Photo Manipulation


Hello! People ask a lot of questions about my surrealism photos, so here’s a little overview. I’m going to be taking about this assuming you have an intermediate knowledge of Photoshop since you kind of need to familiarize yourself with the tools before you know what you can do! If you’re confused about anything, feel free to ask me, or it’s really useful to watch some Youtube videos! I won’t be able to get into much detail since blending and colouring is different every time, and it’s sort of a learn-as-you-go sort of skill. To give you an example of how drastically different you can go in terms of style, I’ve edited this photo in three different ways, all playing up the nautical vibe to add to the scene!

Go ahead and click play, this one moves!

- the background -

Make sure you use your own images, or stock photos! Deviantart is a great resource. I use the pen tool to cut out the pieces I want, then change the path to a selection with a 2 pixel feather. Combine images using lots of layer masks - avoid using the eraser tool, if you erase something- it’s gone for good! I blend using a low opacity black brush.

Source: Shinkira from  Deviantart

Source: Shinkira from Deviantart

Source: Wintersmagicstock from  Deviantart

Source: Wintersmagicstock from Deviantart

Source: Somadjinn from  Deviantart

Source: Somadjinn from Deviantart

I used the distort, perspective, and warp tool in the transform tab to change orientation of the boat and lantern. Use liquefy to create ripples in the water.

I took boat #8 out of this image. Notice how the boat photo has another boat covering the side? No problem! cut out a piece of the left boat, paste it onto the obstructed part of boat #8, warp and distort to fit. Merge image, and cut out the front-most part of the boat (the area of the #8 and the side of the boat you just merged). Distort the rest of the boat to get the right perspective for the image and clean it up. After distorting, I took part of the rope from the left boat to make sure it was a consistent width.


Source: Midnightstouchstock from  Deviantart

Source: Midnightstouchstock from Deviantart

This blog post may be a bit confusing since I’m talking about Photoshop in an intermediate sense, so ask me if you have any questions! There are no specific ways to do something, there are tons of ways to do the same thing, you just have to familiarize yourself with the tools and problem solve from there! Watch lots of Youtube videos, that’s how I learned :). I am nowhere near an expert yet, so I’m sure there’s better ways to do some things, but this is how I generally do it! Hopefully this helped in any way!


Took these photos of us, then masked out our legs since they are hidden below the boat.

Snipped out the lantern, warp & distort for perspective, then added some more light to it.

If you’re just making a photo, you can start colour correcting, throw on some texture if you want, and stop here. I chose water droplets so it would look like the camera was being splashed. However, I wanted to take it up a notch and make it move! I threw the finished image into Plotaverse and saved it as a video. You do have to purchase the program, but I think it’s definitely worth it to step up your photo game! In order to prevent the texture from warping, I put it into Plotaverse without the texture, then threw it back into Photoshop after. :)

Source: Joanchris from  Deviantart

Source: Joanchris from Deviantart

Gabby Chia1 Comment