The Legend of Lorelei in Photoshop

In this lesson we will learn some simple but impressive effects. All we need is to combine several stock images using a soft brush as an eraser, to work a little on tonality and opacity, and also use the darkening and lightening technique and add some sharpness. The lesson is inspired by the legend of Loreley.

Final result

Source materials:

STEP one

When creating a new document at the beginning of work, I often create a transparent layer, because for me, therefore, it is easier to position the images on the document. First, move the image from the Mermaid to our document, to the transparent layer, and then to the image Underwater part of the sea. In the image ‘Underwater part of the sea’, we only need a part of the sea foam, so remove the rest of the image with a soft brush.


Next, add the sun rays under water using the ‘Islands and the underwater part of the sea’ image; are needed. The result should look like the screenshot below.


In this step, we will add the sky using the ‘Sky and Waves’ image and apply light effects using the settings shown in the screenshot below. We will also remove part of the coast and the sea with a soft brush.

STEP four

Once again, open the image we used to create underwater rays, but this time, we only use islands and some parts of the sea. We also need to add clouds over the sea using the ‘Dark Clouds’ image. Remove excess areas with a soft brush.

STEP five

In this step, we will add underwater rocks that will rise above the water and that will be visible under the water. It is very easy to make, you just need to find the ideal size for the underwater part of the rock using the tool Free Transformation (Free Transform). First we will cut out the top of the rock, you can see this in image 5a.

Next, we will cut the island (you can use the tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool), see screenshot 5b) to create the underwater part of the rock and then, using the same soft brush, remove the extra areas of the rock, change the blending mode for the image with the underwater part of the rock Soft light (Soft Light). Do the same with another rock.


In this step, we will add a ship and splashes of water around the ship and the rocks towering above sea level. The image of the spray of water is in PNG format, so it will be easy for you to place the spray in the appropriate places.


It’s time to make a color correction. First, add an adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) filter type Warming Filter (81) and set the value Density (density) 59% (See screenshot 7a). Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) with settings that are shown in screenshot 7b.

STEP eight

Further, Run down (Flatten Image). The time has come for the final correction. At the beginning, we use the technique Lightening and blackout(Dodge Burn). If you are not familiar with this technique, then visit the section Lessons – Secrets of Manipulation – Lightening and Shading (Tutorials> Manipulation Secrets> Dodging Burning) at for more information. Next, we add some sharpness. Let’s go Picture – Mode – Lab (Image> Mode> Lab Color). Next, go to the bookmark Channels (Channel) in the layers palette and select the channel Brightness (Lightness). Next, go, Filter – Sharpness – Contour sharpness(Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask). Settings I used:

Effect (Amount) 65%,

Radius (Radius) 3

Threshold (Threshold) 2.

We finished the lesson. Enjoy your lesson.

Final result

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