Learn how to make a perfect image reflection on a wavy water in Photoshop, by nature water is reflective so if an object is standing at an angle facing water (ocean, river, lake etc) definitely you should see the reflected image of that object right in the water. many photographers want to capture this magic beauty and add to their work collection.
What if you have an image already without a water reflection and you do ask yourself, can i make one digitally? the answer is yes you can! and right here am about to teach you how to make one, there are lot of tutorials out there on this topic but this particular one is a bit different cause i will make you understand something important and that is ”the different between a clear and calm water reflection and a wavy water reflection”
if you see a reflected image in a clear and calm water it always appear settle and focus while a wavy water gives you an unsettle and blur reflection so in this tutorial i will teach you how to make a perfect image reflection on a wavy water, just follow this step by step tutorial and you will be on your way in making cool and awesome water reflection. okay, enough talk lets jump right into this amazing tutorial.
Original photo by lucas-franco on unsplash
Step 1. Import your Original Image File into Photoshop.
Open Photoshop and simply drag and drop your image into the work-space or double click on the work area and you will be taking to a new window where you can chose your image and import, once you have your image in Photoshop double click on the layer to rename it so your image layer can be converted from a background layer to a regular layer.
Step 2. Enlarge the Canvas to Accommodate the Water Image.
If your original image do not have enough space to mask out and place a water image what you can do is to increase the size of your canvas, the quickest way to do this is by using the crop tool. head over to the tool bar and select the crop tool use it to crop out of the image so you can create room for the water image. now drag and drop your image and position it in that space you just created and re position it layer below the original image layer so it does’t overlap the image.
Step 3. Make a Copy of the Original Image.
Next step is to make a copy of the original image by simply right clicking on the layer and select Duplicate from the menu, a dialogue box will appear, here you can rename the layer, when done click ok. re position the copy image right on top of the water image, make sure it align with the original and also bring it’s layer below the original one. now selection the image copy layer and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. this will turn the image upside down, now align it to fit in and change it’s blend mode to Overlay.
Step 4. Add Wave.
As you can see in the image above we have gotten a nice reflection but our goal is to make it look photo-realistic by adding a wave filter so it can match with the wavy water, to do this, just select the image layer and head over to Filter > Distort > Wave, a dialogue box will pop up here you can adjust the settings to match with the water wave when you’re done click ok.
Step 5. Apply a Blur Effect.
Okay we are almost done last thing to do is to apply a blur filter, the one i found most suitable for this kind of effect is the motion blur. so to add one simply select and head over to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, a dialogue box will appear here you have to adjust the settings to get the right effect, looking at the buildings in the image they all stand vertically therefore you have to set the Angle to 90 degree and distance between 20 to 25.
That’s it! you’re done.
If you follow the tutorial this far congratulations you have successfully learn how to make a perfect image reflection on a wavy water. want to learn more on Photoshop? download the Photoshop Fundamental from Start to Finish eBook.
Author: Godspower Oderhohwo
A passionate photo-editor, aspiring film-maker, still graphics designer and creative writer. always working hard to develop him self and also to help others in the art/media/photography industry.