Creating water reflection in Photoshop CS6

I was having a bit of fun in my Photoshop CS6, aside the usual work. Was working on a picture of me standing with my hands up, against the magnificient buildings structure. Was checking out the Filter functions and an idea struck me, bang!!

It dawn on me, realize how photographers capture beautiful reflection from the sea water, lake or pond. All along i know is half fake because the reflection is not suppose to be sharp and clear. Hence, i never pay too much attention how it was created, although i did had an idea how to put it together, but i never once attempt. Until i just discovered a way to make it realistic.

It ain’t that difficult actually. Hence am going to share with you a 10-easy-steps tutorial to achieve this result without water in the picture.

1) Have 2 same files opened up in photoshop. Make sure the file names are different from the same folder.

2) Select 1 file, proceed to Image -> Canvas Size. A canvas window will appear. In the New Size column, i change to pixel (for my easy reading). Current Size column will automatically change to Pixels format

3) Adjust the Anchor as seen in the sample below, set the Height similar to the Current Size pixels

4) Click OK in the Canvas Size box to duplicate a canvas below.

5) Proceed to the other file, go to Image -> Image Rotation of 180 degree -> Flip Canvas Horizontal

6) Copy and paste the image into the other image with canvas created earlier, adjust the image to fit in properly using the Move Tool

7) Here is the fun part, proceed to Filter->Distort->Ripple
A Ripple box appear. Move the slider left and right to your liking and have a feel how it looks like for your ‘water reflection’. I set it at 100%, Size is set in medium

8) This is the ripple result i wanted. There is a line of ‘chipped off’ at the bottom of the image, that is because the picture was altered during the previous process. You can clone or crop it away, if you decided to stop at this stage. If not proceed to step 9

9) Ideally for me to make it even more realistic. In the same layer, go to Filter->Blur->Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 90 degree. I reduce the Distance to around 10-15 pixels to achieve Motion Blur effect

10) Flatten the layers, and you got yourself a beautiful water reflection picture.

I hope you loved my photoshop tutorial, if there is anything unclear do drop me an email. Writing this tutorial is really no easy matter. I truly appreciate those free tutorials i had seen online. Those people that put in the many hours of effort to share their knowledge with the world, kudos to all of them!


Photoshop for work

Whether is shooting for Singapore company annual report or corporate client. It so happen recent images capture were required to superimposed into a cleaner background for design purposes. Here i am sharing one of the image i worked on to show you the before and after effect. I was working on a cover page for L’oreal Singapore for their internal newsletter few weeks back. I was required to capture a group picture in a more lifestyle pose for the client. The challenge is group picture usually is do in horizontal format. However due to the design of the magazine the client requested a vertical shot with plenty of headroom. Arrange everyone in the best possible way to look lifestyle inside a training room.

After which image was decided to edit. I need to transform the background to a clean look so the designer can work on the wordings around the space given to give the best look. There are a few ways to superimposed the images nicely. In Photoshop software, i was using MASKING method, easily brush off the unwanted for general background, but the challenge of brushing the edges is the most painful part. The constant need to zoom in to check whether did it “spill” over the subject to achieve the edge out effect. I recently give up on using masking since my editing requires to edit so many people at one go.

I start to explore other method. There’s a tool call LASSO. Where you can outline the subject completely and paste it on a separate background. In the past i disliked using lasso as i don’t have patience to draw around the edges, one mistake and i need to start all over again. I start to explore other lasso tools such as magnetic and polygonal for fun, hoping to discover something. After various trial and error, polygonal lasso suits me the best, it goes in a straight line from one click to another, but i can adjust the line to suit the curve of the edges by clicking on the mouse to fit in nicely, brilliant i thought! The best part is takes about 5 mins to complete the process, depending on the size of the edge out.

Below is a sample of what i just explained. Hope you like it.