Technique 27. Two-Photo Effect

Technique #27. Two-Photo Effect

This technique offers a wide range of possibilities, but starts with a very simple premise: use the same photo twice.

key concepts:

free transform

adjustment layers

stroke layer style

Step One.

Press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to duplicate the Background layer.

Step Two.

Press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to enter Free Transform mode. Then, Option-Shift-click (PC: Alt-Shift-click) on a corner handle and drag towards the center. This will scale down the photo and keep it centered. Press Return (PC: Enter) to commit the transformation.

Step Three.

Click on the Background layer to make it active, and then click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette, and choose Hue/Saturation from the pop-up menu. Lower the Saturation slightly and increase the Lightness (I used -29 for Saturation and +52 for Lightness). Click OK.

Step Four.

Click on the scaled photo layer to activate it, then click on the Add a Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Stroke from the pop-up menu. In the Layer Style dialog, click on the color swatch, then move your cursor onto the photo and use the eyedropper to choose a color from the image. (Make sure the Position is set to Inside.)


To create a soft focus effect on the larger background image, I duplicated the Background layer, and using the Filter menu, applied a Gaussian Blur of 10, and then lowered the opacity of the blurry layer to 70%.

Variation 1: Gaussian Blur applied to background

Here I made a selection based on the smaller photo by Command-clicking (PC: Control-clicking) on its thumbnail in the Layers palette, then adding a layer on which I created a stroke (using Edit>Stroke). Then, I applied a filter to the stroke layer. (See Technique #14 for the steps to apply a filter to a stroke.)

Variation 2: Filter applied to stroke

In this example, I scaled the smaller photo, added the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, and then added a Drop Shadow layer style that I positioned as more of a slight outer glow.

Variation 3: Stroke replaced with drop shadow

Photoshop Finishing Touches
Photoshop Finishing Touches
ISBN: 0321441664
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 129
Authors: Dave Cross

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