Blend modes to merge images.

Police Composite photoshop blend modes

Hi Guys in this post i will try and explain on how you can blend images together using blend modes.

I will use the flock of birds as the example from the image above and bellow images.

Police Composite photoshop layers

Firstly i need to find an image of a flock of birds. This one i think came from Deviant Art.

I am over time taking more and more of my own images that i will be able to use in future projects.

When sourcing images try and find ones where the background is uncluttered. It will make life so much easier in the long run.

I used the Lasso tool to make a rough selection of the birds that i want to use.


By pressing CMD/J (mac users) OPT/J (PC users) it will put your selection on to its own layer.

Select the move tool, and drag this new layer onto your composite work image.


With the birds now in your composite workspace its time to try and make them fit.

I noticed with the birds layer that they were shot of a nice flat grey background. And so i thought i would try and blend them in before making some crazy selections.


:-  A quick way to go through your blend modes is to make sure you are using the move tool. Then by holding down the shift key and pressing the + or - keys you can toggle through the blend modes quickly and easily viewing which one best suites your layer.

As you can see the current blend mode is set to normal and so nothing is happening.


Here we have changed the layer to SoftLight, its not right but we are getting there...


By using the Blend mode of Pinlight you can see how well the layer blends away the grey leaving just the birds showing. 

I was lucky and this one blended nearly flawlessly, but sometimes you will find a blend mode that is close but just doesn't quite work, in these circumstances i would clip a curves adjustment to the layer being blended, and by adjusting the highlights or blacks it will then fit into your scene more better. 


If you have any questions or would like more information on any of this please feel free to contact me.