Create a Surreal Fish City Photoshop Tutorial

What is a fish without a river? What is a bird without a tree to nest in? What is an Endangered Species Act without any enforcement mechanism to ensure their habitat is protected? It is nothing. In this Photoshop tutorial, we will learn how to create a Surreal City of Fishes. First, we open a Background photo then start adding fishes and retouching fishes with Brush Tool and Adjustment Layers. Then add Underwater photo and finally use the Camera Raw Filter.

Preview of Final Image

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

In this step we will open a Background photo, go to File > Open and select City. Duplicate it press Ctrl/Cmd + J.

Step 2

Now, go to File > Open and select Fish 1. Then use a Pen Tool(P) and start selecting. When we finish the selection press right click on mouse and “Make Selection”.The simplest path you can draw with the standard Pen tool is a straight line, made by clicking the Pen tool to create two anchor points. By continuing to click, you create a path made of straight line segments connected by corner points.
  • Select the Pen tool.
  • Position the Pen tool where you want the straight segment to begin, and click to define the first anchor point (do not drag).
  • Click again where you want the segment to end
  • Continue clicking to set anchor points for additional straight segments.
  • The last anchor point you add always appears as a solid square, indicating that it is selected. Previously defined anchor points become hollow, and deselected, as you add more anchor points
  • Complete the path by doing one of the following:
  • To close the path, position the Pen tool over the first (hollow) anchor point. A small circle appears next to the Pen tool pointer  when it is positioned correctly. Click or drag to close the path.
  • To leave the path open, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) anywhere away from all objects. To leave the path open, you can also select a different tool.
Feather Radius set to 0px and check Anti-alliased. After the selection area has been created, simply copy (Ctrl / Cmd + C) and Paste (Ctrl / Cmd + V) it to our work canvas. Then position the image with the transform tool (Ctrl / Cmd + T). Hold Alt + Shift and resterize like image below. In Photoshop CC only hold Alt to resterize al sides together. Then create a layer mask and use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color black and paint to delete some parts.

Step 3

Add Adjustment Layer "Levels"

Step 4

Now create a new layer and use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color #8d9aad and paint edges of fish, only flow of brush set to 10%.
Next open Blending Options and on Underlying Layer hold Alt and move slider to right.

Step 5

Add Adjustment Layer "Black and White" Opacity set to 30%.

Step 6

Next add some color to eye, create a new layer and blend mode set to Color Dodge with opacity 26%. Use Brush Tool(B) Soft Round with foreground color Gray #808080 and paint.

Step 7

Next we will open Fish 2. After you open the image, use Quick Selection Tool(W) and start selecting the Fish. After the selection area has been created, simply copy (Ctrl / Cmd + C) and Paste (Ctrl / Cmd + V)  it to our work canvas. Then position the image with the transform tool (Ctrl / Cmd + T). Hold Alt + Shift and resterize like image below. In Photoshop CC only hold Alt to resterize al sides together.

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