Tutorial by Ona  (wombat146)

Hey everyone, I am back with another tutorial for you, this time to show you how you can create a reflection . It’s quite easy and this effect can add some drama or interest to an otherwise ordinary photo.

Note about PSE versions: Earlier versions than PSE10 can be used for this technique but there is some masking involved so do a google search on free Layer Mask actions if you need to. Also, while the screen shots were done in PSE14, the steps and settings will be exactly the same for all other versions. If you any probs then please make sure to holler

Once again, you need to be selective with the type of photo you use for this technique. Some ideas would be: so look for something that can be reflected on a table top, maybe a vase of flowers; jumping or walking through a puddle of water; running on the beach near the water with a reflection on the wet sand…………….

The photo I am using is of my eldest granddaughter, running along a grassy sand dune at the beach…………… I wanted to make it look like she was running beside water


Okay let’s start:

Step 1. Open a blank new page in PSE

Step 2. Select a suitable photo. Look for something that has a darkish area at the bottom of the photo, preferably with a bit of space at the bottom as well. Carry out any editing that needs to be done first, like running an action, changing resolution etc. Then bring it across to your page.

Step 3. Duplicate the photo. Now go to Image>Rotate>Flip Layer Vertical – make sure you use this option NOT the Flip Vertical option, that will cause the entire layout to flip, not just the layer!

Step 4. Move the flipped photo layer to position it under the original layer in the layers palette. On your page make sure the edges touching, with no gap showing.

Step 5. Link these two layers together so you don’t accidentally move one of them (Select both layers and click the Link next to the Eye on the Layers Palette).

Your page and layers palette should be looking like this:

3 duplicated vertical
Step 6. Select Filter>Brush Strokes>Sprayed Strokes (make sure you are on the flipped photo layer). Move the sliders to their maximum point and double check that you have chosen Horizontal for Stroke Direction.

4 filter

After clicking OK your flipped photo layer should be looking blurry. If you want to blur it even further you can carry out Step 6 again if you like.

Step 7. As in real life, your reflections will be fairly strong at the point where it starts and then fade away to nothing and the quickest way is use a Linear Gradient.

Add a layer mask to your duplicated photo and then click on the mask in the layer palette to make it ‘active’ (a blue or white line will appear around it).Check that your colours are at the Default – Black foreground/White background.

Click the Gradient tool on the toolbar (1) below, select the Linear Gradient (2), select the Foreground to Transparent gradient (3) and that the Reverse is ticked (4).

5 gradient tool

Step 8. Working on the mask, you are now going to click and drag to draw a line in the direction you want the gradient to appear. In this case we are moving down the page, from top to bottom, hence the reason for ticking the Reverse option in the Gradient box. Starting point is the top of the duplicated photo and the finish point is higher than the bottom of the photo as shown. If you go too far or not enough you can just click and drag again. You can also use a large soft brush instead if you like.

6 drawing gradient

Keep the area where the photos join on the darker side and to add a more realism you could also use the Blur tool of the top of the duplicate/reflection photo layer and the bottom of the original photo layer, again just to blend the two together.

7 photo join

Step 9. Go on to scrapping the photo or else save it for future use. You can either save this as a PSD file to come back to later, or save it as a PNG file to keep the transparency – saving it as a jpeg will make the transparent area white which is not the effect you are after.

That’s it! A fun and easy way to create a reflection on your photo to give some extra ooomph!

** Please let me know if you have any questions!!