How To: Merge Two Photos in Photoshop
These tips prove two is always better than one.

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So you want to merge photos in Adobe Photoshop? There’s no need to panic! It’s actually pretty easy.

What’s more, the final effect is guaranteed, especially if you have carefully selected the images you will work on.

Here are a few tips to help you merge two — or more — photos in Photoshop.


For this tutorial, I’m using this photo of a girl and this photo of pink roses. The same techniques will work with any photo, so feel free to use the ones you want.

First, open both photos in Photoshop. The girl photo will be our base layer, while the photo of the roses will be the layer to be merged. With the Selection tool, click and drag the image you want to merge over the base photo.

How to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop 1


Temporarily lower the transparency of the upper layer so you can clearly see both layers. With the Transform tool (Edit>Free Transform), apply some slight scaling and rotation until the upper layer’s placement looks adequate.

Bring back the opacity to 100 percent as soon as you are done.

How to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop 2


Next, I’ll need to add a mask to the upper layer (in this case, the one with the roses).

To do this, keep the upper layer selected and click on the “Add layer mask” button located at the bottom of the Layers palette. Make sure to select the mask.

Find the Gradient tool in the toolbar and choose a black to transparent linear gradient. Position the pointer and drag over the image to reveal the desired areas of the base photo.

How to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop 3


With a soft white brush, paint over the mask to bring back elements that were concealed by the black gradient and to fine-tune your effect. Adjust the size of the brush and its opacity for more accurate results.

How to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop 4


When you are satisfied, you can flatten your two layers into one.

However, instead of merging the layers down (this will make it impossible to make changes later), select all visible layers and copy and paste them (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E for PC users and Command-Option-Shift-E for Mac users) above the originals.

You can take your editing a step further by applying artistic filters, turning the image to monochrome (like I did with the sample image) and so on.

How to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop 5


By merging photos in Photoshop, you not only expand your creative possibilities, but you will be able to produce truly unique and striking effects quickly.

And after you get the hang of it, you can play around with options and filters, creating even more interesting and visually appealing images when printed.

Images courtesy of flickr.com. Edited in Photoshop CS5.

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About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
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2 Comments

  1. this was great, thx!

  2. this worked great for two pics I had with the fam on vacation