How to merge two photos in Photoshop.
Make good photos better by merging two images with Adobe tools.
Have you ever tried to take a family photo, but it was impossible to get a good picture of everyone in a single shot, so you took ten — with none ending up perfect? Or you took a series of good but not great photos and wondered if there was a way to simply make them better? Well, the answer to both is pretty simple — use the editing tools in Adobe Photoshop to combine two (or more) images into one perfect photo.
Whether you want to make inventive artwork out of old pictures or just create a usable group shot for a holiday card, bring the best of your photos together with the helpful tips and how-to steps below.
What does merging photos mean?
The definition of photo merging is taking two (or more) images and combining them into a single composition. You can use this cool and creative editing technique in several ways, including:
- Turning a roll of landscape photos into one sweeping panorama image
- Merging portraits of loved ones into one frame-worthy composition
- Creating a surrealist masterpiece from two hyper-realistic shots
- Changing your photo’s perspective by mixing two subject views
Regardless of why you might want or need to merge photos, the how becomes easy when you have the right tools and tips in place first.
Image tips you’ll need to know.
Before you merge your photos, it’s important that they be compatible. If you’re out on a photoshoot, try to get multiple shots of your subject and keep your camera on the same settings throughout. The more compatible photos you have on hand, the easier your choice of photos to merge will be. Keep the following helpful tips in mind:
- Use a similar focal length so that images you want to merge all have the same perspective. Try not to combine one photo shot with a 24mm lens and one with a 50mm lens — the lens perspective difference won’t give you a good merge.
- Create consistent lighting to have a cohesive sense of light in your final, merged image. It may not seem important, but these differences can result in an unnatural look.
- Increase your resolution so that the final product has uniform image quality. After you merge your two photos, you’ll want it to look good from every angle.
- Edit to create identical white balance so that the general tonality is as close as possible — especially if the photos you’re merging were taken at different times.
Merge two photos in 5 easy steps.
Open Photoshop and follow these easy steps to create one perfectly unique piece of photo art.
- Create your document. Choose the image or photo you’d like to use as the background and create a new file with the correct dimensions.
- Set up your background. Select the Layers menu and click the lock icon to unlock and set the background color to transparent. Now, drag and drop your background image into your document. Make sure to select the Maintain Aspect Ratio button (shown as a link icon) so that you can keep the image’s original proportions as you resize.
- Add your photos. Once added, drag and drop the second photo on top of the first and align them.
- Arrange your layout. Arrange the images or photos however you like. Use the Photoshop Layers panel to move images in front of or behind others, add Masks to "cut out" objects, and the Brush tool to check color, paint, and more.
- Save or flatten to “merge.” Use Blend Modes to make your layers fuse together seamlessly. Save for a simple merge or flatten the layers to make it a permanent image.
When you’re satisfied with your merged photo image, save it to your library, desktop, album, or folder. Or print it, email it, and share it with the world.
Merge your photos and much more.
Once you have your photos taken, edited, and selected, you can merge them using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Discover what more you can do with cutting-edge photo editing software to make stunning, artistic effects.