How To: Use Selections to Combine Two Images in Photoshop CS4

One of the classes I’m teaching this year is CUFMEM07A – Apply Principles of Visual Design, and although a lot of it isn’t going to be of much use to people who don’t dig on design principles and elements, some well-explained Photoshop articles mightn’t hurt anyone who stumbles across the site, so I’ll make with the posting…

In this exercise, we’re starting from the beginning and creating selections from one image to combine with another, and we look at some feathering of selections to get rid of hard edges between contrasting visual elements. What you end up creating is shown below:

Combining Two Images in Photoshop CS4

Very simple, very quick – useful if your Photoshop skills are a bit rusty, or if you’re just starting out.

You can find the document (in MS Word 2K3 format, so viewable in Open Office and MS Office 2K3 & 2K7) which steps through the process, with lovely, lovely screengrabs and the like here.


If you don’t have a copy of Photoshop CS4, you can get a free 30 day trial from the Adobe website, or, you can do the same things in a free open-source program called the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). The GIMP can do most of the same things Photoshop can do, but the user interface is rather different, to get around this, there are versions of the GIMP which have been modified so that their user interface more closely matches that of Photoshop, and these are GIMPhoto and GIMPShop.

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