How to Add Reflection Shadow (Photoshop Tutorials)

At times, a plain photo shot on a phone or camera may not be as appealing as you would have expected. Poor light balance and background may distort a photo that would have otherwise been a beautiful one. However, the headache of shooting and reshooting to get a perfect photo can be avoided by adding some effects to your photo to achieve your desired aesthetic. Through Photoshop, one can add reflection shadow, drop shadow or natural shadow to the original image or picture and end up with an outstanding one.

Just like making adjustments in photoshop like flipping layers, adding a reflection is as easy and simple and provides an effective reflection better than going for the genuine reflection to take a photo of it.

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In photoshop unlike in real life photograph, you have more control in terms of how the reflection will come out. However, creating the reflection effect may not be so easy, especially if you are new to photo editing. This article seeks to make the experience an interesting one by offering a systematic guide on how to get it done.

Choose a suitable image

The first step will require you to select the photo to which you would like to add the reflection shadow in Photoshop. You will need to choose a well-captured photo for the best effect as not all photos may be suitable to add reflection on. Choosing a photo with a clear outline with fewer overlapping elements is imperative to make your work easy. It starts with a selection of the photo which you would like to add the shadows in photoshop.

Not every other photo will suitably fit the choice. Consider choosing a photo whose bottom of the desired area to be reflected has a clear line as such will help in creating a more realistic result. Also consider pre-visualizing how the reflection you are about to add will make the photo look.

Duplicate the canvas size

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Once you have clicked on your selected photo to open it, the next thing to do is enlarge your canvas’s size. By doubling the space, you can create room for the reflective shadow creation. Click on the ‘canvas resize the window’ option, make all the settings as desired, and click ok.

Create a duplicate layer

On the layers panel, be sure to unlock the layer before duplicating, which could be done by copy-pasting or using Ctrl+j. Rename the two layers for ease of identification and convert them into smart objects, then drag your duplicate layer to fill the space below the primary layer.

Flip and blur the duplicated layer

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As this is the layer where your reflection will form, you will need to align it vertically. Right-click your image and then select the vertical flip option. Follow through with other selections such as filter, blur, motion blur, and set it up to an angle of ninety degrees. Adjust the layers to make sure there is no evident gap between the two layers.

Open a new file

This is essential so as to ensure the outcome is more realistic. Maintain the shape of the reflection image though at smaller size so as to have saved safely. At this point, you will need to create a new file smaller in size but similar in shape to your reflection. A smaller size will make it easier to save on Photoshop. On the paint fill option, select black and unlock the background layer.

Add noise and blur effect

For better results, you need to add texture to your image. On the filer, select noise, follow through with the guides, confirm uniformity, and select ok. On the ‘filer option’ again, blur chose the one you desire and set the radius, and that will be it.

Emboss texture

You will need to add more texture effect to your image by selecting a filter, stylize and then embossing. Set the angles and amount, and upon turning on the layers, convert them to smart objects. Resize the resulting image by zooming out.

Add a displacement layer and tweak the reflection

Click on the reflection layer and select the filter option, distort, then displace. Make adjustments for desired effects and rename the copy. After distorting, you will need to mask your image with black color.

Capturing a camera reflection may not be as easy. It is, nevertheless, more fun creating the photoshop shadow on your own as it creates the best results and highlights as desired.

 

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