“The parting sea” in Photoshop – Part I

Water, by its nature, is very difficult to include in the composition. In this lesson, you will learn how to combine advanced masking techniques, blend modes, adjustment layers, and skilful use of filters on a part of the sea and create surreal photo manipulation. So let’s get started!

Final image

Materials used

Step 1

Set the background color #e7f3fe. Create a new document. Width (Width) 27cm, Height (Height) 18cm, Resolution (Resolution) 300 dpi, ColorMode (Color Mode) set to RGB, BackgroundContents (Background content) set to BackgroundColor (Background color).

Step 2

Open the first image of Landscape 1 and select Image -> Image Rotation -> Flip Horizontal (Image -> Rotate Image -> Flip Horizontally). Drag this image into your document to create a new layer, then transform it to cover the top half of the canvas. Name this layer Horizon.

Step 3

Press key D, to change the foreground color to black. Take Gradient tool (G) (Gradient), specify in its options panel Foreground to Transparent (from foreground to transparent) Linear (Linear). Now holding the key Shift, drag the gradient according to the length and direction of the red arrow in the image below to blend the top of the image with a blue background.

Step 4

Make sure the new layer is active, click on the icon. Create new fill or adjustmentlayer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers palette, then select Levels (Levels) from the expanded list. In the next window, activate the cut-off by layer option so that the correction affects only the target layer and apply the following settings to increase the image contrast.

Step 5

Our image now needs a bright sky. Open the second landscape, and then take Lasso Tool (L) (Lasso), make a selection around the bird. Next, click Shift+Ffive, to open the fill window, and select in the drop-down menu Content-Aware.
Place this image in our document as another layer. Then resize, stretch vertically and place as shown below. Name this layer Sky, then using the same technique as in step 3, connect the clear edge of the sky with the horizon.

Step 6

Now add a correction layer to this layer. Levels (Levels) to enhance contrast.

Step 7

Add another adjustment layer. ColorBalance (Color Balance) and apply the following settings. Now the color and tone of both layers should be exactly the same.

Photoshop has a large number of tools that can help us separate the desired object from the background. Most of them are designed for good contrast between the object and the background color. Later in this lesson we will explore various extraction methods.

For our first image, there is no quick fix to accurately achieve the result, so we will use a channel or density mask. Open the third landscape and select Image -> Calculations (Image -> Calculations). In this case, we set both blue channels to blending mode. ColorBurn (Blackout Basics), to get the best contrast as a starting point for our mask. You will also need to select Newchannel (New channel) from dropdown menu Result (Result).

Step 9

Switch to the tab Channel (Channels), you will see at the very bottom of a new channel Alphaone (Alpha 1), while the visibility of other channels will be disabled. To view the channels related to the image, make the upper RGB channel visible. To make it easier to view, double-click the channel mask icon, and then click on the color square, change the color (red by default) and change Opacity (Opacity) to more appropriate.

In the next step, we will create a clear silhouette, so make sure that your new channel is active and take a small white one. Brush tool (B) (Brush) with Hardness (Hardness) about 50% to erase the bottom left, as shown below. Do not forget to switch the visibility of the RGB channel when you work.

Step 10

Take Dodge tool (O) (Clarifier) ​​with the following settings: Highlights (Lightening), Exposure (Exposure) 65%, use a medium-sized brush with soft edges, lighten the space around the outer edges of the trees.

Step 11

Further, carefully working Brush tool (B) (Brush) and alternating colors between black and white, finally brush your canal mask.

Step 12

By default, we work in the sample channel area, so hold down Ctrl + I, to invert the channel to negative. Channel conversion can also help to identify tiny flaws that can be removed using BrushTool (B) (Brush).

Step 13

Hold key Ctrl and click on the channel mask icon to form a selected area. Switch to channel Rgb and go back to the tab Layers (Layers). Now hold down Ctrl+J , To copy the selection to a new layer, then turn off the visibility of the main layer to see the result.

Step 14

Drag the extracted layer into your work document and name it. Median Plan 1. Go to Transform -> Flip Horizontal (Transform -> Flip Horizontally), adjusting the size, position it on the left side. To remove the glowing halo, go Layer-> Matting-> Defringe (Layer -> Edge Processing -> Fix Border) and enter a value of 1px in the next window.

