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In photoshop lighten

In photoshop lighten

Usually, when it comes to digital overlay, people first think about imposing exposures. This is correct, but it can be much wider. There are several situations in which digital overlay can come in handy. It can not only help in creating more interesting photos, but also facilitate your shooting experience. In this article I will discuss how to use digital overlay in Photoshop to create interesting compositions.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

I took a picture of the Batu cave in Malaysia. And I decided to add a few pigeons from the series of images made, combining them into a single image using the digital overlay technique.

Select images

Here are the raw photos I'm going to use. You see the pigeons are in different places on each of the photos.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

Open Photoshop

Further, when Photoshop is open, I load all the photos into one file as different layers. If you want, you can rename them, which I did.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

For a second, let's go back: how the pictures were taken

Notice that there is a background layer at the bottom. This image was made with different settings than the pictures of pigeons. I did this because usually before taking additional photos, such as with pigeons, I first take a few photos with the BEST camera settings for a given situation. In this case, they were: ISO 100, f / 8 aperture, shutter speed 1/30.

However, the 1/30 second shutter speed was too long to capture the movement of birds. So I needed a shorter shutter speed, which resulted in the following settings: ISO 800, f / 5 and shutter speed 1/640 seconds. This allowed me to freeze the movement of pigeons, but at the same time led to the appearance of noise in the image (ISO 800 compared to ISO 100) and a shallower depth of field (f / 5 compared to f / 8), and as a result - to more soft background.

So the ideal scenario is to combine them in one image. Using the digital overlay technique, you get the best-quality photo with the least amount of noise and the best focus, adding pigeons to it from another image. It seems that pigeons have more noise, but only in very small areas, so you can make a separate noise reduction only for pigeons, if you need it.

Shooting sequence

Here is the sequence of the shooting process to give you the best picture: Think over the composition. Take a photo with the best (optimal) camera settings for the scene. Without moving your composition, change the camera settings to capture what seems interesting to you. For example, animals, people who can emphasize the atmosphere of a place. It can be a monk praying in a temple or even inanimate objects, like trains and boats, or anything else that catches your attention in the scene. Stages in Photoshop Step # 1 - turn off some layers

Returning to Photoshop, you will see an eye icon next to each layer. This means that all these layers are visible. Let us temporarily hide all photos of the pigeons by clicking on the “eye” icon to remove the mark from each layer. Leave only two visible - the background and Layer 1 with the pigeons.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo Step # 2 - add a layer mask

Next, select Layer 1 Pigeons and, while holding the Alt key, click the “add layer mask” icon (circled in red in the photo below to the left). You should have a black rectangle on the right side of the layer, as shown in the photo on the right. So we add a reverse mask on the layer, black means that the content of the layer is hidden. If you do not hold down the Alt key while creating a mask, it will be white, showing the entire contents of the layer.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

Step number 3 - draw on the mask to develop the bird

Now we have a black mask. To apply only pigeons from this layer, we need to select the Brush tool and paint on the mask in white over the birds. Note: black mask means hiding the layer, and white - manifestation.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

Once you have chosen a brush, make sure that it has soft edges, and the opacity is 75%. Opacity affects how much the traced area will be visible. Using the opacity of 100%, you will only need to brush once to fully develop a certain area. However, with 75% or less, you will need to repeat the drawing several times to achieve 100% of the effect. This is slower, but at the same time the edges will be smoother, and the layer will blend better with the original image.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

Note that while drawing a layer mask will reflect your result. Congratulations, you have the first dove! Let's repeat the same process for the next layer.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

Step # 4 - repeat on the next layer

By performing the same actions on the “Pigeons 2” layer, you will have a second pigeon added. But wait, something is wrong. Have you noticed that dark edges surround the second pigeon? Why?

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

This is due to the fact that even with the same camera settings, the lighting conditions may change during the shooting. This image was made when the clouds covered the sun, and the light in the cave became dim. Instead of solving this problem with the help of some very precise masks (by enlarging and carefully drawing the pigeon's outlines, which can be very tedious), let's try adding a Curves adjustment layer.

Before taking any actions with this adjustment layer, right-click and select “create clipping mask”. This ensures that all the settings you make will affect only the layer under it. Now add a little bit of brightness by slightly pulling the curve up, as shown below to the right.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

The area surrounding the second pigeon now looks much better. In addition to using the curve, you can apply any other adjustment layers, for example, the color balance to correct the tint of a particular layer, if the white balance does not match the background.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

Now you see that the bird looks much better after applying Curves.

Step # 5 - Complete masks for all layers

Let's continue with the rest of the layers. The results of applying the masks will look like in the photo below, as soon as you finish the blending process.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo


Here is the final result of the digital overlay. Now you can perform any other post-processing, applying contrast, changing the color balance, sharpness or other processes that you think are necessary to improve the photo.

Photoshop lesson. How to add objects to the photo

I hope you enjoyed this article and it will give you some new ideas and inspiration.

Posted by: Ash Moosa

Translation: Tatyana Saprykina

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