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In Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing, Chris Orwig demonstrates how to take photographs to the next creative level by combining images in Photoshop. This course covers multiple compositing scenarios, including portraits and architecture photos, from selecting the images, to blending photos with layer masks and blend modes, and resizing and sharpening the results. Chris also covers tips and tricks design to inspire and increase the drama and interest of photographs. Exercise files are included with this course.
Now, that we've blended in our first image, I want to take this even further. What I want to do is explore some different options, how could we create a composite where we have some variation so we can show our client perhaps different ways of working with this or just some different visuals. One of things that we might want to do is use these different layers. So for example, when I turn on this east coast layer, I think okay, this is a beautiful lighthouse shot and I'd love to have this in that same context with the same mask. Well, I could of course bring this mask up to each of these layers or I could do something completely different.
Notice that down here we have the mask. It's a good mask. We could actually click-and- drag this to our whole layer set. So what happens is, is that any layer that's turned on is going to fit with inside of that mask area. The great thing about this is that it gives us a little bit more creative flexibility. Well, let's take a look at a few other options. Here, we'll turn off the visibility of this layer just for the fun of it. Then I'm going to go ahead and turn on the visibility of another layer, this photograph of a Montana fisherman, and I can click-and-drag this to reposition it one way or another.
What I want to do is blend this in. So I'll go to my blending mode of Soft Light and as I do that I notice the color is a little bit problematic. So I want to remove the color. The easy way to do that is to press Shift+Command+U on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+U on Windows, or to go down to Image > Adjustments and choose Desaturate. There is that shortcut. You might want to jot it down. That will then remove the color. So I get a little bit more of the warmth coming through that page.
Now, what I like about this of course is that I can position this guy here somewhere in this context, yet I don't like this spill over here. What's great about the way that we did our masking is I can now add another mask to this layer itself. So I'll go ahead and click on Add Layer Mask there and with my Brush tool I'll paint with black and I'll make my brush nice and big by pressing the Right Bracket key. I'm using a soft edged brush. I can mask this out here, so that that's not falling over into that side of the page.
I can only do this because I have a mask which is on top of it and then underneath I now have a mask on each layer. Let's bring on a couple of more layers. Here I'll turn on the lighthouse layer, click in that one, go to a blending mode of Soft Light. I want to desaturate it so I press Shift+ Command+U on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+U on Windows. Then grab the Move tool and here I'll simply click-and-drag this lighthouse to another side. I can come up with a different variation, a different type of a composite.
I can continually experiment with these. Let's try another experiment. For example, we'll turn off the visibility on this side and turn on this photograph of the caribbean. We'll reposition it to a decent spot there, change our blending mode. We're going to Soft Light. Soft Light or Overlay tends to work really well. Overly will give us a bit more detail. So let's try Overlay with both of these. Again, just to have a little bit more of a variation on this one. Now, that caribbean photograph has too much color.
You've already learned the shortcut to remove the color. It's Shift+Command+U on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+U on Windows. In this case I'm thinking that Soft Light might be better. So I'm going to jump back to that, because it looked like it was a little bit too high contrast compared to the lighthouse photo on the left. And what you can see here is we can really play with this. We can change blending modes, we can also of course change opacity, we can add layer masks. For that matter, we can combine multiple images together.
So this case, I have this savannah photograph on, and I could turn these off or add one on so we have something that kind of is connected, but also a little bit different. We can come up with a lot of really inventive and creative options. Well, in this case one of the tasks of this project is to create something that would work for a contact or a bio page for this photographer. So what we could do then also is we could turn on some content, like I have some bio copy here that I could add to a page.
I could also turn on the little logo layer and then reposition that somewhere else so I could find a nice spot for that and I'll take its blending mode to Overlay or Soft Light. Then again here we have this nice potential layout for this composite. Well, we've started to tinker quite a bit with these different options and what we need to have now is some way to save all of these options. We also need to take a look at how we can boost the overall color and tone. Well, let's explore how we can do that in the next movie.
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