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I found this neat little lake at the side of a road just half an hour south from Dublin, Ireland. It was raining all day and actually just stopped a couple of minutes when I took the image. Lucky me, hehe. Here is the final image:

And here is the original (0 Exposure image):
By the way, if you haven’t dealt with HDR images before, read this first.

This time I used layer mirroring to get exactly the reflection I wanted. So thats how I did it.

First I loaded my HDR (created in Photomatix), the original and a long exposure image I took additionally into Photoshop as layers. The long exposure was meant to give me a better reflection.

I started with the HDR on top and created a layer mask to combine the HDR and the original. I was just interested in the top part of the image for this time because I created my own lake later anyway. If you haven’t dealt with Photoshop layers before, read this first!

After combining HDR and original, I did the same thing with the long exposure image. I knew I didn’t want to use the lake like this anyway, but just in case I did it anyway.

Now heres the fun part. I merged all layers (CMD+SHIFT+E) and copied the resulting layer 3x (CMD+J). I made the top layer invisible and selected the second one. Then I went to Edit->Transform->Flip vertically.

I made the top layer visible again. I didn’t like the edge of the lake too much so I wanted to change that next. I went to Edit->Pupped Warp. I dropped finds everywhere and adapted the lake edge slightly.

Enter. Cool. Then I selected the top layer and created a layer mask and brushed out the lower right corner. Remember, under the top layer is the one we just flipped, so by removing the corner I could compare which I like more, original reflection or the custom-made one.

I used the normal move tool to put the second layer in place.

After the layer was in position, I removed the rest of the lake in the top layer.

Of course it looked now like a perfect mirror. But I wanted the lower part to be blurred so that it resembles water. With the second layer selected, I went to Blur->Motion Blur and blurred the lake part.

A lake should always be a little bit darker, I selected the second layer and create a curve adjustment layer.

I then used the free transform thing again to crop a little bit around.

Cool! Then I darkened the second layer, selected the first one and brushed the edge of the lake through a little bit. Was just too bright, hehe.

Cool. I wanted the lake to be a little different, so I used a Color Balance change to achieve this.

I darkened the sites of the images a little bit using curves and layers.

After merging all and copying it 3x, I changed the blending mode of the first one to Overlay.

Putting the least layer to the top, I then used the brush to combine the overlay version and the normal version to my liking.

I needed some more darkening, so the same thing again. Cool thing.

I decreased the saturation in the grass, thats it.

Like my images? Make sure to check out my complete portfolio for more HDR images!

Feel free to share and favour this post as you see fit!

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