Seán Duggan talks about how to choose images that will work well for a portrait collage. He explains the concepts of primary and secondary images and how they can be arranged in a portrait collage. A primary image is a strong photo that can stand alone as an individual portrait. Secondary images reveal other aspects of the portrait subject.
- [Voiceover] Before you start to create a portrait collage in Photoshop, you have to choose the images for the project. Although the portrait images that you use do not necessarily have to be photographed in any special way for this type of work, there are some important things to keep in mind when reviewing photos for a portrait collage. The first step is to try to identify the primary image for the collage. This is usually a very strong image that could stand on its own as a portrait. In this example, any of these images of the little girl could work as the primary image, but there is such strong eye contact and presence in the one on the left that it works best in this collage.
The primary photo is the anchor around which you will build out the rest of the collage. In these photos of the young woman, the closer views are the ones that would work best as the primary or anchor image. The full length shots where she's farther away would work well as secondary or supporting images. In these shots of the rock climber, the obvious primary image is the one where she's standing with all of her climbing gear, looking directly into the camera. The other photos are action shots of her scaling a rock wall and are not really portraits per se, but they would work well in a collage that is also a portrait of someone engaged in an activity that they love.
In any photo story, there are always the main shots and then the secondary or supporting shots. The latter may not be the ones that are reproduced full page or used as the cover image, but they're important in that they help to round out the story and tell us a bit more. The same is true with a series of portrait images. Thinking of your portrait shots in this way will help you choose the best shots for the primary and secondary images.
In this course, photographer, author, and educator Seán Duggan steps you through the process of using Photoshop to combine a set of portraits into a collage. He uses the compositing features of Photoshop, including layers, selections, masks, and Smart Objects, in combination with the transform and tonal styling tools for maximum creative impact. These techniques will help you build a new portrait collage from scratch and discover some new tricks in Photoshop along the way.
- Choosing images
- Arranging layers
- Retouching and masking
- Blending layers
- Pulling it all together