How to make a photo composite in Adobe Photoshop.

Combining elements from multiple photographs into one image allows you to create something new and unexpected. In this quick tutorial, learn how visual artist Temi Coker combines two photos in Adobe Photoshop to create an image that stretches the imagination.

Photo composite showing woman’s profile from the neck up, colorful betta fish positioned and blended as her hair

Take a one-minute look at Lukianova’s technique; the steps are written out below. 

Before you start.

Use these sample images or practice with your own.    

 

Step 1: Prep your images

Start by dragging the image of the betta fish into the Photoshop document as a new layer on top of the image of the model.

Add betta fish photo layer to model image in Adobe Photoshop


Step 2: Adjust the position

Using the transform controls, rotate and position the fish wherever you want. Next, right-click on the fish and select Warp to manipulate it further.

Transform, rotate, position, warp betta fish photo layer


Step 3: Reveal the face

Select the fish layer and click on the Layer Mask icon to create a mask. Coker used the Brush tool with black selected to allow areas of the model’s face to show through.
 

Brush with black on layer mask on betta fish layer to reveal model’s face

Step 4: Repeat the steps

Drag the betta fish again to add another layer; then follow the previous steps to position the additional fins to create flowing “hair” on the model. Coker alternated turning layers on and off to edit in isolation; you can experiment the same way or view the composition in its entirety.
 

Left side shows two betta fish layers and the second is hidden
the right side shows both betta fish layers enabled

Keep your imagination flowing.

Experiment with unlikely pairings to create striking new compositions.
 

Final photo composite is added to billboard on large city building

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

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