March 19, 2020

Water Reflections in Photoshop | F.I.R.S.T. Quick Tips

Enhance your nature photos with this popular and easy effect! Smooth out a body of water and turn its surface into mirror for a dreamy and eye-catching image.


Duplicate the Layer

In the “Layers” panel, drag your image down to the bottom to the “New Layer” button. This will quickly duplicate your original image.

Select the rectangular marquee tool (M on the keyboard) and click and drag to select the top of the photograph, where the land meets the water. Now, click the Mask button on the layers panel. Although it may look like nothing has happened, you’ve essentially cropped the image on the second layer.

On the toolbar, select Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. Now your image should look like a perfect mirror, although the effect is a little rough. We can clean this up by selecting the brush tool (B on the keyboard), changing its properties so that is has a large size, zero hardness, and an opacity around 30 percent.

You can now “paint” the texture of the water back into the image. Your brush is reducing the opacity of the second layer, revealing the original layer underneath!

Finally, you can soften the edges of your mask by adjusting the “Feather” slider on the right side of the screen. You can also move the image to make sure the coastline is completely level!