How I work my photographs

I have been asked many times how I do that with my photographs? Here is some little tutorial to help you get started

The software is Corel Paintshop XI

Please click on the image to see enlargement!


 Image 1

Open your picture in Paintshop and look at what you are planning to do with it? In this photograph I have a big shadow leading into the frame and I want to remove it.




Image 2

Pick up your freehand selection tool which you can see highlighted in blue in the illustration and in this case, I have outlined a rough shape larger then my shadow. With feather about 7%, trying to select something that will blend in with the rest of the background once I place it over the shadow area.




Image 3

Now select the pick up tool (highlighted in blue) and click inside the box once and let go. Paintshop prepares for you to be able to pick the selection up!


Image 4

Now pick up the selection and move it across on to the shadow area!





Image 5

Zoom into the frame to check the joint of the new layer and smooth out any obvious lines with the Push and Brush tool (highlighted in blue)




Image 6

Now go into Layer > Merge > Merge all layers

If you are happy, save as and finished.




Image 7

But I want to turn this image into a watery landscape and turn the horizon into water and reflection. Also this landscape will be converted into portrait format and I need to extend the length for the water effect. Go into Image > Add Borders

Original dimension of the image is Width 17.950 in and Height 22.720 in.

Un-tick the Symmetric box, because you only want to add length to the bottom part and put about 11.000 in and OK!

Open your original image and go into Edit > Flip


Image 8

Pick up the Freehand selection tool, Feather 0% and select the horizon as you see in this illustration.





Image 9

Edit > Cut





Image 10

Click on the image with the extended bottom and go into Edit > Paste as New Layer.





Image 11

Select the Pick tool and move the copied layer in position and stretch it to cover the whole black area, so that it becomes covered with the sky to look like water reflection.




Image 12






Image 13

To darken the water effect slightly go into Adjust > Brightness/contrast > Level and move the slider slowly to the right to darken or to the left for light. Then OK.




Image 14

And flatten the layer by going into

Layer > Merge All Layers

If you are happy? Save your new image as in JPG or what ever you prefer?



Image 15

It should look like this

But I found some water texture to create this effect!






Image 16

But I felt even more creative and decided to have something in the foreground like swans.





Image 17

Now I want to transfer these two swans onto image 16. To do that, I have to somehow cut them out?





Image 18

Zoom in as much as you can still recognising the swan’s outline and pick up the freehand selection tool 0% feather, and go around both birds.





Image 19

This is what you should be left with when you’ve finished. As before in picture 9, you go into Edit > Cut and tick on the image you want the swans to go on, just as in illustration and picture 10 you go into Edit > Paste as new layer.




Image 20

Do you observe Raster 1 in the bottom right hand corner? There you see the two swans. I created a new image by clicking on the white page that you see under the word File and a box comes up to select the size and background? I selected the same size the original swans came from and deselected the background which would be like you see in the layer box Raster 1. You will realise later why I had done this? Because, if you have a look at image 10, you notice that the part you’ve cut out is now gone. In the case of the swans, I didn’t want to do the job again by selecting them. They will be useful to me again in the future for another picture and pasted the swans onto the newly created image and saved it in png format.

In image 20

select the pickup tool and get hold of the top middle and drag it all the way down. This stretches the swans and turns them up side down. This will be the reflection of the swans.

Image 21

Go back to the selected image of the swans, and undo the cut and re-cut again as in previous image 9 and paste as in image 19. With the pick up tool in image 20, you are able to put the swan and the reflection in position to give it that realistic feel. To move the reflection in position you have to click onto raster 1 in the layer box bottom right and to move the swans Raster 2. The reflection is just a little too solid to be realistic. Can you just see the 100% slider next to the word Normal above Raster 2? Move that slider down to about 40% in this case and straight away the reflection is becoming more like a reflection, and flatten the image when satisfied as in image 14!

Image 22

This is what it looks like now, but I finished it of in Paintshop XI with some of the effect tools to give it a little more impact in my opinion. But that I leave with your own artistic flare to try out different tools to see what they will do for you? It is case of trying them and see buttons, lol?

This is my final and finished work on the swans which I’ve called “Floating on clouds”!


Floating on clouds








Best regards,

Sylvia Hardy


Also please do check out some of my work in