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.

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

  1. jos Avatar

    Mooi werk, dankje!

  2. Somya Avatar

    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.

  3. poop Avatar

    hello its cool

  4. Yagnik Hirpara Avatar
    Yagnik Hirpara

    This is awesome

  5. jordan Avatar

    when i try to brush the sky, it only gives me variations of grey I can’t use colors for some reason =[

  6. James M Avatar
    James M

    Bloody hell! Awesome work man!

  7. Iulian Avatar

    step 33: where to brush and where to place the texture?

    1. Evan Lawrence Avatar
      Evan Lawrence

      I’m really sorry, maybe there’s an error when they upload it. I already sent an email to the admin, I hope they can fix it asap. I give the JPEG file for the complete step 33, you can download it here
      Thank you

  8. Iulian Avatar

    in step 27 I get these oversaturated pixels. Is there another way to get rid of them without using clone stamp?!221924&authkey=!AIcVgO6H6-DH6rA&v=3&ithint=photo%2cpng

    1. Evan Lawrence Avatar
      Evan Lawrence

      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.

  9.  Avatar

    Thanks good

  10. gerda Avatar

    Beautiful tutorial gerda

  11. Dave Avatar

    Thanks for a good detailed tutorial.

  12. arvind kumar gupta Avatar
    arvind kumar gupta

    it is a good tutorial.thanks

  13. Iulian Avatar

    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. Evan Lawrence Avatar
      Evan Lawrence

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

  14. Margaret Black Pyron Avatar
    Margaret Black Pyron


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