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Shoot and Edit: Week 45 - Family...EDIT (Blending Images) - Ramblings and Photos

November 17, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 45 – Family…EDIT (Blending Images)
Welcome to the 45th week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Family” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide a simple/basic or advanced Photoshop/Photoshop Elements or Lightroom tutorial. You can then try my tutorial on your own photos and link up here – linky will now open EARLY on Thursdays and be open THROUGH SUNDAY. If you’d prefer, can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look.

We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements, Adobe Camera Raw and now Lightroom…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using.

This week, I thought it might be helpful to show you how to blend images. When it comes to family portraits, getting everyone to look the same way is challenging. I normally take multiple shots for that very reason. In the case of my sister and her boyfriend…I was pretty happy with my shot – although I did perform a clean edit. Just mouse over to see my SOOC shot.

Now, in the case of my most recent session with Zander…I wasn’t quite so lucky. Perhaps you remember this shot?
Zan 2 Months WEB-66
Confession…it didn’t start out that way. Here are the originals:
Before Blending
In this case, the images aren’t even exactly alike, but I made it work. Here’s what you need to do…
    • Open both images in Photoshop. 
    • Decide which image will become your final product (in this case, it was the image on the right because I liked the way the parents were looking at Zan – I did not like Zan’s face though). 
    • Go to the image with the face you want. Copy.
    • Go back over to the final product image and paste the other image right on top – it will become a new layer. 
    • Lower the new layer’s opacity until you can see both images. This will become important in the event that you need to align the two images. It will look something like this:
    Halfway Blended
    You’ll notice that my two images aren’t perfectly aligned. Since I was replacing Zan’s face, I pasted the image…lowered the opacity to 40% so I could see the final product image behind the copied image…then moved the copied image up and resized it to fit. Does that make sense? 
    • From this point, add a layer mask to the copied image.
    • Fill your layer mask BLACK.
    • Use a soft white brush at 40% opacity (I suggest that so you can slowly open up the desired face with any harsh erase lines) to paint on the other face. Be sure you’re painting on the layer mask. 
    • One you’re happy with the blend, merge your layers. 
    • Continue with your editing workflow.
    It’s actually quite simple and you can apply this technique to just about any image. I’ve not only done this with family portraits, but also with self-portraits (it’s essentially the same idea as “cloning.”). So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed blending images in Photoshop. Here’s a final look at the before and after. 
    Before and After
    For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 44 weeks as well as apply today’s lesson or share something you’ve learned recently. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits. Next week’s theme is “Gratefulness.” Have a great Thursday!
    Good to WOW

    By the way, don’t forget to add your edited photo to our good to WOW {EDIT} Flickr Group (for those of you that prefer to upload and visit that way). When adding your photos to the group pool, be sure to include the Week #, the Theme and EDIT in the description section. You may upload one photo per week. I also want to point out that we are all here to improve our editing skills. When offering constructive criticism (either on Flickr or within blog comment sections), be sure to point out at least one thing you really like about the edit before offering any advice for improvement.


      Awesome edit on this!

      You did an incredible job at swapping the head and ended up with a sweet photo! Terrific!

      Oh gosh thats clever!! Awesome!

      Wow I’m so impressed with this, I have done this kind of thing in photoshop but never the way you’ve described which is probably why my attempts always look crap!

      wow, that is pretty impressive! Makes me want to purchase photoshop :)

      such an interesting technique.. totally taking notes lol i have decided i am pretty much gonna have to invest in lightroom or photoshop elements is great but just want more ya know!

      I guess I need to get my edited version posted. I posted a SOOC onto the flickr group. However, I had already edited the shot and did what you have done. I blended the images, but only had to replace the mothers eyes. It worked perfectly and made for a wonderful shot of a family of four (including two children under age 2) all looking and smiling at the camera

      I have to say you are so brave! I’m way too chicken to even attempt trying to line up and blend images from two different shots. As far as I’m concerned you do magic :)

      That is very cool! I will definitely have to try that! I have lots of pics that would have been great if only one of my kids didn’t have their eyes closed, etc. :)

      Love both your edits!

      Great job with the edits. Your sister is so beautiful. I love the family shot and how you combined the two to make a great shot.

      Totally going to give this a try- I have so many that I was going to scrap because one person closed their eyes or something. I love you for all your knowledge you share with us all each week Ashley! (& a million other reasons too) Don’t know where I would be without you.

      If only we could “Edit” our lives like that! :). Gorgeous! Thanks for the lesson too!


      Gorgeous photos, and love the tutorial you shared this week! :)

      ok seriously amazing edit!

      Loved the tut this week! :D I do swapping all the time… but not with a layer mask. That makes a lot of sense. Will totally be trying that! :D

      just wanted say that while i don’t participate in both the shoot & edit and scavenger hunt, due to the nature of my blog, i always enjoy looking at other’s submissions and want to thank you for the time and effort you put all of that, foe example your posts like today.

      I’ve had to do that several times in the past, I love photoshop :c)

      Awesome! I love the final products on your edits.
      I usually cut the face or eyes out and paste it on the new pic, but I will have to try this way too. Great, great job!

      Great photo and i love the tutorial. I just did this a few weeks ago on a family shot for one of my clients. Gotta love how photoshop is such a lifesaver some times!

      great tutorial, it makes such a difference!

      Very cool edit!

      This is an awesome tutorial, and that first shot is super cute too!

      Whòw that’s so awesome!

      Excellent. I often forget to add the layer mask and use the much less forgiving eraser tool. Note to self…use the layer mask!

      Those are both beautiful edits … and now I know how to copy and past parts of images! Thanks!

      I swear you are the queen of edits! Nice work!

      I’ve never really attempted this before, but how awesome! Wow. I can think of a few shots that I’d want to try this on. Thanks for the how-to’s. :)

      Great lesson! Can’t wait to try it!

      So glad I discovered your blog via Show Off Your Shot! So much useful info and just love your photos!

      I’ve used this to clone myself but never thought to “exchange” faces. Awesome job!

      I love the finished image of the parents with the peaceful baby.

      Amazing what you can do with PS. Well done!

      I’m pretty amazed by your editing skills, that was an awesome edit! Perfect and flawless picture.