I wanted to try my hand at making composites of landscapes, and here's the result. I've never done anything like it before, and while difficult, it was definitely a fun challenge. I'm not too sure about the color effects I ended up using, but I did like how the mountains naturally were producing a subtle rainbow tone...at the same time I did want it to look "finished," hence the subtle split toning. This was also my first try at doing fog - I'm not the happiest with how it turned out, as it isn't exactly what I was going for, but it doesn't look bad. I'm just happy the shadows ended up looking accurate! If you try doing this too, definitely remember to add shadows to added objects.
The post processing on this image after I created the composition wasn't too much, despite what you see here. I popped the tiniest bit of contrast using curves, and the rest I used dodge and burn layers for a more precise contrast control. You can do this by creating a new layer of 50% gray, painting dodge on it with white and burn on it with black, and setting the layer to soft light or overlay depending on which looks nicer.
After the contrast adjustments, I created a new layer set to Color and painted on the mountains using pinkish purple, teal, and yellow, to bring out the fantastical rainbow colors that are already there. Real simple stuff. Then, to give the whole thing a bit of an aged quality - that look that is somehow warm and desaturated but also so colorful - I added a gradient map with a dark dark purple in the shadows and a gold in the midtones and highlights. I set the opacity to something quite low. For a final touch, I unsharped masked using a large radius and then a smaller one to bring out larger and smaller details respectively in the image.
Here's the composite before any sort of editing:
As you can see I also used the warp tool to shrink the woman a little bit, as I felt she was proportionally too large for this image to seem realistic (not that total realism is my goal - but images do have to make sense even in the imagination!). I'd love to try this with a portrait sometime. If you have a portrait of yourself you'd like to be manipulated like this, feel free to send it to me!