Articles, Blog

Easily Create Fake Window Reflections with Photoshop

January 15, 2020

everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Photoshop. Today I have a really quick and easy process
to add realistic glass reflections to a photograph, to make it appear as if a portrait photograph
has been taken through a window. You might have seen these creative window
portraits around the web, which usually feature trendy young people in coffee shops. Taking the photo through a window adds a layer
of reflections from the outside world, which produces a kind of double-exposure effect
and makes the overall shot more interesting. By using Photoshop to create this photo style,
you can capture the effect of shooting through glass without having to even go outside! To create this effect we first need a portrait
photo. The environment of the photo is crucial; it must be an indoor setting, otherwise it
would just look weird. We also need a random image of a street to
use as the reflections. I’ll link to both these free images from With the outdoor photo active, go to Select
>All, followed by Edit>Copy. Close the document and go to Edit>Paste
to place the image on a new layer within the portrait photo document. Press CMD (or CTRL key on Windows) and T shortcut
for Transform. Scale the image so it fills the canvas. Before adding any filters, right click on
the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object, so the settings can be altered later if necessary. The reflections on a window wouldn’t be in
focus, so add a Gaussian Blur to simulate this. Apply a radius of around 10 pixels. Change the blending mode of this layer to
screen, which allows the two layers to interact by making the darkest areas transparent. To fine tune the appearance of the window
reflections, add a Levels adjustment layer. We only want these levels adjustments to apply
to the street photo layer, so hold the ALT key and click between the layer and adjustment
layer to create a clipping mask. Move the Levels sliders to adjust the appearance
of the reflections. Remember the darkest areas are made invisible with the Screen blending
mode, so making the Shadows and Midtones darker by moving them towards the right will make
more of the portrait visible again. Moving the Output Levels sliders will adjust
the whole of the image, rather than the shadows, midtones and highlights specifically. You can also click and drag the reflections
image layer around to find the best position so it adds visual interest to the photo, but
doesn’t obscure the main subject. The reflections look a little too vibrant
as a result of the Levels adjustments, so go to Image>Adjustments>Hue and Saturation. Decrease the Saturation value to take most
of the colour out of the reflections. The main benefit of turning the layer into
a Smart Object before applying any adjustments is you can go back and double click each filter
to edit its settings. So if you decide you want the reflections to be more out of focus,
you can increase the blur. So I hope you found this quick tutorial useful.
If you did a thumbs up to help spread the word would be really appreciated. Subscribe to the channel to stick around for
more of my content, and if you want to get your hands on my free bundle of design resources,
head over to my Spoon Graphics website. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.


  • Reply thiago etchegaray January 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm


  • Reply Malick Lombion January 14, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    Awesome! Will definitely use in photos as well as videos!

  • Reply Spoon Graphics January 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Everyone who subscribes to my mailing list gets a FREE design resources bundle. 📦Get yours here:

  • Reply White Kriminal January 14, 2020 at 11:42 pm


  • Reply Yuri Mihailov January 15, 2020 at 12:27 am


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