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How to Combine Photos in Photoshop

Hey Cafe Crew, it's Colin Smith here from PhotoshopCAFE and this week I'm going to show

you how to combine two photographs together inside of Adobe Photoshop.

It seems like this is an area that people trip up a lot, so I'm going to do a tutorial

on it right now and just kind of answer all those questions once and for all is how do

you combine two photos.

So there's a couple of different ways of doing it.

The easiest way to do it inside of Photoshop CC is to click and hold on the photograph

that you want to bring into the other one.

Then move your mouse right up until you see the other one appear, move your mouse or your

pointer, if you're holding a Wacom, over the top.

If you hold down the Shift key, it will center it and now release.

And notice what we've done is we've now got both the photographs there inside of two layers

on top of each other so we can combine them.

But let's go back and I'm going to show you some other things.

So if we choose under here, notice there's a thing called Application Frame.

Now this is only on the Mac.

You won't find this on Windows.

So if I turn Application Frame off, notice that these are kind of just floating and I

can take a photo and drag it into the second one; notice we've combined them.

Okay, so let's go back to the Application Frame and turn it back on again because on

Windows you're not going to have that option.

You don't have the floating windows like you do on the Mac.

Okay, so here's another way that we can do it is if we choose Window and then we choose

Arrange, and then just change this to, say, 2-up Vertical.

Now we can see the two documents side by side.

Click and drag on one, we go to the other one, hold Shift for centering and release


So let me just go back here.

We're going to go back to Arrange and then we're going to go Consolidate all the tabs

and now it just takes everything back to where it was.

All right, so now we're going to create a little composite really quickly combining

these two photos.

So I'm going to do it this way, which is my preferred method.

Click, move up to the tab of the destination, hold down Shift, release.

Then I'm going to hit Ctrl T or Command T. That brings up the Free Transform, but notice

that the photo that we put in here is so much bigger we can't see those handles.

If I zoom out, eventually, you'll see those handles.

There's a quick way to do that and that's just hit Ctrl 0 (zero) and it would be Command

0 on Mac, and it will zoom out until you see those handles.

And now I can go on the corner, hold down the Shift key and drag it out proportionately.

If I also hold the Option key, it will drag it up from the center and now we can get it

to kind of match there.

We could go and I'm just going to hit Enter to apply it.

All right, so I'm just going to go a little bit bigger now.

So what we need to do, though, is we need to combine these two photographs together

so it kind of looks like this is over the top of it.

So we could actually just paint it out for a mask.

That's one way of doing it, but I'll show you another way.

Why don't we just grab the Quick Select Tool and I'm just going to go over there and notice

what I've done is I'd drag in.

I've just selected all those area over the top.

If I hit Command Shift I or I'll show you under here, you go under the Select and under

Select, go Inverse Selection, which you can see is Command Shift I on Mac, Ctrl Shift

I on Windows.

Now we're just selecting our area here.

Now it didn't really matter.

I just wanted to show you that because I want to show you how to inverse a selection.

Now we're just going to create a mask.

With this area selected, go down to the Mask icon and we're going to click.

Now if we hadn't inversed the selection, we could get exactly the same result by holding

Option and then clicking.

And then we'll mask the area that we see now, but instead, I'm just going to click on the

masked area and notice now it's masking it there.

All right, so I'm not going to go like super in-depth here into showing you how to, you

know, make this absolutely perfect.

I just want to kind of give you the tips.

So notice we got a little bit of a hard edge.

We could just do a little cheat here a thing by just going up on to the layer, selecting

that layer mask, double click it to open the Properties panel if it's not already open

and then we'll just push that a little bit.

And we're just going to soften that edge.

See that, to just kind of soften that off and we got it selected.

Now, in the real world, I would use Select and Mask, and I've got other tutorials and

stuff like that on there, but I'm just trying to show some basic principles here.

Okay, so the colors here, they've got this kind of red kind of color cast and on the

other side there's a kind of a blue color cast.

So here's how you will deal with that.

Select one of the layers.

Let's grab the background there, actually, because we want to change this.

So how do we match it?

Here's a quick way?

We go to Image Adjustments and then go down to Match Color.

Now here's our Match Color and what we want to do is we want to choose our source.

And our source is going to be this image which is likejacksons.jpg that I grabbed from Adobe


And the layer that I want to use now is actually going to be Layer 1.

That's the one that I want to grab the colors from.

So notice when I do that, it applies the colors from this layer onto the other one.

Of course, right now, it looks a little bit strong, so we just want to bring it back,

and we can do that with the Fade slider.

So if we take the Fade slider down a little bit, we could combine it till the colors sort

of match.

We can also play around with Color Intensity which will make it less saturated or more


And then, of course, Luminance, which is lighten it up a little bit or darken it up to match

the image that we want to match on the top.

So, we can just go down like that.

Now, in real life, this is actually off in the distance so we'd have less color than

the other one.

So here's another little tip that you can do when you're doing this kind of work and

you want to kind of combine things together.

What we can do is we can actually just add a color over the whole thing.

So if we'd just go here and we choose solid color and we want to give it some kind of

a cinematic look, I don't know, let's give it a nice kind of an orangey glow, and then

we change this to--this is the color layer--change this to color blend mode.

There's other ways we can do this, of course.

And then if we pull the opacity all the way down and then just give it a little smudge,

just give it a little touch.

There we go and notice what it does by dripping this color down on to the other two layers,

it kind of merges them all together and gives them this kind of a nice feel.

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So anyway, guys, add a comment.

Let's get a discussion going.

Thanks for watching and until next week, I'll see you at the Cafe.