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Photography Question 
William Sherman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/5/2007
 

Combining Two Photos


I have two photos that I would like to combine. One is a photo of a window looking inside from the outside. The window has six panes of glass framed with white wood and is dark on the inside. The other is a photo of a person who passed away several years. I would like to take the person, make him transparent and place the transparent (or ghost image) in the window photo behind the panes of glass. How do you do that with Photoshop or Lightroom?


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1/29/2008 1:47:56 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  This is assuming you know about layers in photoshop. If not, I or someone else can explain further.
Take a cut out of the person, put it on top of the window picture. Make the person semi transparent to your liking.
Using a layer mask on the layer of the person, erase the parts of the person that the panes intersect him. That way it looks like they are behind the panes.
Maybe an added touch is to make then slightly blurred(gaussian) to look like the depth of field from a subject that's farther away than the point of focus.
Then you flatten, and you got it.


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1/29/2008 1:59:04 PM

 
William Sherman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/5/2007
  Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately I am just learning photoshop (teaching myself) and I have not had any experience with layers yet. Can you or someone else provide additional details on the layer process for this ghost photo? Thanks.


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1/29/2008 2:10:44 PM

 
Elnora M. Lawson   you can lightly clone the person over your window. It's quick and easy... good luck.


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1/29/2008 2:29:10 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Depending on how good and precise you want it to look, you can do several ways. But to get to look as if it's behind the window, using layers is still the direction for best results.
Layers allows you to work on a picture without making the changes stick until you've got the results you want. You can erase, and then bring back what you erased. And do very much else.
A quick demo is to open two different pictures. Select the whole part of one picture(ctrl A) or go to select in the top menu bar and click "select all". This makes a marquee around the image(you'll see it around the border of the picture). Then go to edit and choose either cut or copy.
This will allow you to put the first image on top of the second image. You do this by activating the second image, and under edit it will say "paste". Click that, you paste one image on top of the other.
If you don't know what a layers palette is, under "windows" in the top tool bar, click "show layers". This brings up a window that shows all the layered images that are stacked on top of each other. At the bottom of that there should be a rectangle with a light circle in the middle. That puts what's called a layer mask on top of the active layer. This allows you to work on a picture without permanently changing it.
After you have a layer mask on the top layer, choose a tool like the brush tool. And make the color of the brush black. Brushing over the layer mask with a black brush will erase it. Now, choose white color. Drag over the same parts that were erased, and the will come back to what the were before.
This lets you do things, and if you mess up, you can go back and try again. Without doing anything to the original picture.
This will let you see how you can take one picture, put it over another, and use the brush tool to cut out, or erase certain parts to make other parts stay in the picture.
So once you get the hang of it, you'll see what else you can do with layers. More than what can be explained in one post.


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1/29/2008 9:40:56 PM

 
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