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Arriving Somewhere but not Here

A gift to Ahmed

Client: Ahmed
Services: Video

Arriving Somewhere but not Here

This is a very special personal project. This is the first time I worked with only one Photograph as starting point, meaning it is the first video I created that exists only of still, 2D Footage!

✨ The challenge was to turn one picture into a completely unique & intriguing psychedelic video! ✨

  • I created my first ever animation using Adobe Photoshop
  • I created a new audio track in Ableton
  • I finished it off in Adobe Premiere pro whilst trying out as many new effects as possible

Scroll further to read about the full process!
(There is a conclusion down below!)



Context / background story:   This video was made as a gift to Ahmed, who I met in Egypt thanks to CouchSurfing.

👽💖🚀 We met Ahmed on Couchsurfing and met up in Cairo where we hung out at our AirBNB apartment. He gave us an unforgettable gift, including the gift of friendship! So bro, here’s a little something in return!

We have more enough reasons to return to Egypt! One of them is to see Ahmed again and chill at a deserted beach on an island! 🌴


The original photograph Ahmed send me:

Animating the still photo

I used this video by Spoon Graphics to learn how to animate still photos. I always found the flow-effects very psychedelic so I wished to learn how to create them myself.

The learning went very quick, I worked in Photoshop along with the video.  I had never heard of a ‘Video Timeline’ in Photoshop before, but now I can animate ‘flow’ quite quickly using this combined with the Quick Mask tool.

The goal normally is to just make the water appear to be moving infinitely, but I also zoomed in and out a little, and increased the size of the mask with the water bubbles so that Ahmed seemed to be floating a little bit more than before.

For this personal project, I created my own track called Didida in Ableton Live 9 Suite. I used a sample of the Rick & Morty series, because I know Ahmed loves it as much as I do!

I used my own track because I am trying to develop my skills and feeling confident to share my progress with others is part of that process. I also tried to master it, so I hope it sounds right to your ears!



There are two obvious layers: the ‘Corals Image’ and ‘Ahmed swimming’ but by flipping the image around and making it bulge a lot, the video looks more 3 dimensional and lively. There is also a ‘screen test’ image and black/grey background image being used.

In this video I tried to play around a lot with effects I had never used before, such as the ‘VR effects’. The VR effects helped it appear as though Ahmed is actually moving/swimming forwards through the water.



Thanks dear, for the psychedelic video and your kind words. I know you have put a lot of effort and time into it, and you worked during weekends also which you normally don’t do …I will call the video ‘arriving somewhere but not here’


  • I learned how to animate ‘flow’ in still photos using Adobe Photoshop
  • I learned more about ‘VR Effects’ in Adobe Premiere Pro
  • I learned more about creating my own music in Ableton Live, using samples, &  a bit of simple mastering
  • I developed my skills on working faster and more efficiently
  • I worked in many different programs at the same time while keeping overview on the project
  • I reminded myself that it’s very exciting to learn new things!!

And on top of that, I made Ahmed very happy! 🙂

Spending hours and hours creating, playing around with buttons and effects purely from intrinsic enthusiastic motivation is amazing and teaches me what I want to learn and more! 🙂

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