Children often consider the mirror to be a mystical and mysterious object. “What if this is not my reflection, but another person who looks exactly like me !?” The idea that a mirror is a window into an alternate reality sounds funny. In this lesson we will try to embody this idea in an interesting project in which children and adults can participate together!
This lesson is designed so that children and parents can work together. Start with a joint project planning, explain the idea to the child and inspire him to create an interesting concept to reflect. My daughter wanted her adventurer to be in her reflection! We liked this idea. In the “reality” she will correct her glasses with her hand, and in a fantasy reflection hold binoculars.
This is a fairly simple lesson, but it can be a very fun pastime and allow you and your children to create a creative photo collage. Perhaps, having seen the final result, your child will have new ideas. But the main goal of the lesson is to have fun!
1. Photo preparation
The most difficult task of this lesson is to find a suitable place for a snapshot! Usually, the largest mirrors hang in the bathrooms, but these rooms are too small to install the correct lighting or to find a suitable shooting angle.
Using a tripod can make it easier to combine several photos, but this is hardly possible, since the room is too small for such luxury. If you have the same problem, you will have to hold the camera in your hand. Try to make each shot from the same angle.
Pick a good place to take a reflection. It is very important to find the right angle. The reflection in the mirror should be clearly visible, but part of the “real” world should also be present in the picture. First take some test shots before trying your child’s patience!
My daughter has a favorite, so we decided to use it for a picture with a reflection. The critical point is that the reflection is clearly visible, and none of its parts overlap. You may have to practice a little posing, so be patient. If your child gets tired while working on the project, it will be noticeable in the photo!
The next step is to change the costume and create a few more shots. Help your child portray such a reaction, as if he was greatly surprised by what he saw in the reflection. For me, the most difficult was to achieve such an angle that the position in the “real” world coincided with the position in the reflection, while the audience could see the expression on the girl’s face.
2. File preparation
Now it’s time to move to Photoshop and prepare photos to create a collage. For the most part, all the preparation will involve opening two files in Photoshop, a little retouching and adjusting the necessary lighting.
Open the picture with the “reaction”. This will be the base picture of our project. Remember that the work will go much easier if you select a photo in which the entire surface of the reflection in the mirror is not blocked by anything.
It is best to start work with lighting correction. To do this, go Image – Adjustments – Curves (Image – Correction – Curves) and adjust the curve so that one nodal point touches the upper border of the histogram, and the central point is slightly higher and to the left in order to increase the brightness of the middle tones.
We use Crop Tool (C) (Crop) to crop the document and leave only the most interesting part of the picture. This will remove unnecessary details that may distract attention.
Open the picture with the reflection and use Curves (Curves) to adjust the lighting balance. Now we are ready to create a collage, but before that, save both files so that if necessary we can return to them.
3. Hi guys!
Are you excited about the opportunity to work on your own project? Isn’t it fun to create such pictures? I am sure that you will succeed! Let’s start!
Closer to the border of the screen you will find two bookmarks. These are two different images that are already open in Photoshop. Click on each tab to understand how to switch between them.
Let’s switch to the photo where your child is in a suit to reflect. We need to make a copy of the area with a reflection. On the left side, activate a tool that looks like a sharp-angled lasso. it Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Polygonal Lasso). With this tool, click in each corner of the reflection in the mirror to create a selection.
Now go Edit – Copy (Edit – Copy) (Ctrl + C). As a result, we copied the selected area into the program’s memory. Then we switch to the bookmark with a photo of the child with a reaction to reflection. Move on Edit – Paste (Edit – Paste) (Ctrl + V) to paste the copied selection onto the current working document.
Please note that on the right side of the program there is a panel called Layers (Layers). Now there should be two layers. Imagine that layers are invisible sheets of paper that are above each other.
On the top layer is a reflection. We need to convert this layer to a smart object. On the mouse under the second finger is the right button. We press it by hovering the cursor over the layer with reflection, and in the appeared menu we select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).
