Merge and Blend images- Creative to invent new views

(This blog talks about features and tools in Adobe Photoshop and other image editing softwares for merging and blending image. The possibilities and advantages are elucidated briefly.)

A selfie at an exotic location with a serene background posted in Facebook is exalting the confidence when likes, comments and shares are ticked up. The selfie can be made without traveling to the location, a selfie in any background merged with a stock picture of the location would create the same impression.

Adobe Photoshop’s creative suites and other such photo editing suites gives the capability to put together multi-images to create a collage of creativity in image editing. Product placements and feel disbelief pictures which are impossible to capture with a camera can all be possible with merging and blending a set of pictures. The Layer Mask feature in CS5 do exactly the same- individual stock pictures merged together and blended into a single picture, a wholesome one. Such a picture gives an un-precedented exposure and depth which most often impossible to shot directly with a lens.

Blending pictures together is an art but gives a lot of technical challenges in the selection of pictures with optimum resolution and color space, but of almost same parameters. Pictures are selected in application frame one after the other to create different layers for Masking. Add ‘Layer Mask’ in between each picture layers. The layer mask is usually created as transparent and has the capability to merge all layers together to create a single picture. Auto align layers , Merge and stamp layers can also be used to merge different images. The challenge now is to blend seamlessly to give a complete feel of a single picture. Add atmosphere, coloring and implied lights using different blending modes, and different brush tools (Use soft brush for best result) to blend group picture. As the mask is non-destructive one can experiment with different angles, start and end positions and different gradients to perfect the picture.

Collaging and composting are two other techniques to create super imposed and blended pictures from different shots and stock pictures. Most of the image editing software, including most suites of Photoshop provides tools and features enabling one to use collaging and composting methods. Imagination and creativity is the limit for blended image creation.
The foremost advantage of a blended image is the possibility it gives to bring together different elements of depth and insights into a picture. And it is cost effective too, making cosy photo shoots almost redundant. Suppose you need to shoot a model with different props and with different background which in reality is time consuming and expensive. What you need is photograph the model in different angles, take shots of the props separately, or use stock pictures of props and backgrounds available. Blend the pictures using an image editing suite- voila! you get the perfect pictures with models in different props in most appropriate backgrounds. That too most creatively and inexpensive.

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