How to Create Splashes using Photoshop

One of my most favorite things as a Composite Photographer is when I get questions about how I do something or how I create something using Photoshop.

Many THANKS to Raif F. for asking the question, “Do you have any tips for working with water and creating splashes?”

Questions like this inspire me so much, I went out and created a Composited Portrait just so I could effectively answer Raif and show you how I go about creating realistic looking Splashes.

Now, get your towels ready because we’re going to jump into splashes head first.

Your Take Away

I consider it an honor that you’re taking the time to 1) improve your craft of Composite Photography, and 2) consider me enough of a resource to follow my work and tutorials.

So, here’s what I want you to take away from this video…

#1 How to Create Splashes using Photoshop (obviously)

#2 Convincing is the Goal, not Perfect

#3 Your Primary job is to be a Problem Solver

If you walk away with one of these 3 things, I believe your next 15 to 20 minutes will be well spent.

Creating the Splash

I have to admit, I didn’t know exactly how I was going to approach the creation of a Splash using Photoshop when initially asked this question.

But, like with everything else in Composite Photography, you throw your thinking cap on and figure out a way.

I always say, “The BIGGEST job you have as a Composite Photographer is to Solve Problems.”

If you aren’t a good problem solver, I can’t imagine how you can be a good Composite Photographer.

Now, about those Splashes…

Because you’re creating something from nothing, your NUMBER ONE goal is to make it look convincing.

Not Perfect, but Convincing.

#1 Clone Stamp Tool: Using the white water, or splashing from another area of your Composite, select your “Clone Stamp” tool with a splash brush.

#2 Clone Water: With your Clone Stamp tool and on a new layer, simply clone the area of the rushing or splashing water in the area you want to create your Splash.

#3 In Front and In Back: Water never splashes in just one direction, so it’s important to create your Splashing water in both front and in back of what’s making the water splash.

#4 Add Some Details: Details make it real, so add the details of wetness and shadowing to bring your Splashes to life.

2 Schools of Composite Photography

I’d like to take a quick moment and explain my reasoning behind the idea of Creating Convincing and NOT Perfect.

I believe there are 2 Schools of thought when it comes to Composite Photography; 1) creating photo-realistic Composites, and 2) creating imagination inspired Composites.

I like that, “Imagination-Inspired Composites”.

Clearly, with photo-realistic Composites, your primary goal is to create images that don’t look like they’ve been Composited together. A great example of this type of Composite Photography would be Erik Almas, who is a MASTER at his style of Compositing.

On the other hand, however, with Imagination-Inspired Composites, your primary goal is to create effects that are convincing to the viewer. In other words, you’re creating to relay a message to your viewer in a convincing way.

I find Imagination-Inspired Composites fascinating and FREEING.

That’s a Wrap

Hopefully, you’ve learned something from both this video tutorial on how to create splashes using Photoshop, and from this crazy commentary here on this post.

If you have, I consider this time well spent.

Oh, for the record, both schools of Composite Photography inspire the imagination, not just crazy, fantastical Composites like the one’s I create.

TEST TIME! What did you take away from today’s tutorial, and what are your thoughts on settling for “convincing”?

Comments (2)

You bet Raif… I love being able to help anyway I can.

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