Monday, September 26, 2011

Digi Tip September: Photo Blend

Hello and welcome to this month's Digi Tip!  Today I'm going to show you how to do a photo blend.  Sometimes when you are designing a layout you have a special photo that just begs to be included in a large way.  Yet you may not want it to be "large and in charge" and taking over the entire focus of your design.

This is a time when a photo blend can come in handy.  I was working on pages for an album about a recent beach vacation. When I grabbed all the photos about our night at the boardwalk, there was one photo that I wanted to include, But I didn't want it to be the main focus of my page.  So I blended it and made it into a great background for my design.

This is the photo that I started with. I like that it captured so much of the rides on one of the piers, which just screams with the excitement of the boardwalk.  But if I scaled this photo down to include with the other photos on my page, it would lose some of it's charm.  That's when I thought it would make a great background!
In Photoshop, open the 2 images that you want to blend and bring them together into one document. I opened the digi paper that I am using and my photo.  I want my photo to be blended at the bottom of the digi paper. So I located it there and resized it to the constraints of the digi paper (in this case 12x12).

This is how the layers palette would look.  The 2 images, each on their own layer. Unlock the background image by double clicking it.

Click on the top layer to make it active.  Then click the Add Layer Mask button located at the bottom of the layers palette.
Notice the white border around the layer mask. This means that the mask, not the layer itself, is the active selection.
Select the gradient tool (or press G). 

In the options box, click the arrow to open the drop down gradient picker window. Choose the black to white which is in the top row, 3rd from the left.  Click elsewhere on the program bar to close the gradient picker window.
In the document, hold down the shift key and drag out a black to white gradient to blend the 2 images.  In the image above I've placed lines to show where I started and ended the drag to create the gradient in my example. Since you are actually drawing the gradient on the mask, you won't see it on your image. 

What you will see is a beautifully blended image!  I then played with the blending modes and opacity, added my photos and elements to complete my finished layout.

Tip: Don't use one of your images as your document where you will be blending. Create a new document to drag your 2 images into. This way you won't accidentally save the blended image over your original images.

Have some fun playing with the gradient feature.  You can blend photos together, elements, photos and papers.  Whatever your creative heart desires.

Remember too, if you would like to see your pages featured here, please email them to me at scrappycath(at)gmail(dot)com and we will include you in a Readers Pages post!


  1. WOW! I didn't even know that was possible! I'm definitely not a digi scrapper (obviously), but I'm starting to see the appeal.

  2. thank you so much! This is the tutorial that I have searching high and low on the web and I am sooooo....glad I follow tis blog!!!!
    I love using QP and blend my photo to the background of the layout.

  3. pure awesomeness. I have to do this soon!!

  4. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [27 Sep 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  5. Does this work with Photoshop Elements?

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this technique Cathy! Your page turned out amazing. I love the large photo as the background!