Create anything you can imagine with basic compositing techniques.

Profile of a woman's face with graphic designs layered over her hair

The visual magic of compositing

A composite is a combination of images. It might be as simple as a collage of photos from an event or as intricate as a detailed fantasy image. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Popular compositing effects include double exposures, digital collages, images that fade into one another, photo grids, and more.

Futuristic depiction of a robot and astronaut in front of a cityscape

Make a double exposure

Double-exposure is one of the most popular kinds of composites. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is if you start with a subject that has a white background. Add another photograph on a separate layer. Then use the power of blend modes and layer masks to blend the images together, hiding everything outside your subject and creating compelling blends inside your subject. Finish up by adding a color tint to your double exposure for a unique look.

Combine images with layer masks

If you want to make amazing composites, get to know how layer masks work. With a layer mask, you can hide part of one layer so that the layers below show through. This lets you combine parts of photos without permanently deleting anything. To hide part of a layer, add black to its layer mask. To show part of a layer, add white. Once you understand layer masking, you’ll be able to make the composites you’ve dreamed of.

Woman in a red dress entering a building portal leading to a path in the woods

Blend images together with a gradual transition

Here’s a compositing technique that’s popular for wedding photography. To get this effect, add a black to white gradient to a layer mask to gradually hide the photograph on one layer so it looks like it’s fading into another photograph on the layer below. That’s all there is to it.

Two images of a wedding couple collaged on a beach background

Create a digital collage

Cut out elements from various photographs with your favorite selection tool and drag them into a composite. Move, rotate, and flip elements. Turn them into Smart Objects so you can change their size without impacting image quality. Make a piece of art, showcase your photographs, or just put together pictures of friends. The possibilities are endless.

Black and white image of a face with words and pops of yellow color layered over it

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