How to Merge Photos Realistically in Photoshop

 Find out how to merge photos realistically in Photoshop in this article. This technique can help you make a more magnificent photo by combining two separate ones.

Besides a myriad of great features, Photoshop allows you to combine two or more images to have an amazing one.

The reasons for merging photos on Photoshop are many. Suppose you want to take double exposure photography. In that case, you will need to blend two images to get the results you want.

Check out this tutorial and to know how to merge photos realistically in Photoshop. You can also find an instructional video at the end.

How to Merge Photos Realistically in Photoshop

Select the Photos You Want to Merge

Start by selecting the two photos you want to merge. Ensure that the pictures are taken with the same focal lens as you cannot merge photos with photoshop if the difference is too significant.

Also, the lighting in the selected photos should be the same. Otherwise, it will result in photos looking fake. In case you have two shots clicked on different places and times, ensure to adjust the white balance to make them look as close together as possible.

Take the two photos below as an example to guide you know how to merge photos on Photoshop. We shot them with the camera on a tripod one after another. The only difference is the exposure.

how to merge photos on Photoshop

The photo above has a well-exposed room, but the outside is too bright. You will have to spend hours in Lightroom to fix that yet still may get an unnatural result.

combine pictures in Photoshop.

Luckily, we captured the same image but at different exposures. So we were able to combine pictures in Photoshop.

Open the First Photo

Open the first photo. If the main subject has a different size in each photo, start with the smaller one. That is because increasing the image size can lead to distortion, whereas reducing the size does not affect the quality.

In our case, they have an identical resolution. So there is no need to resize.

Open the Second Photo

After finishing the first photo, drag the other one onto the first one and align both the pictures.

Open the Second Photo

You can resize the photos properly using the transform handles around the edges and corners. Avoid enlarging the images by more than 30% as it will make them look different from the originals.

Align the Photos before merging photos in Photoshop

Time to locate the photos to merge 2 photos in Photoshop. For this, select the Overlay option for the top image so you can see the second layer easily. In this way, you can align the main subject precisely in both pictures.

merge 2 photos in Photoshop

Now, press Ctrl + T (Windows) or Cmd + T (Mac) to select the Move option. Use it to align the top image to make it look perfect.

Use enough resizing handles to shrink, enlarge, or rotate the top layer, so both layers look the same.

Press Enter when you have finished locating the top layer. Now, change the blending mode of the top layer back to Normal from Overlays.

Add Layer Masks and Remove Unwanted Parts

Select the top layer and choose the Add Vector Mask option from the Layers panel to add a mask. Therefore, you can remove parts of the top layer that you don’t want to see.

By clicking on the vector mask button, you will create a white mask.

That means it is full of opacity, and everything is visible. Now, select the Brush Tool and set it to 100% opacity and black.

With the mask selected, brush over the parts you want to remove. Start with pieces that are far from the ones you want to keep to sure you do not delete any desired subjects. Minimize brush size and reduce opacity as you move closer to the parts you need to retain.

Using a brush with soft edges will also make sure you do not mess with unwanted areas as you get close to it.

It will make the transition very smooth and prevent you from making mistakes. However, if you accidentally delete the desired parts, change the color to white and reduce the opacity to 0.

read more: How to use the Brush Tool in PhotoShop?

Check the Result to Know Whether You are Merging Pictures in Photoshop Correctly or Not

You can highlight the mask layer by pressing the backslash “\” to check the accuracy of the mask and whether you need to correct it or not.

The hidden area will appear red. To see the image below it, adjust its density and see if there are elements you want to hide (or unhide).

Continue using the brush tool with highlighted masks to refine your work.

Merge Images in Photoshop

You are about to finish here. Double-check to ensure your mask is correct. After that, merge two photos in Photoshop.

There are several different ways to merge photos on photoshop :

  • Select the Layer and then choose the Flatten Image option from the top menu. Photoshop will ask if you want to remove the hidden layers (if any) and combine the images. Hidden layers (if any) will be deleted.
  • You can use the Merge Visible It is Ctrl + Shift + E (Windows), or Cmd + Shift + E (Mac). Photoshop will merge all the visible layers but not remove the hidden layers in this case.
  • There is also a hidden command, which is a shortcut. Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E (Windows) or Cmd + Option + Shift + E (Mac). Photoshop will merge the visible layers and automatically create a new layer with merged images.

Congratulations! You now already know how to merge photos realistically in Photoshop. At this moment, you have a single photo that looks much better than each image you have merged.

Bonus Video: How to Merge Photos Realistically in Photoshop

Wrapping up

Hopefully, we can help you comprehend how to merge photos realistically in Photoshop. If you found this article helpful, go ahead and share it on social media right now!

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