The programme Photoshop is used daily by many photographers and designers. It is a comprehensive program where, in addition to editing photos, you can make extraordinary creations from scratch. Because of all the features, it can be quite an overwhelming program for the beginner. So many features and options, where do you start? In this tutorial, we're going to go over a few basic edits so that you will soon be able to make fun, creative photos.
We will cover several components, to which we always apply one example. Of course, you don't have to do the same with your own photos, but with our examples we hope to give you a basis with which you can work on your own.
Tip: Click on the images in this article to enlarge them, then you can follow the steps in Photoshop more easily.
In this tutorial, we are going to merge two photos. We think the landscape with flowers and blue sky is a bit boring and want to make it more impressive with a big mountain in the background. How does it work? We'll explain it all!
What makes Photoshop so great compared to other photo editing software, is that you can easily work with multiple files in one document. Each photo or image in your document is one layer. These pile up in the menu on the right. The top layer in this menu is also the top one in your document. In our example, you can see how our landscape is visible in front of the mountain. Do you want to turn this around? Then you can just drag the layers into a different order in the menu.
There are a number of important symbols within the menu of the layers themselves. There may be a lock behind a layer. This layer is fixed and you cannot modify it. Clicking on the lock will free the layer to move. The eye symbol in the layer indicates whether it is visible. Do you want to take a moment to edit a photo without the other one getting in the way? Turn off the visibility of that photo by clicking on the eye.
To get the two photos together in one document as above, you need to follow the following steps. On the Photoshop home screen, go to File > Scripts > Load files to stack. In the following menu, you can easily add multiple photos to one document.
Add multiple photos at once via File > Scripts > Load files to stack
Now we have two pictures in the document that we will later merge into one. First, we make the landscape photo larger so that it fills the entire document. Go to image > image size to open a menu. Here you can use pixels to specify the size of the picture. If you know the exact dimensions of the document, you can easily fill it in, and you're done. You can make the photo smaller, but also larger.
Change the size via image > image size to open this menu or hotkeyCTRL + ALT + I
Want to be able to play with the dimensions a little more? Use the hotkey CTRL + T (CMD + T on Mac) to transform the image. In the corners of the picture there are now dots that you can drag. This will make the photo larger and smaller, but the proportions can change quickly, leaving you with a photo that is too wide or too tall. Therefore, hold down the SHIFT-key while dragging at these points. The proportions then remain the same.
Adjust the size to your liking with the hotkey CTRL + T
Making a background transparent is very easy in Photoshop. This can be done most quickly if the background colour is very different from the foreground colour. In this case, the blue sky stands out quite clearly against the green below it. Yet there are many differences in the air. The clouds do not make it an even blue sky. To remove the air, we have several tools at our disposal.
Using the Magic Wand, select a colour in the photo at once. If there are small colour differences in your background like in our landscape, the Magic Wand may skip pieces. Therefore, we now use the Quick Selection Tool. This one works basically the same, only it allows us to select pieces of the sky a little more precisely by clicking on them.
Right-click to toggle between these tools
Hold down the left mouse button and move the Quick Selection tool over the blue sky
The background is completely selected, and now we click on Select and Mask at the top. In this menu, we are going to remove the air from our photo. Click Invert to select the grass and flowers. After all, this is what we want to preserve. The sky is visible again and the ground is coloured red. The red area indicates the selection. You can adjust this with the sliders so that it is just a little more refined on the edge. Via Output you select New Layer. The sky is now gone from the photo. You can immediately see in the document that the mountain is visible behind the landscape. The original layer of the landscape is also still in the document. You can delete this one since we don't need it anymore.
The New Layer option turns the red part into a new layer with transparent background.
The mountain is visible behind our landscape, but it doesn't really look good yet. By selecting a layer, you can then move the image around in the document. We drag the landscape slightly down and the mountain up. This way, the transition is slightly more correct, but we still need to straighten out the colours between the two. We want our landscape to take on the colour tones of the mountain photo.
The mountain is now visible through the transparent background, but the colours are not yet right
Select the landscape layer and go to Image > Adjustments > Colour tuning. In this menu, set the source to our landscape image and the layer to layer 0, because this is the layer with the mountain image. Automatically, the colours are adjusted, but you can fine-tune this even further with the sliders. If the colours and lighting between the images match, they will quickly appear as one.
Via Picture > Adjustments > Tune colour you arrive in this menu
Even if you don't merge and modify images, you can edit photos in Photoshop. You can easily adjust the colours, exposure and contrasts of your photos. The Customisation option opens a small menu with various customisations. These will then appear as layers in your layers view. This way you have a good overview of the adjustments you have made. For our photo, we make minimal adjustments to the colours, contrast, and exposure because we are already fairly satisfied with the result.
The effect of the colour adjustment is visible on all layers below the adjustment layer
If you select all the layers by holding down the CTRL-key you can then use the right mouse button to merge the layers. After this, you have only one layer with the final image. Please note that you cannot make adjustments to the two different photos after this. These have now become one.
Although our image is basically finished, we still want to do something fun with it. We are going to put the image into a shape. Using the Shape tool, we create a circle in the centre of the document. We then drag the layer of this circle behind our photo.
Drag the layer of the circle below that of the photo
Right-click on the photo layer and select Create Cutout Mask. Photoshop automatically makes the photo fit the shape we have in the layer below it. This shape does not have to be a circle and can be anything as long as you can draw it in Photoshop.
Right-click on the photo layer and select Create Cutout Mask
Using the Cutout-tool, we make the document fit the edges of the circle. Now we have a perfectly square document with a round photo.
With crop, you can draw a frame yourself or drag the corners of the document to the right size
Before saving the file, it is wise to resize it. The original photos were very large and so is our file now. That's not necessary if we then post the photos on our website. As with the resize and enlarge step, go to image > image size. We change the size from 3420x3420 pixels to 1000x1000. This is sufficient for the images we post on the website.
Save your new photo via file > save as.