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How To Create a Dynamic Split Water Effect in Photoshop

In this video tutorial, watch as Abbey Esparza shows you how to create a dynamic split water effect in Photoshop. This is a really cool effect that I have seen in many composite images. So, if you have always wondered how it is done, watch this tutorial.

In the video, Esparza starts by using a stock image of a whale out to sea, in which the photographer has shot above and below the waterline. From there, we begin to work non-destructively with layer masks and adjustment layers to match the tone of the image that you are planning to create. One area that Esparza covers is matching up highlights on the water with those of the sky, and it is little details like these that a lot of photo-manipulators miss out on. The more realism you can put in an image, the more you can sell the fake.

Sticking with realism, we also get to see the power of blend modes when using them to add certain elements to the water. I also use blend modes a lot in my images, and sometimes, it can just be fun to see how each blend mode affects your image. Some of the best techniques are learned by experimenting. From there, we are pretty much on to the home stretch, finishing off with some cool color-grading and adding some little details like bubbles.

This tutorial is great for intermediate Photoshop artists who want to start having a go at more advanced Photoshop Photo manipulation techniques. One thing you can take away from this video is how important blend modes are when creating your photo manipulations.

Clinton Lofthouse's picture

Clinton Lofthouse is an Advertising/Entertainment photographer, creative artworker and Photoshop expert from the U.K. Specializing in composite and photomanipulation imagery.
When he is not chained to his desktop PC editing, Clinton likes to put on Synthwave music, wear Aviator sunglasses and pretend to be in an 80s movie.

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