Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Combining two images together with masking

From: Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop

Video: Combining two images together with masking

This movie is going to be fun because here we're going to make some magic happen as Once you go to the Fill dialog, you can then select a

Combining two images together with masking

This movie is going to be fun because here we're going to make some magic happen as we look at how we can use Photoshop masking in order to combine these two layers together. Yet, before we start to work on masking, one of the things that I want to do, just for demonstration purposes, is to resize this photograph so that our exercise files aren't incredibly large. So, here I'll navigate to the Image pull down menu and then select Image Size. Take note, this is a step that you don't need to take.

I'm simply doing this so that my files are a little bit smaller, so that the exercise files, which are included with this course, will be smaller as well. Alright, here I'll click OK in order to resize the photograph to a smaller size, and then press Cmd+plus a few times to zoom back in. Now, another thing that I like to do when working in Photoshop, is to work in full screen. To access full screen, simply tap the F key on your keyboard. Then, you can move your image around by tapping the spacebar key, which will give you access to the Hand tool.

So, tap the space bar key, and then you can click and drag to move your image around. And often, what you'll want to do is, position the image near the top of the screen rather than the bottom of the screen. This will ensure that you have good posture while you're working in Photoshop. All right, let's zoom in a little bit more here as well. All right, well, next, what we need to do is to do some masking. We're going to create a mask which is filled with black. And then, we'll paint on it with white in order to paint in these beautiful sunset colors which are located on this layer.

So here, let's begin this process by clicking into the layer which we named Warm. And then, let's click on the Add Layer Mask icon. That's located at the base of the Layers panel, right down here. Go ahead and click on that icon which will create a mask which is filled with white. Now, in order to change this mask to a mask which is filled with black, we have a few different techniques that we can use. One technique that you can use is to navigate to the Edit pull-down menu. Then, select Fill.

Once you go to the Fill dialog, you can then select a color here, or a solid color like black or gray or white. Here let's choose black, and then click OK. Now, what happened when we did that? Well, it filled our mask with black, which concealed or it hid the entire warm layer, which is exactly what we wanted to have happen. Because what we're going to do is we're going to paint in the warmth into a specific area of the photograph so that we can have these warm and cool tones combined in a single image.

Alright. Well, in order to paint on this mask, we need to select the Brush tool. Do you know the shortcut for that tool? It's the B key. So tap the B key, or click on the Brush tool icon, located right here in the Tools panel. Then next, we need to go up to the Options bar, and dial in a few settings. First, let's use our brush size. We need to increase the brush size, probably somewhere around 200 or so, maybe even 250 would work well. Or perhaps a little bit smaller than that. I think about 200 is good. Now, in regards to the brush hardness, we want to brush with 0% hardness.

That will ensure that our masking will blend in really fluidly and smoothly, because this will give us nice, soft edges. Well, what else do we need to do up here? Next, we need to work on opacity. We want to drop our opacity below 50% and what I recommend you try is somewhere around 30% or so. This will allow us to make multiple brush strokes to slowly and to subtly build up this effect. Next, we need to choose a color to paint with because we want to reveal on our mask.

What we need to do is to choose white. Click on the little toggle switch here to switch between white and black there. So, we can select white or you can also click on the color chip and choose white in the color picker as well. Alright, well, here we have our brush. We have a nice, big brush size with a low opacity and we're able to now paint with white. Now, so I can see what I'm doing, I'm going to zoom out just a little bit here. I'll press Cmd+- on a Mac or Ctrl+- on Windows. Then, I'm going to go ahead and make some broad brushstrokes across the image.

And here I'm just going to paint back and forth. And I'm going to progressively move up the photograph and bring out these warmer tones into a few different areas of the picture. And because we're working at a lower opacity, we want to paint back and forth in those areas where we want this to be a little bit more intense. And as we paint over those areas, what you can start to see is that we're bringing in this warmth into this part of the photograph. Take a look at the before and after of these simple adjustments. Now here, one of the things I want to do is work on the edges.

In other words, the top edge up here and the bottom edge down below of this color which we're adding. In order to work on those areas, I need to change the brush size. So, let's start by increasing our brush size. Here I will increase the brush size pretty significantly, somewhere to around 300, maybe even 400. And the reason why I'm going to do that and bring it up to 450, is because I just want to start to get close to that edge and with this nice soft edge it will create a nice smooth transition that isn't as noticeable in regards to where that color starts or stops.

I also want to do the same thing over here in the trees, so I get a little bit more of the warmth in that area. Now, if ever you notice that you make a mistake and you go too far, well you can always paint with black, and when you paint with black that will then conceal or hide that adjustment there in that area. Next, let's zoom in on the picture. Press Cmd++ on a Mac or Ctrl++ on Windows. To work on the transition edge, the lower transition edge, we'll need a smaller brush. So, here, let's select a much smaller brush.

Maybe somewhere around 100 will work well. Again, it's just an approximation. There isn't a right or wrong here. It's just a matter of getting a smaller brush so we can do a little bit more detail work. Now, with this brush, what I'm going to do is paint over that horizon line. So that we have a little bit more of a defined edge there. Now, as we start to paint over that area, you may see some other little detail areas that you want to paint as well. These trees for example, I think it would be nice to have really bright vivid colors. I'm just going to go ahead and paint through that and paint up here a little bit and just look to bring in a little bit more of that with this precise or smaller brush.

Now, again, if you make a mistake. Here I'll make a mistake. You bring in color in an area which is too low, we'll just paint with black and go back and forth over that until you can remove that color change there in that part of the picture. And what we're looking to do is to try to create edges and seams which are really nice and natural. For even more precise control, you can make your brush even smaller. Now, once you have a nice small brush, you can go over that edge either by painting with black to hide it or white to reveal it.

And as you do that, what you'll be able to do is to really dial in a nice transition area. And sometimes it takes a little bit of back and forth, as I'm needing to do here, just to get that transition to look its best. Well, let's evaluate how we're doing. Here it is. There is our before, and now here is our after. And as you can see here, by combining these warm and these cool tones, all of a sudden, we have a completely different look. And when it comes to customizing this look and working with the mask, there really is an art to it.

You need to give it some time. For example, one of the things that you want to do is, right now even, just close your eyes, or look away, and then look back. And when you do that, sometimes you'll notice that there's an area which you might want to change or which you didn't quite work very well. One of the things that I noticed is I don't like how high the brighter oranges are going up here. So, I'm going to make sure I'm painting with black and I'm going to increase my brush size so I've got a nice big brush here. And I'm just going to go ahead and paint over this area and essentially lower that effect so it's not quite so high up there.

So, a little bit lower. Looks like I went just a touch too far so I'll paint with white here. Bring back in a little bit more. Again, there's a lot of give and take here, going back and forth to get this just right. And I think that looks pretty good. And it's all about the subtle differences that you can make when working with masking. Next, you want to zoom out a little bit, just to make sure that that's looking good. I think we have a pretty good adjustment here. And, so far so good. At this point, we're ready to go to the next stage in our process.

So, let's go ahead and leave this file open as we'll continue to work on it in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop
 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.