Reflections are essentially mirror images of objects, but creating them accurately in Photoshop takes careful manipulation. In this example, we're going to look at how we can transform simple still-life subjects by adding realistic reflections.
We'll be controlling the opacity of the reflection by using a gradient applied to a layer mask. For an even more convincing effect, we'll also use a very subtle shadow to indicate a surface plane.
1 Here we'll create a realistic reflection from the two objects in this image. We want to create the illusion of the objects standing on a highly polished glass-like surface. First, we need to isolate the objects from the background. Select the Magic Wand tool from the Toolbar.
2 Set the Tolerance for the wand to 30 in the Options bar. Check the Anti-aliased and Contiguous boxes to ensure a smooth-edged, continuous selection. Now, click with the Wand anywhere in the white area that surrounds the objects. Go to Select > Inverse (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+I) so that the apples are selected rather than the background.
3 Go to Edit > Copy (Ctrl/Cmd+C), and then to Edit > Paste (Ctrl/Cmd+V) to paste a copy of the selected objects ...