Combining pictures

There’s probably some photographer / graphic designer / in-the-know term for this, but I just call it combining pictures, cause I’m not really a Photoshop genius. Ever had a couple pictures of two people, only one person was out of focus in the pictures? If I were a real photographer that wouldn’t happen because I’d set my aperture appropriately to get both people in perfect focus with that ethereal blurry background every time. But I’m not. And I didn’t. So I ended up with this:

See how my sister-in-law is perfectly in focus but my brother isn’t? And then there was this one:

And in this one my brother is in focus and his wife isn’t (yes, they are pretty people, aren’t they?). So, what to do? I photoshopped it. I’ll take you through the steps, but I don’t know photoshop well enough to do a real tutorial. Here goes (if you don’t want all the steps, just scroll down to the bottom to see the really cool end image).

  1. Start out with Picture 2 as the background. That’s the one with Rob in focus. That one’s in the background because it’s less complicated – he doesn’t have long flowing hair for me to deal with.
  2. See how the coloring in that picture has more red in it than the other? See how the other picture is a little more exposed? In this one adjust the coloring and light to match the other. I can’t help you with that though – I just feel my way through it.
  3. In a new layer (ctrl + shift + N) put the picture with Casey in focus on top, then using layer properties bring the opacity down to around 60% so you can see through it.
  4. Now select that layer with the move tool and rotate and shift it until Rob’s eyes and mouth line up with his eyes and mouth on the other picture. Make sure you click the little check box when you’re done to accept changes.
  5. Raise the opacity back up to 100% in layer properties, so you can see what you’re doing.
  6. Select the eraser tool with a brush of about 60 pixels, with fuzzy edges. Set the background color to black in your little color box, and then start erasing Rob’s face (make sure that top layer is selected). You’ll see Rob’s focused face appearing where his fuzzy face used to be.
  7. When you’ve gotten it right, it should look like a single picture with the two faces in focus, like this:

Can you believe I did that? Yeah, me neither. Aren’t they pretty people?


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