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Creating a seascape with Adobe Elements

Creating a seascape with Adobe Elements - In this month's Photoshop Elements tutorial Peter Bargh shows you how to use one photograph of a sky to make a seascape style landscape.

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Category : Landscape and Travel
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Words and pictures Peter Bargh

First you need a suitable sky photo, one preferably with no intruding trees or roof tops. I shot this one purposely for this project. It was taken on a Canon D30 digital camera with half a stop under exposure to ensure the moody clouds stand out against the setting sun.

1 Open the photograph and select > all (ctrl+a) and copy (ctrl+c).

2 Then go to image > resize > canvas size to call up the canvas options palette. This particular photo has a height of 50.8cm.

3 Key in a number twice this size and click in the top middle square of the nine square grid. This will double the height of the canvas and keep the picture in the top half.

4 Now select paste (ctrl+P) and the copied photo will appear in the middle of the page.

5 Go to image > rotate > flip vertical to turn it upside down and use the move tool to drag the new flipped sky to the bottom half of the canvas. We now have a mirror image of the sky. Align it carefully using the move tool or the arrows on the keyboard.


6 Keeping this layer selected go to filter > blur > gaussian blur and select a pixel radius that will soften the image making it look more like reflections in water. I needed a radius of 7 but this will vary depending on the size of the image.
7 The next stage is to make the reflection look more like water and Elements has a selection of ripple effects that you can pick from the filters menu. I used appropriately the Ocean Ripple filter, filter > distort > ocean ripple. Set a large ripple size and a small ripple magnitude.
8 Now lets alter the perspective of the water to make it look a little more natural. Go to image > transform > distort and drag the boxes upwards and outwards from each of the bottom corners of the selection. If you can't do this make the picture smaller on screen, view > zoom out (ctrl -) and extend the viewing area by dragging the box on the bottom right of the canvas outwards.
Make the shape extended out more on one side than the other and half the depth of the photo.

9 When you are happy with the shape double click in the middle of the transform selection frame to apply or hit the enter key on the keyboard.

10 We're now going to make the ocean look darker than the sky to add more realism. You could do this on the ocean layer, but the horizon would look too defined so we'll flatten thelayers,layer>flatten image.

11 Make a selection of the ocean area of the new flattened image using the rectangular selection tool and set a feather of around 20.

12 Go to enhance > colour > hue/saturation and reduce the lightness and saturation while making the hue a suitable colour I slide it to the right to find a green hue.

13 We now have a picture that's square so go, image > resize > image size. Uncheck the constrain proportions box and make it a suitable printable shape by keying in the sizes in the document size box.

The result is a great sky and watercolour style ocean. And that's it, unless you want to draw a boat!

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