How to Create a Beautiful Underwater Surreal Scene in Photoshop

How to Create a Beautiful Underwater Surreal Scene in Photoshop
Create a beautiful underwater surreal scene in Photoshop. This photo manipulation will be about a fisherman with the 'fish' submarine. You'll learn to combine different stocks together step by step by using adjustment layers, masking, brush tool, and learn how to make light and shadow too. This Photoshop tutorial is a great way to improve your photo manipulation techniques.

What you'll be creating

Submarine; this artwork means a lot to me. Inspired by the emotional feeling of someone who always keeps their memories and disguises their stories into a mystery. The 'fish' submarine represents the deep memories and the fisherman represents someone who always keeps it.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Now, let’s start by creating a new image file, go to the Menu bar and click File > New, and then input the following values on their respective fields:
  1. Preset: Custom
  2. Width: 2480px
  3. Height: 3508px
  4. Resolution: 300 pixels/inch
  5. Color Mode: RGB Color; 8 bit
  6. Background Contents: Transparent
Step 1

Step 2

In this step, we will be creating the foreground. Import the stock image "Water" by Pure-Poison89 to the canvas by clicking on File > Place and find it from the directory you’ve saved it into. Using the Place command the image will be automatically as a smart object, and you may transform it as many times as you like without any loss in quality of the image.
Step 2
Step 2a

Step 3

Then create a new "Selective Color" adjustment layer.
Step 3
Select the Blue color, we will change only the blue on this image "Water".
Step 3a
Then, you will get the more darker on the image "Water" than before.
Step 3b

Step 4

In this step, we will be creating the background behind the sea. To start, let’s open the images package “Sky 2” by resurgere. And choose the "sky9_9504.jpg" from the package. After you open the image, activate the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M).
Step 4
Step 4a

Step 5

After the selection area has been created, activate the Move tool (V) and drag the selected area or just simply copy (Ctrl/Cmd + C) and paste (Ctrl/Cmd + V) it to our work canvas. Put the sky above all the layers that we’ve created. Then, positioning the image with transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) like the image below.
Step 5
Step 5a

Step 6

Next, we will make a new adjustment layer "Selective Color".
Step 6
After that, we only adjust the color Cyan and Blue to the "Sky" Image.
Step 6a
Then, you will get a little bit green on the "Sky" image (like the image below).
Step 6b

Step 7

In this step, we will be adding a new adjustment layer "Gradient Map", you can download the beautiful gradients colors here. After you download the gradients color, you will see a lot of options on the Gradient Editor and choose the "Vintage" color.
Step 7
Next, activate the "Gradient Map" layer only to the "Sky" image and set the opacity on 58%.
Step 7a
Then, you will get the background more blend with the color of the "Sea" image. The result should be similar to this:
Step 7b

Step 8

Next, we will add some color in the sky. Open the file "Sky 1" by CindysArt-Stock.
Step 8
After you paste the image into your work canvas, transform the image like the image below.
Step 8a
Step 8b

Step 9

After you transform the position of the image, we will make an effect for it.
Step 9
And you will get the result like this:

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17 comments on “How to Create a Beautiful Underwater Surreal Scene in Photoshop”

  1. Thanks a lot, this is my first try at surreal and your specifications were very exact.wish to attach my output here.

    Thanks a lot, learned a lot, done a lot with simpler tricks.

    1. In step 27, I'm using brush. It's okay if you use the stamp tool, the result is totally same. I already remind a note in this step about making silhouette with the levels adjustment effect is not always make the image change into totally black, it depends with the quality of the image. Thank you.

  2. I can download other files, but the zip files just interrupt randomly and cannot be opened even if the download is full. Please check all links before posting a tutorial.

    1. Hello Iulian, I'm sorry for the late reply. The zip files is totally fine, I already check it. Thank you.

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