Adding the “Wet Street” Look to Your Car Photographs

When it comes to cars, one of the most famous film noir effects is the “wet streets” look that adds all kind of interesting reflections to an image.

One way to increase the drama one of your car photography image’s is to add environmental elements such as water and the best way to add digital water is by using Flaming Pear Software’s Flood Photoshop-compatible plug-in. Flaming Pear Software’s Flood plug-in has lots of controls but before you play in the digital water, it’s important to set the level using the plug-in’s Horizon setting. A preview window shows exactly where the water level will be. The final look creates the effect that matches my concept that was initially created using the Dark Contrast filter that’s part of the free Color Efex Pro software.


flood-pluginThe simplest approach to creating water effects using Flood is to click on the “dice” icon in the interface that throws random combinations at you as fast as you can slick. You can then refine any of these combinations that you like by using the many sliders included. Just keep clicking until you find one that you like and then use the sliders to tweak it to produce the look that you like. Most people will find it works faster that way than using the sliders first but you may not so try it both ways. The main think is to have fun with your photography and Flood is one of the ways that I use to “play” with my photographs.

Tip: Sometimes you want to add a lake or body of water to an image and there’s no room at the bottom of the photograph. In that case, you can add more picture area to the image by using Photoshop’s Canvas Size (Image > Canvas Size) to enlarge the bottom of the photograph. The extra space will be blank but since you’re going to be adding digital water in that space using the Flood plug-in it doesn’t matter anyway!

PS. The water in the photography of my old XJ-S ( have a love-hate relationship with Jaguars) in the Photograph Your Own Car blog post was also created using Flood.

Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s now out-of-print but new copies are available at collector (high) prices or used copies for giveaway prices—less than two bucks—from Amazon.