Photo Challenge: Warped and Surreal Photoshop Trick

Creativity is always evolving. Sometimes you see it around you and other moments you stumble across it while watching cute videos of kittens and puppies on Reddit. Artist Jai Putra Pratam popped up on my reddit feed, and he has a unique way of looking at life. With photo manipulation, Pratam has managed to create a collection of beautiful images. One image in particular that sent me reeling was this:

Ocean air salty hair

A photo posted by Jati Putra Pratama (@jatiputra) on

How on earth (mostly no pun intended) did he achieve this effect? What tools did he use? Using Photoshop, I attempted to recreate a similar effect and here are the steps I took.

step 1
1) Find a good image that has a relatively straight horizon line. I found the most success using an image where the horizon line near the middle of the image.

step 2

2. I then created three copies of the background image and rotated one counter clockwise and the other clockwise.

Step 3

3.You’re left with something like this and I changed the opacity to about 50. This gives you the ability to arrange the landscape to somewhere it will be easy to find where the photos line up.

step 4

4. I then used the quick selection tool to select and get rid of the sky on the rotated layers. Note: You can also use layer masks, but this was how I did it.

step 4

At this point, you’re left with something that looks a bit disjointed, but don’t worry, it just means you’re getting close to the end result!

step 5

5. On one of the rotated layers I used the eraser tool to line the layers on a diagonal line. Spend some time lining things up on this step. Getting it right may take a while, but the effort will show in the end.

step 6

6. Using the spot healing brush tool, I got rid of a few houses here. This, along with the erasing takes a bit of time so doesn’t be afraid to take your time on it.


7. Crop in and enjoy! You’ve mastered this surreal photoshop trick!

Casey Cosley

As a Seattle-based photographer, I incorporate the culture and style of the city into the sense and attitude of my work. I deliver a stunning and vibrant body of work for my clients, and am available for commercial & editorial travel and/or location photo assignments worldwide. Check out my work on Instagram.