Step 15

Next we will remove some unwanted browns. Go to layer Medium planone and go to the menu Image-> Adjustments-> Replace Color (Image-> Correction-> Replace colors). Set the value Fuzziness (Scatter) around 88 to increase the range to be replaced, and then change the value of the color tone to be replaced Hue (Color tone) at + 68.Now using the eyedropper, click on the darkest brown area in the preview window. To remove these colors, use the “+” pipette.

Step 16

To extract our fourth terrain, we will also use a channel mask. Repeat command Calculations (Calculations) again, but this time set for both blue channels the blending mode Linear burn (Line dimmer).

Step 17

This channel lacks the contrast of the previous one. But instead of using the technique of lightening over the entire image, press Ctrl + L to open the correction window. Levels (Layers). Now press the white pipette over any gray areas to make them white.

Step 18

Repeat the same workflow as last time to permanently clear and create an inverted channel mask.

Step 19

Now copy the selected area based on the channels to the new layer.

Step 20

Add this image as a new layer to your project, flip horizontally, resize and position on the right side. Apply Defringe (Eliminate border) to remove any glowing edges. Name this layer Medium plan 2.

Step 21

Repeat command ReplaceColor (Replace color) on this layer to convert the brown areas to green.

Step 22

Next we fill the space in the foreground with a small amount of sand. Use LassoTool (L) (Lasso) to arbitrarily highlight areas of sand on a layer Medium plan 2. Click Shift+F6, to open a window Feather (Feather) and enter a value of 5px. With active selection, click Ctrl+J, to copy it to a new layer. Move this area slightly to the left, zoom in and drag out as shown below.

Step 23

Duplicate the sand layer several times, then adjust the size, cover the remaining spaces.

Step 24

Holding the key Shift, select all layers with sand sections and click Ctrl+E , to merge layers.

Step 25

Add a mask to your merged layer, and then press Ctrl + I to invert it to black. Now use various white BrushTool (B) (Brush) to develop sand. For clarity, my mask is shown in the image below.

Step 26

Now click again Ctrl+E, to merge the sand layer with the layer medium plan 2

Step 27

In the next steps we will do color correction and contrast of both layers. medium plan. First create a correction layer. Levels (Levels) for a layer foreground 1 and apply the following settings.

Step 28

Next, create an adjustment layer. ColorBalance (Color balance) for the same layer, change Midtones (Mid Tones) and Highlights (Light) as shown below

Step 29

To limit the correction ColorBalance (Color Balance) only the area of ​​the foliage, apply the inverted mask, and paint its surface with white.

Step 30

Now add an adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) to layer medium plan 2

Step 31

As a last change, add an adjustment layer. ColorBalance (Color balance) for the same layer

Step 32

Next we add some sand in the distance, on the horizon. Select layer medium plan 2, take Rectangular marquee tool (M) (Rectangular area) and create a selection, as shown in the figure. Duplicate the selected area by 2px, and then copy it to the clipboard.

Now click on the icon of the adjustment layer Levels (Levels) above the layer Horizon and paste the contents of the clipboard to a new layer. Adjust the size and position to hide the water, name the layer Far sand

Step 33

Open a photo with a tourist. The picture was taken on a white background, so it will be much easier to select an object.

Install MagicWandTool (W) (Magic Wand) mode Add to selection (Add to selection) Tolerance (Tolerance) 7, tick Anti-alias (Anti-aliasing) and Contiguous (Adjacent pixels). Now click to highlight the background, including the gap between the shirt and the forearm.

Step 34

Click Shift + Ctrl+I, to invert the selection, then click Refine edge (Refine edge) in the options panel. In the next window, set the view mode On Black (B) (On black) to better control white background removal. Now change the value Smart radius (Smart radius) 0.5; tick on Decontaminate colors (Clear colors) set Amount (Quantity) 100% and Output to (Output) set to New Layer with Layer Mask (New layer with mask)

You will have a duplicate layer mask, the visibility of the original layer will be turned off. At this point, your mask may require some small adjustments. First create a layer with black fill to see the remaining white color. Now zoom in on the image, take Brush (B) (Brush) size 3px and Hardness (Hardness) 50%, clean the mask as required.

Step 36

When you’re satisfied with the quality of the selection, drag the mask icon to the trash icon at the bottom of the tab. Layers (Layers) and click Apply (Apply) in the next window.

Add a shape to your working draft above all layers and name it. Person. ApplyDefringe (Eliminate the border) by specifying a value of 1px, then reduce in size and place in the center of the canvas on the sand.

