Photoshop Lesson: Compositing Images

Choose any theme you wish. The idea behind my example is a postcard for a superbowl Party. My second example below would be tribute to someone, deceased or living.

Again, choose ANY theme you wish for your composition. Also, your layout does not have to be identical, but I am looking for you to use the features somewhere in your design.


  1. Choose FILE/New. Size about 1000 x 800 pixels.
    It's best to have a big canvas to work with, and then scale it down later.
  2. Fill the background with a desired image.
  3. Make a new layer. Then use the elliptical tool to draw something like the semi-circle shown on both examples below. (See the previous tutorial for steps in doing this.)
  4. Type a few text items on the semi-circle.
  5. Find your first picture. Paste it into your files.

    - If you already have the picture saved, choose FILE/Place Embedded. Then go to the Layers palette and right-click on the layer in order to choose Rasterize Layer.
    - If picture is too large, choose EDIT/Free Transform to change the size.

  6. For the two football players, I used the the Lasso tool to draw an irregular shape around each picture.
    TIP: Do not trim too close to the edge of the image in order to avoid boxy appearance.
    • Choose SELECT/Modify/Feather.
    • Choose SELECT/Inverse.
    • Press [DELETE]. It is a good idea to hit [DELETE] again to make the picture blend better.
    • Choose SELECT/Deselect.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 for additional pictures, making sure that you have at least two for your composition.
  8. Choose one of your words and rotate it like the words "Long Live". Press Ctrl-T to begin the rotation.
  9. Make a semi-transparent shape that is similar to the one on Michael Jackson's picture. I'm just looking for the same kind of complexity and not trying to dictate exactly how you design.
    Here's how to do something like it:
    Keep in mind that the text "Michael Jackson..." and the pink rectangle are two separate objects.
    • To make the rectangle, use the Rectangle Shape tool -- with the default Shape option.
    • One way to fill with a different color is by pressing ALT-BACKSPACE.
    • From the Layer palette, change the opacity to about 60.
    • Then type the text such as "Michael Jackson...", which appears on a separate layer.