Step 8 To focus on the coral walls and the bottom of the ocean, I turned off all of the glowing layers. This section was very time consuming but it was important to blend all the photos well. I used a very soft brush for careful masking and the Curves adjustment layers to darken images. The goal is to keep original underwater colours, so I focussed on blues and greens.


Step 9 For the background details, I worked from a stock shot of some coral reefs. I masked the coral gently and set the Blending mode to Luminosity, so it would match the colour from layers below. These images needed to be rather dark silhouettes, so everything in front will stand out in contrast.


Step 10 To really bring it to life, the underwater world needed some creatures. I placed them in various positions and at different sizes and dimensions for a sense of variety – like the whale in the foreground or the shark in the background as shown (right). Some of them can be really tiny, like the small fish below the couple, as they will add real depth to the vinyl artwork without detracting when the piece is viewed as a thumbnail in iTunes.