Get more bang for your buck

Dis­cover how to cre­ate the per­fect blend in Pho­to­shop

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

01 Fire up Pho­to­shop

Down­load the start files from the disc, or us­ing the link be­low. In Pho­to­shop CC or CS go to File>Open, browse to the folder con­tain­ing the five start files, shift-click to se­lect them all, then press Open. Once they’ve opened in Pho­to­shop, press Ctrl+Tab to tog­gle to Fire­work1.jpg.

02 Se­lect a fire­work

Se­lect the Polyg­o­nal Lasso tool and make a rough se­lec­tion of the fire­work on the right, as shown above. Once you’ve made your se­lec­tion, press Ctrl/Cmd+C to copy the se­lec­tion, and tog­gle to Cityscape.jpg, again us­ing Ctrl+Tab. Hit Ctrl/ Cmd+V to paste the fire­work onto the cityscape.

03 Get blend­ing

With the Lay­ers Pal­ette vis­i­ble (Win­dow>Lay­ers), click on the word ‘Nor­mal’ at the top and se­lect Lighten from the Blend­ing Mode drop­down menu. This has the ef­fect of re­tain­ing all pix­els in your se­lec­tion that are brighter than the pix­els on the layer be­low, while hid­ing any that are darker.

04 Po­si­tion as needed

This ef­fec­tively hides the darker bits of sky be­hind the fire­work to re­veal the brighter lights of the cityscape. To po­si­tion the fire­work, se­lect the Move tool and drag it to wher­ever you want it to go. Next, tog­gle to Fire­work2.jpg and re­peat steps 2 and 3, po­si­tion­ing it as shown above.

05 Where there’s smoke

The fire­work in Fire­work3.jpg is shrouded in smoke, which is lighter than the back­ground of the cityscape. This means that when it’s pasted onto the cityscape, it will stay vis­i­ble when the Blend­ing mode is set to Lighten. As a re­sult, the edge of the se­lec­tion is clearly vis­i­ble.

06 Soften your se­lec­tion

The way round this is to soften the edge of the se­lec­tion be­fore copying and past­ing it. To do this, make the se­lec­tion as nor­mal, hit Re­fine Edge in the op­tions bar at the top and drag Feather to around 100 pix­els, then copy and paste as nor­mal. You might also need to do this with Fire­work4.jpg.

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