Step 37

Open the image with the edge of the water and using Lasso (L) (Lasso) make a casual selection, excluding the ball. Copy and paste the selection, place it under the tourist layer, transform it and place it on the canvas on the left. Now holding Ctrl, pull off the corner points, creating a beach perspective.

Step 38

Duplicate this layer Flip horizontal (Flip horizontally) and place on the opposite side. Via Lasso (L) (Lasso) select small areas of the water edge, blend them 3px and copy to new layers. Now redistribute them so that the coastline is not an exact copy of the left side.

Step 39

Drain all layers of the shoreline (both sides of the shoreline) to make one layer, and name it Water base. Now add a layer mask, take BrushTool (B) (Brush) with soft edges and hide hard edges.

Step 40

Add an adjustment layer to this layer. Levels (Levels) and apply the following settings to lighten it

Step 41

We will now begin to create towering walls of water on both sides of the tourist. Position the image Wave below layer Person, then resize and place to the left of the tourist. Duplicate, flip horizontally, and place on the right side. Merge both layers into one and name it. Rising wave 1.

Step 42

Add a layer mask, then gently blur the top and bottom edges.

Step 43

To further overlay the waves, add a correction layer. Levels (Levels) and set the middle marker to 1.34

Step 44

Now add an adjustment layer. ColorBalance (Color balance) to the same layer and increase the blue value inMidtones (Mid Tones) and Shadows (Shadows).

Step 45

The edge of the water and the waves still need to be improved overlay on each other. First add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to layer Billowing wave 1, put a tick Colorize (Colorize) and apply the following settings.

Step 46

We don’t want the edge of the water to be too blue, so invert the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to black and show areas as shown below.

Step 47

In the next steps we will pull the waves up. Hold key Altand click between the adjustment layer icons Levels (Levels) and layer Rising wave 1, detach both adjustment layers. Now turn off the visibility of the two adjustment layers, later we will turn them on again.
Switch to layer Rising wave 1, via Lasso (L) (Lasso) form a selection as shown below and apply Feather (Feathering) 5px

Step 48

Copy the selected area to a new layer. This layer will experience radical distortions, therefore, to preserve the details of the pattern, convert the layer into a smart object. To do this, select in the upper right corner of the drop-down menu Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object). The transformation will be indicated by the icon that appears next to the layer name on the layers palette.

Now the fun begins! Activate Warp (Warp) through the Transform menu and move the control points. Moving the control points of the rectangle up, deform the surface of the water. When you are satisfied, press the Enter key.

Step 49

Repeat this workflow for another added wall of water on the left, and then create on the right side.

Step 50

At this point, I want to add palm trees hanging from the water wall on the right. To do this, first select the layer medium plan 2 together with adjustment layers and duplicate them. Now place them below the original layer. medium plan 2.

Move the layer a little to the left, then resize, hide the clear edges on the duplicate. For clarity, I turned off the visibility of layers with water.

Step 51

Copy selected area from image the waves and blend it 5px. Copy-Paste several times, transforming and deforming copies, increase the height of the water wall on the left.

Repeat this procedure for the opposite side, and then combine them into one layer and blur the edges with a mask. Name this layer Billowing wave 2.

Step 52

Repeat the process, bringing the wave height to almost the top edge of the canvas. Drain in one layer and name Billowing wave 3.

Step 53

Select the foam area on the wave image and position it over a layer. Billowing wave 3, turning 90 degrees clockwise. Activate Warp (Deformation), specify in the settings Arc (Arch). Next, to change the deformation click on the button Change warporientation (Change the orientation of the deformation) and move the center anchor point so as to deform the area in accordance with the curvature of the water wall.

Step 54

Duplicate this layer, flip it horizontally and position it to the right. Merge both layers and name it. Billowing wave 4. Add an inverted mask to it, and then go around with a small white brush, as shown in the image below.

Step 55

When you’re satisfied, select the layer Billowing wave 2, Billowing wave 3, Billowing wave 4 and press Ctrl+E, to merge them into one layer. Name the merged layer Billowing wave 2.

Step 56

Turn on the visibility of the adjustment layers. Levels (Levels) and ColorBalance (Color balance) above Rising wave 1. Duplicate and position above the layer Billowing wave 2. Now reattach the original adjustment layers to the layer. Rising wave 1.

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