It is a very easy & more effective tutorial to give water reflection to your images, with some realistic effects to create your image more attractive and appearing. You can apply this technique to any photo of u which one you want because it is easily applicable on any image rather it would have water in them or not.

You have to use simple filter and a displacement map to create the water ripple effect, and a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to give your water a little color.

Well I have picked this image for working on it throughout this tutorial:


The original image. [by shutterviewphotrography ]

And that is our final image after applying this technique

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The final result.

Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer

In layer palette we have our original image as a background.


We have to duplicate this image by holding keyboard shortcut key <ctrl+j>, now in the layer palette you can see two images, one as our original background layer and the other one is new layer as ‘layer 1’.


Step 2: Add More Canvas Space To The Bottom Of The Document

Now we have to add water reflection effect on our image so we need canvas space at the bottom of the image to make room for our reflection. For this, go to the image menu and select canvas size ( shortcut key <alt+ctrl+c> ). A window will appear and now we need to tell Photoshop exactly where we want this extra canvas space to go.

1st select measurements and set it to percent and enter Height value as 100. Width value should be 0. Below the "Relative" option is a 3×3 grid of squares. This is where we tell Photoshop where we want to place our additional canvas space. Click inside the square in the middle of the top row (again as circled below).


And then click OK, Photoshop will add extra equal space exact to the image we had taken.


Step 3: Flip The Top Layer Vertically

For adding the reflection we need to flip our image towards down. By selecting top layer in the layer palette, go to the edit menu and click transform and then select flip vertical. Photoshop will flip down your image in the document.



Step 4: Drag The Flipped Image To The Bottom Of The Document

Then select move tool from your tool palette.


Now with the move tool, click your image and drag it down to the empty space by holding shift key, it will drag your image in a straight line.



Step 5: Add A New Blank Layer

Now that we have our flipped image in place, we can begin to create our water ripple effect. First, we need to add a new blank layer at the top of the Layers palette, so with "Layer 1" still selected, click on the new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.



Step 6: Fill The New Layer With White

We have to fill our new blank layer with white. Then use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Backspace, it will fill our blank layer with white.




Step 7: Apply The "Halftone Pattern" Filter To Create Black And White Horizontal Lines

Go up to the filter menu at the top of the screen, choose sketch, and then choose halftone pattern. First, we want to make sure we’re creating lines and not dots or circles, so set the pattern type option to lines.

I’m going to set my Size value to 7, which I think works best for my image. You may want to experiment with this value on your own. The Contrast option below it determines how sharp the edges of the lines are. Lower values give you softer lines, white higher values give you hard edge lines. Set this value all the way to 50 to give your lines sharp edges. We’re going to soften them ourselves with the Gaussian Blur filter in a moment:


And then click OK, Photoshop will turn your blank image into black & white lines from top to bottom.



Step 8: Apply The "Gaussian Blur" Filter To The Lines

Again at the top from the filter menu, choose blur and then choose gaussian blur. Drag the slider at the bottom of the dialog box to increase the radius. A radius  value about 4.0 will works best. And then click OK.



Step 9: Duplicate The Lines Layer As A New Document

We’re going to create a brand new document out of our lines layer, which we’ll then use as our displacement map for our water ripples . With the lines layer selected, go up to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and select Duplicate Layer, which brings up the "Duplicate Layer" dialog box. In the "Destination" options, click on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the Document option and set it to New, which will create a new Photoshop document out of our layer:



Step 10: Save The New Document And Close Out Of It

This new document that we’ve created is going to become our displacement map, When you try to close out of it, Photoshop will as you if you want to save the document before closing it. Click yes.


Step 11: Delete The Lines Layer

we had already saved the layer 2 in our computer so now just select your layer 2 from your layer palette and delete it by clicking the last one option at the bottom. It will delete your layer 2.


Step 12: Merge The Two Layers Onto A New Layer

Before we can add use our displacement map, we need to merge our two image layers onto a new layer above them. To do that, with "Layer 1" selected, use the keyboard shortcut shift+ctrl+alt+E. Nothing will appear but at the layer palette u can see both layers have been merged onto a document layer named layer 2.



Step 13: Use The "Displace" Filter To Create The Water Ripples


Now go to the filter menu select distort and choose displace.

A dialog box will appear.This is where we determine the strength of our ripple effect, and we do that with the horizontal scale option at the top. I’m going to set mine to a value of 4, which will give me a realistic ripple effect. You may want to experiment with this value with your own image. Setting it too high though will create too much of a horizontal distortion and you’ll lose the realism.

We don’t need any vertical distortion to create our effect, so set the vertical scale option to 0. Also, make sure that stretch to fit and repeat edge pixels are selected:


Photoshop will then apply the displacement map to the entire image, creating our water ripples.



Step 14: Hide The Ripples On Top With A Layer Mask
Now we have a problem, we had applied the water ripple effect on the whole image, we just need it at the bottom image only to create our water ripple effect, we can easily fix this by using a layer mask, for this first, ctrl-click directly on the thumbnail for "Layer 1" in the Layers palette to place a selection around the flipped image at the bottom of the document.


You’ll see a selection appear around the bottom half of the image in your document. Now, click on the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette



The ripple effect is now hidden from the top half of the image after applying the layer mask.

Step 15: Apply The "Gaussian Blur" Filter To The Layer Mask

so go back up to the filter menu, select blur once again, and then select gaussian blur. When the dialog box appears, simply click OK to apply the same Radius value we used previously.


Step 16: Colorize The Water With A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

Let’s finish things off now by adding just a hint of blue to our water, hold down your Alt click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette, then select Hue/Saturation from the list of adjustment layers.


A dialog box of new layer  will appear. Select the Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Mask option by clicking inside the checkbox to the left of it. Then click OK.

The New Layer dialog box in Photoshop.

hue/saturation dialog box will appear. We want to colorize our water, so the first thing we want to do here is select the Colorize option in the bottom right corner. Then select the color you want your water to be by dragging the Hue slider at the top. I’m going to drag my slider to the right to a value of about 218, which I think is a good color for my water.


Click OK to exit out of the dialog box , and you’ll see that your water on the bottom has now been colorized, but the color is much too strong at the moment.


Step 17: Lower The Opacity Of The Hue/Saturation Layer

To reduce the intensity of the color we just added to the water , all we need to do is go up to the Opacity option in the top right corner of the Layers palette and lower the opacity value. I’m going to lower mine all the way down to about 25%, which adds a much more realistic amount of color to the water.


Once you’ve lowered the opacity of the adjustment layer to reduce the color intensity of the water , you’re done!

Here once again is my original image for comparison:


And here is my final "water reflection" result.

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