Compositing two photos in photoshop

Posted by & filed under Portfolio, Tutorials.

I was looking through some photos on my phone recently and came across this hard-case photo of my boy. This is his “I’m stuck to the floor” pose but to me it looked more like kung-fu … and an opportunity to try a little more photoshop compositing.

There were a number of steps in putting this image together, and though I wont go through each of them I’ll mention some of the more interesting ones.

1. One of the first things that I had to do was cut Ash off the background of the original photo. This was just a camera phone shot and was pretty noisy and blurry. I used the quick selection tool to get a pretty close selection then tidied it up by manually painting in black or white where required.

2. Ash’s shadow was repainted. I selected a shadow color from the background image rather than just black as that helps to keep things a little more believable. For the shadow layer make sure the blend mode is set to multiply.

3. I applied some back lighting to Ash using the same technique as in the luminous butterflies image. I also dropped the intensity of the original highlights on him to try to better match the light in the background image.

4. Because Ash hadn’t had a haircut for a while I decided to go for a sort of “70’s look”. I adjusted the overall colour with curves and then applied some orange-ish gradients. I set the blend mode on these to ‘color’ to blend them in a bit more and get the effect I wanted.

5. Lastly I added lots of lens dust  and some vignettes to seal the deal.

You can see the final composite below. Click for a larger version.




  1. Markos

    Thanks Sheldon 🙂
    Let me know anytime you need some custom photoshop imagery created for any of your marketing projects.

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