How to Create a Retro Surreal Photo Manipulation using Photoshop

How to Create a Retro Surreal Photo Manipulation using Photoshop
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Once you’ve created the selection tool, activate your Move tool (V) and drag the sky below the “water” layer. Now, after moving the sky, rename it to “sky”. Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd + T) and resize it as shown below:
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Next, let’s adjust the Brightness and Contrast of the sky. First, make sure that the “sky” layer is selected and then go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and then input the following once it opens:
  • Brightness: 15
  • Contrast: 0
The result should be similar to this:
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STEP 4: Create the Horizon Now that the sky and sea are in place, let’s now add the elements of our background. First, let’s enhance the horizon. Let’s make our horizon brighter. First, create a new layer by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N. After doing this, a box would open – input “horizon” in the name box. Put this layer above the “sky” layer and below the “water” layer. Next, activate the Brush tool (B) and once it is open, input the following settings:
  • Brush size: 900px
  • Hardness: 0%
  • Opacity: 30%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: ffffff
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Note: for the Brush color, follow the instructions below:
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Now, we’re all set – paint on the area shown below:
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The result should be similar to this:
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Step 5: Add the Bubbles

After the horizon, let’s now add the bubbles under water. To start, make sure you’ve downloaded the brushes (Bubbles by hawksmont) and placed them on the Photoshop Brushes folder (Photoshop > Presets > Brushes). To open these brushes, simply activate the Brush tool (B) and right click on the canvas. Once you’ve done that, a contextual menu would appear.
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Once you’ve done that another menu would open; click on “Load Brushes”.
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Now that it is open, click on the brush set: Bubbles by hawksmont and click Open. Now you’ll see that this brush set is loaded on your brush contextual menu when you right click on the canvas. Okay, now let’s create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N) and then name it “Bubbles 1”. Put this above the “water” layer. Choose the following brush from the Bubbles by hawksmont set:
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After that, input the following for the Brush tool (B):
  • Brush size: 40px
  • Hardness: Default
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: ffffff
Then let’s start painting:
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Next, create another layer and name it “Bubbles 2”. Use the same brush from the Bubbles by hawksmont set. Activate the Brush tool (B) and input the following:
  • Brush size: 20px
  • Hardness: Default
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: ffffff
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STEP 6: Add the birds Now, let’s add the birds, to start open “Bird Brushes II” by lpdragonfly and load them on Photoshop. Once loaded, create a new layer and put this layer above all the layers on our canvas; name it “Birds”. Activate the Brush tool (B) and choose the following brush from the “Bird Brushes II” by lpdragonfly set:
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After that, activate the Brush tool (B) again and input the following:
  • Brush size: 1000px
  • Hardness: Default
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Flow: 100%
  • #: 000000
Now let’s paint:
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After that, reduce the opacity of this layer to make the viewers believe that the birds are a bit far. Reduce the opacity to 70%.
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STEP 7: Create the scary fish Now we’ll add our fish! To start, open “Scary Fish” by xNickixstockx. Once opened, activate the Move tool (V) and drag it to our canvas. Once in there rename this layer to “fish”. You’d definitely notice that this is a large image so we would need to transform and resize it. Activate the Transform tool and resize it as shown on the image below:

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4 comments on “How to Create a Retro Surreal Photo Manipulation using Photoshop”

  1. It would have been much more helpful as a beginner if I could see what the layers looked like on the right side of the screen. As it was, the lasso tool at the very beginning working with the water lost me. Please don't assume you're dealing with experts when directing these tutorials!

  2. I'm beginner , so I'm stuck on sky. When I put them on main picture (canvas) they are so small , and when I resize sky, resolution is changed and it looks really ugly. Any help ?

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