Tutorial: Adding Reflections

Photoshop Tutorial: Intermediate

Reflections happen so often in real life, that an object without them, often, looks fake or pasted in. In this tutorial we will add window glass reflections to an ordinary image.


  1. Choose your image and your reflection image.
  2. I used a charming street view from Italy and a interior view of a shoe shop both from Pexels.com
  3. Go to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stacks to combine them as layers in a new file
  4. Make sure the reflection layer is on top and change its blend mode to LIGHTEN
  5. Blur the reflection lightly
  6. Create a new Hue and Saturation adjustment layer, and make a clipping group with the reflection layer*
  7. Add a slight yellow or green tint, depending of your image light
  8. Create a layer for non-destructive dodging and burning: option [alt for PC] on the new layer icon to bring up the dialog box. Choose blend mode OVERLAY and click the fill with neutral gray option.

  9. Choose a soft brush with low opacity, and use white (dodge) and black (burn) to add highlights and shadows
  10. Create a copy of all visible layers by hitting [com + shift+ option + e on a Mac] or  [ctrl + Alt + Shift +e on a PC]. Now you have a single layer to adjust, but your original layers are still there. You can hide them and put them in a folder if you like
  11. Choose Filter > Lens Blur to add a slight blurring to the composite layer
  12. Feel free to add a little texture to the glass by importing an image of dirty glass, or just noises and scratches texture and changing its blend mode as appropriate

*Create a clipping group: hover with your mouse while holding Option [Alt on a PC] to the line separating the 2 layers and click.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions or suggestion for a new tutorial, let me know in the comments below