I have been trying to create this effect in photoshop for months now and I am starting to lose hope if anyone has any tips on how to create this effect or where I can find more resources that would be great :)

  • 6
    You may already know this, but hopefully you are aware that that is an actual photograph of water. I assume you are merely looking to create something similar. Recreating a photograph can take considerable work and hand painting
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 22:18
  • 2
    Can you include what you've tried and managed to come up with?
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


It's originally a photo of shallow water in bright sunlight. Small waves act like lenses and the light is intensified here and there:

enter image description here

Your image has also plenty of reflected blue sky. I haven't it much because I happened to use a polarization filter to suppress reflection when this photo was taken. Blue has got hue shift to magenta in your image, I guess.

The rainbow colored lights are artificial chromatic aberration. Lenses this bad are rare special tools, so I believe it's made with software. R, G and B components of the image are simply shifted apart. That makes white areas colored.

Chromatic aberration can be added by distorting R, G and B channels differently. Actually only 2 of them need distortion. An example:

enter image description here

Blue and red channels have both got a little manual push with the Liquify filter. The pushing directions are different. This is really difficult if one has low resolution like me an the white areas are narrow. The shifts are easily too large. To make the colors more visible a little contrast is added before distorting.

Better results can be achieved by adding distortion to color channels with a more controllable method than pushing manually. Using a filter which makes chromatic aberration directly would be easiest. Unfortunately I haven't one.

There exist image effect online services which have it. An example: https://www.imgonline.com.ua/eng/chromatic-aberration-effect.php

  • In Photoshop you can add chromatic aberration with Filter > Lens Correction > Custom > Chromatic Aberration.
    – Wolff
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 22:06
  • @Wolff true, but the available color placement shifts are made for compensating lens errors, you cannot get large enough displacements for this purpose.
    – user82991
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 22:23
  • You're right, you have to repeat it many times ...
    – Wolff
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 22:31

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