The Hydro-Armadillo Juxtaposition

By YaopeyBlog

hydro armadillo juxtaposition

I really wanted to write a post on this image before I posted it on my Flickr a few weeks ago. Didn’t get the chance to do that so I’m doing it now. Hope it’s not too late!

The reason I want to write a post on this image is because I want to share how I created the reflection.

Just to give you a heads up, the post-processing steps involve “photoshopping”. So, if this is against your ethos, you can skip the post-processing part of this post. 🙂

For those who continued to read on, I used the same technique to create this image of Marina Bay in Singapore.

I first saw this post-processing technique when I just started out in photography. I had no clue what I was doing and YouTube was a my main learning resource. Over the years, I’ve learned so much from other photographers on camera skills and post-processing techniques.

Creating a reflection in Photoshop is actually not very technical. I can still recall learning it from a speed editing video on image manipulation. Once you know the steps you can create a reflection in just a few minutes.


The Clyde River

River Clyde is the eighth longest river in the United Kingdom. It runs through the city of Glasgow and there are some important landmarks along the river side.

It was a typical day in Glasgow. The weather was windy with some drizzling.

A walk along the river in the afternoon was relaxing. I took a few shots but didn’t like the result. I crossed the bridge to the other side so I could view the landmarks from a distance.

My initial plan was to try taking an image of a landmark. Given the distance I had, I thought I was able to include the whole structure and maybe a reflection on the river.

I wasn’t happy with my shots until I walked towards the Squinty Bridge. From there, I could see the Armadillo, the Hydro, the Finneston Crane and the Mercury Hotel standing among other smaller buildings. I felt there was a potential but the light wasn’t in favour.

I came back again that evening, hoping the weather to be reasonable with some sunlight. My luck didn’t disappoint me at all, the sunset bathed everything along the river side gold in colour.

Without wasting any time, I parked my car at the Mercury Hotel and sprinted across the bridge. I walked to the location I’ve chosen earlier while observing the scene along the way to see if it’s worth taking a shot.

The river was relatively calm and the wind had subsided a bit. The reflection wasn’t great so I wanted to use my Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 16 ND filter to create the long exposure effect. As always, I’ve also taken a couple of bracketed exposure.



There was quite a bit of post-processing done to this image. Besides tonal and colour adjustments, the main part was dodging and burning, and creating the reflection.

river clyde straight out of camera
The image straight out of camera, unedited

If you don’t like the sound of ‘creating the reflection’, by all means skip this part. No hard feelings. 🙂

Here are my post-processing steps:

  1. Lens profile correction and removal of chromatic aberration in Lightroom
  2. Opened image in Photoshop
  3. Used Lens Correction to correct the vertical perspective
  4. Creating the reflection (video tutorial below)
  5. Dodge and burn to accentuate the shadows and the highlights of the structures
  6. Used Adobe Camera Raw filter to reduce the luminance of the reds and the blues
  7. Applied a high pass filter and added a layer mask to mask out the sky
  8. Painted warmth and light on a 50% grey layer
  9. Reimported back to Lightroom
  10. Temperature +5, Highlights +17, Whites +15
  11. Blue saturation +18
  12. Split toning: Highlights’ hue +21, saturation +15
  13. Sharpening +51
  14. Vignette -6



Creating A Reflection In Photoshop

It’s not difficult or technical at all. There are only a few key steps that you need to remember.

It is THAT simple.

I’ve created a video to show you step-by-step how to create a reflection in Photoshop CC. The steps are all pretty generic, so it will also work in an older version of Photoshop.



I really like the tone and colour of this image. The timing was also right, which helped to create a more dramatic effect.

The reason for creating the reflection was to fill the foreground with something. The image may do well without the reflection, but the foreground is empty and it just doesn’t sell as much as the final version (with the accentuated reflection).

Some of you may frown on the idea of photoshopping the image. I can appreciate that and I respect your opinion.

For me, photography is an art and creating an art shouldn’t be restricted to only what we could see. However, that is purely my personal opinion. 🙂

I hope you enjoy the tutorial and thanks for reading!