Customize your digital scrapbook pages by blending in other photos or images. To create a cohesive look, select a few close-ups of those things that will not be taking center stage but will help to tell the story. Textures, outfit details, ripples, maps, and even rocks are all images that blend well with your focal photos.
Cape Perpetua by Laura Vanderbeek.
There are several ways to blend photos. I am going to share two different techniques I like to use to blend photos together. One uses a brush and a layers mask, while the other uses a lower opacity and the eraser tool. Let’s begin with option 1.
Option 1: Brush and Layers Mask
2. Select a secondary photo to blend. Next I selected a photo that had a better shot of the fish he had caught and opened it in a separate document.
3. Select an area of the secondary photo and add it as a new layer. Here’s a close up of my secondary subject, a tiny fish. I made a selection around the fish (you can use either the Lasso or the Marquee tool), and then used the Move tool to drag and drop it onto the first photo as a separate layer (Layer 1).
4. Add a layer mask to Layer 1. With Layer 1 selected, click the Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers palette.
5. This is a close up of the Layer Mask button.
6. You can see your Fish Layer in the Layers Pallet.
7. And after you click the Layer Mask button it should look like this. Make sure you see the extra box around the Layer Mask thumbnail and not around the fish thumbnail.
8. Open the Brush Tool menu.To blend the fish you’ll need to choose a brush to work with. You’ll find the Brush Tool menu in the Tools palette under the fly-out menu that holds the Brush tool, Pencil tool, and the Color Replacement tool.
9. Choose a soft brush from the Brush menu.
10. Set the hardness at 0%. We want to blend, not create hard lines, around the fish. A soft, feathered edge will help us do this.
11. Adjust the size of the brush to fit your needs. Every image is different, just choose a size that gives you flexibility without being too small.
12. Brush around the secondary image. You should see black appear in the Layer Mask thumbnail in the Layers palette. As you can see, when I brushed around the little fish, I created an oblong black shape in the layer mask.
13. If the Layer Mask thumbnail doesn’t show the outline, check to make sure black is the foreground color.
14. The secondary image is now blended with the primary image. Here you can see the fish blended in perfectly to the jar below.
Option 2: Opacity and Eraser Tool
Now let’s get started with Blending Option 2. You can easily do this in Photoshop and any version of Photoshop Elements. I’m going to use my new photo combination as the focal image for this technique.
16. Open your primary photo. Here is a copy of my blended photo complete with fish and all.
17. Add the secondary photo as a new layer and adjust the opacity. Adding the secondary photo as a new layer is as easy as using the Move tool to drag and drop it onto the primary photo. You can adjust the opacity to whatever level you like, although I usually shoot for somewhere between 20% and 60%. It really depends on how much you want to see and how much it will distract from the subject. This time I chose 30%.
18. Erase areas of the secondary photo to allow your primary photo to shine through. I grabbed an Eraser tool from the Tools palette, choosing one that has a soft feathered edge, and erased the map from his face and arms using the Eraser tool at 100% opacity. Next I erased around the subject and over the background using 50% opacity, and then touched up with 20% opacity.
Now you have a really fun photo that includes a great photo of the subject, the secondary subject, and a map of the area. As you can see, enlarging this photo to take-up most of the room on a two-page spread creates a dramatic, eye-popping focal point.
Tony Grove Lake by Laura Vanderbeek.
P.S. You’ll find yet another technique for blending photos on page 112 of Better Digitals Photos & Scrapbooking, a special issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine, along with plenty of other easy digital scrapbooking how-tos and digital photography tips. Would you like to win a copy? Leave a comment here telling us what digital technique you’d like to learn more about. From the comments received by Monday, September 24, at 9:00 am (MT), we’ll choose one winner to receive a copy of this fantastic special issue. Our international friends are welcome to participate in this giveaway.
Congratulations to our winner!
heaney says: I love digital scrapbooking as I will never run out of digital paper and the fact that I can adjust the elements until I am satisfied with the result without worrying of wastage. Hope to more about shadowing elements.
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