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One of the most difficult things to do when you're photographing a group of people is to get them all to smile in the same frame. So if you can't get everyone smiling, just make sure that you have everyone smiling in at least one shot. They don't all have to be smiling in the same shot, but just make sure that you have everyone smiling so that you can combine the images. We're going to start with these two images, and I'll select tools and then Photoshop, and we're going to load these two images into Photoshop layers. Bridge will hand those off to Photoshop and you can see that they're both open into a single document, but there's a little bit of a problem here, if we toggle on and off the layers, you can see that the zoom on the camera was changed between these exposures.
So I need to auto align these two exposures, on the layers panel I will select both of the layers and then I will choose Edit and then Auto Align layers. We'll pick Auto and click Okay, and now we can see that Photoshop has automatically aligned those layers so now the people are the same size in both images... So taking a look at this top image here everyone looks great except for the girl who has her eyes closed. If we hide that layer we can see in the bottom image, well, he's got his tongue out and she's looking away and the baby is kind of falling a little bit, sliding down, but she looks great.
Now to me, this just makes more sense. Since this is the bad image, I actually want to put it on top. The good image here, well, this is kind of my base layer because everyone looks good, and then I just need to fix her. So I'm going to drag it to re-position the stacking order on the Layers panel. So now my good layer's on the bottom. Everyone except for her. And then all I need to do is paint out everyone except for her. And I don't even need to physically paint that out. I can hold down the Option key and then click on the Mask icon and that will add a black layer which will hide everyone, then all I need to do is tap the B key to select the Brush tool, tap the D key to make sure that I have the default colors, that puts white as my foreground color. And make sure that I'm painting with 100% opacity.
Then I'll zoom in using Cmd+ or Ctrl+ on Windows and I'll paint right over her face here with white which basically means I'm revealing this portion of the image and this is the good portion of the image where she's smiling. So I will just be a little careful as I paint in this area. Now I'm going to paint a little too far just to show you what might happen because when you are using this technique you definitely want to toggle the eye icon on and off to check the mask that you just created.
So you can see for example on the shoulder, I have a little bit of a problem. So we'll zoom in even more, and then use the spacebar to scoot over and let's see what that problem is. I've actually painted away his shoulder, so I want to tap the x key in order to exchange my foreground and background color. I'll get a little smaller brush using the left bracket key, and then I just want to bring the shoulder back right here. Alright, let's toggle the visibility again, and see if I have any other areas that need to be fixed.
I'm going to scroll down and see. I'll just make sure, no, I've got a big issue right here. In this image, I've got the nice sleeve here, but then I've got something odd happening in this layer, so again, with this same color selected, with black selected, I need to paint out this area from the topmost image. Now, we'll toggle that on and off again just to double check. We can see a little bit more right here so I just want to remove that, and one more time, and that's looking good.
So there you have it. A simple way for combining multiple images together to create that perfect image where everyone looks good at the same time.
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