Now go Edit – Transform – Distort (Edit – Transform – Distort) to activate the image distortion feature. It will appear as a frame around the image with key points. Alternately, grab the corners of the frame with the mouse and move them so that the reflection coincides with the frame for the mirror.
Having finished placing the corners, click the button in the form of a bird at the top of the screen to apply the changes.
Now you have your own photo with an unusual reflection in the mirror! Impressive, isn’t it? If you want, you can stop at this. Or continue with the lesson to add more cool effects.
4. We work together
In this section, we will add additional effects to make the work look more interesting. Further steps are intended for the collective work of parents and children.
It seems to me that this work will look better if we add rays of light. The basic idea is to make the “reality” gray and boring, and the reflection is bright and exciting.
Go to the layer with reflection and apply Filter – Camera Raw Filter (Filter – Camera Raw). Set the following parameters to make the reflection brighter and clearer:
- Shadows (Shadows): +60
- Blacks (Blackout): +18
- Clarity (Sharpness): +45
- Vibrance (Beauty): +33
Note: if among the filters you have Camera Raw, it means you have an earlier version of Photoshop and Camera raw need to call through Adobe Bridge.
A snapshot of the “real” world should be boring and slightly blurred to contrast with the clarity of the snapshot with reflection. Convert a snapshot with glasses into a smart object and apply Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) using Radius (Radius) 1.5 pixels.
Above the picture with the glasses add a correction layer Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation) by clicking on the button Add layer mask or adjustments layer (Add a layer mask or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel. Decrease Saturation (Saturation) to -30 and Brightness (Brightness) to -5 to give a grayish image. Thus, brighter and clearer reflection will become even brighter.
All effects from this section are optional and you do not need to add them, but they will make the picture fantastic. Any mirror that is a window into a parallel reality must, to one degree or another, look mysterious, so now we will add rays of light emanating from reflection.
Double click on the layer with reflection to open the window Layer Style (Layer style). Activate Inner Glow (Internal glow) with the following parameters:
- Opacity (Opacity): 35%
- Color (Color): # fffec5
- Size (Size): 24 px
Activate Outer Glow (External glow) with the following parameters:
- Opacity (Opacity): 35%
- Color (Color): # fffec5
- Size (Size): 44 px
Now create the luminous rays emanating from the mirror. Create a new layer and hold down Alt choose in the menu Layer> Merge Visible (Layer – Merge visible) or press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to merge all visible layers on the new. Transform this layer into a smart object.
Move on Filter – Blur – Radial Blur (Filter – Blur – Radial Blur) and set Blur Method (Method) on Zoom (Linear), Amount (Quantity) – 75. Move the center of the blur approximately to the area where the face is on the reflection.
Set the blending mode of the combined layer to Screen (Lighten) and reduce the opacity to about 50%. The advantage of applying a filter to a smart object is that you can always adjust the filter settings. This is useful if you have difficulties with the correct location of the center of the blur.
Add a layer mask to the merged layer and brush (B) black color is carried out on the mask to remove the radial blur on the faces. Our task is to create a soft neat effect that will not overload the image. Engage your child to help him edit the mask and personally control the intensity of the effect.
Add a new layer and fill it with a pale yellow radial gradient from color to transparency (# fffec5). Gradient draw from the center of reflection to the edge of the document. Set the layer blending mode with the gradient on Overlay (Overlap) and reduce the opacity to 70%.
Add a layer mask to the gradient layer and work with a brush again to remove the fill on the faces.
To focus on the mirror, add a vignette using the filter Filter – Distort – Lens Correction (Filter – Distortion – Distortion Correction), tab Custom (Custom) install Amount (Quantity) at -50.
We are done!
Great job! I hope you learned how to create an unusual reflection in the mirror. I would love to look at your work in the comments below.
I hope you and your child got as much pleasure from work as my daughter and I! You can see my other lessons from the Photoshop series for children! Dedicated to photo manipulation, working with brushes, etc.