How to Create a Fantasy Lake Scene with Adobe Photoshop

Create a new 2000×1500 px document and fill it with white. Open the forest image and drag it into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V).  Convert this layer to a Smart Object

Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 4 px. Press Ctrl+J to duplicate this layer and flip it vertically (Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical) .  Use the Move Tool to  drag it down a bit.

Step 3

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Select a soft round brush with black color and use it to erase the ground. Now the background looks like a lake.

Step 4

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map and pick the colors #01102b and #166491

Step 5

 Make a Curves adjustment layer and decrease the lightness. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the middle as we aim to add some light there.

Step 6

Add another Curves adjustment layer and increase the lightness for the area near the middle. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the rest to keep the shadow and contrast of this area.

Step 7

 Make a new layer on top of the layers and use a small brush with the color #04070e to paint more details behind the trees. Apply a Gaussian Blur of 5 px to this layer to make these details soft and blur to fit the background.

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