keyboard and the box goes away. You can also see the other changes I made as mentioned in this step.

Then I paste the nebula and moon onto background. To do this open each image then I press ctrl + a on the keyboard to select the whole image, then go to the background and horse and press ctrl + v, repeating this step for the next image. At this point the colours don’t match and they are arranged quite messily, so I will use the free transform tool again to arrange the images.

Because I am going to blend the nebula into the grassy paddock, the moon and horse layers are a bit of a distraction, so I will turn the horse and moon layer to ‘invisible.’ To do this I go to the layers panel and find the horse layer. I click the ‘eye’ as circled in red on the preview below. If I was to click the box where the eye was, the image will re-appear. Then I will repeat this step for the moon layer.

Step 2.
We now have the grassy background and the purple nebula. We can clearly see that it is two images, so I will blend it so the grass fades into the sky.
To do this I will add a layer mask to the nebula. To do this I select the layer I want to add a layer mask to, in this case the nebula layer.
Once I have selected my layer I select the circle surrounded by a square in the layers panel. (See circled image below.) This will then add a white layer on the right of my selected layer, as seen in the second preview below.

Click on the white layer. On the left in your tools panel the colours circled in red should change to black and white. If not, change them.

Then I select the brush tool and change my brush to one of the default soft round brushes. I make sure the colour is black, then I ‘brush’ over the bottom of the image. If I make a mistake, I change the colour to white, and using the soft brush I can bring the image back. But make sure you have the ‘white layer mask’ selected when you use the brush on the image. The image below how my blending turned out.