photoshop creative

How can I create a half-submerged composition?

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Q&A, by Mark White
January 19, 2017

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Watery compositions are extremely popular online, and they’re really easy to create in Elements with a mixture of filters, layers and blend modes.

Start off with the picture you wish to half-submerge. Insert a stock photo of a water level and mask where necessary. Select a similar aquamarine colour and on a new layer set to Color, 60% Opacity, and brush in some water. Then on a 50% opaque layer, brush a little so? black at the bottom of the composition.

To create the rays in the water, create a new layer and with black and white selected in your swatches, go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Next go to Filter> Adjustments>Threshold, then Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Choose Zoom, Best and set the direction in the top le?, click OK and then hit Cmd/Ctrl+F to repeat. Set this layer to Overlay and mask it over the water. Reduce the opacity if needed.

To complete the composition, add penguins to the image. Put one in the water – place it on a layer beneath the water Color layer – and one on the rock. Click on the Fill Layers icon at the top of the Layers panel and add a Levels adjustment. Now simply alter the stoppers to blend the stock images into the composition a little better.