Layer 1- This was the original photo, taken at Anime Expo. Not very good, right?
Layer 2- Copy Layer 1.
So I fixed the brightness and contrast to make the photo not as washed out and to make it look overall better. After this step, we can begin on making the atmosphere.
Layer 3- Copy Layer 2.
Using "levels", I made this layer darker. Then, I used a really large, soft, eraser brush to erase the middle to give it a vignette.
*This puts the focus on the cosplayers and also is the base for the dark, creepy atmosphere.
Layer 4- Make a new transparent layer.
I filled this layer with a rustic red colour. Then I changed the layer to "Soft Light" with an opacity of 50% to warm up the picture. You can also stop here if you want to keep your photo simple.
Layer 5- Make a new transparent layer.
Using the gradient tool, I made a gold/black radial gradient at the bottom right hand corner. I set this layer to "Soft Light".
*This is to make the artificial light source that implies there is a candle/lantern out of frame to give the impression this picture was taken indoors.
Layer 6- Make a new transparent layer.
I changed the gradient tool so that it went from red to transparent. Set the layer to "Soft Light". I added this gradient to the top corners and the bottom edge to give it more of the famous Amnesia sinister look.
*I've used this layer technique for the glow of the shadow in my other photos.
Layer 7- Here is where I added the "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" logo. Because it is white, I knocked down the opacity so it didn't distract from the picture.