6 Simple Steps to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop

6 Simple Steps to Merge Two Photos in Photoshop

In some situations, making more than one shot is the best way to get a great shot. By working in chunks, artists can focus on one part of a photograph between exposures, which may seem counterintuitive at first. Thanks to modern composition tools, it’s easier than ever before to combine a number of images. In today’s lesson, I’ll show you how to merge two photos in Photoshop step-by-step.

You will find clear steps with screenshots in this detailed walkthrough to help you create an excellent finished product. As well as seeing real-world results, you can also see how the process works. This is a pretty straightforward procedure, and the end composite speaks for itself.

What is the benefit of merging images?

So, what is the benefit of merging images? When photographers combine images, they do so for two reasons: They want to save storage space or they want to save time.

Bracketing of exposure and focus

In some cases, it isn’t possible to include all the detail you would like in a single exposure. By this point, you need to have knowledge of how to merge photos in Photoshop.

Exposure and focus in images
Exposure and focus in images

Landscape photographers who do not have access to external lighting may not be able to blend all the colors in a scene. A bright and vibrant sky, then, could be the subject of one exposure specifically. To capture more detail in the relatively dark foreground, they may make a separate exposure. With limited lenses, photographers may wish to capture one shot that focuses on foreground details, and then to capture a second shot that focuses on the background.

Related: What are Camera Focus Points?

You can significantly boost your shots when you have the ability to pick and choose individual elements from your shots.

Double Exposure Photography

The technical aspects of practicing photography are often the focus of PhotoWorkout. There is no need to limit yourself to merely combining exposures and focus brackets when merging photographs. Using a double exposure camera is also an excellent way to create your own artwork.

A double exposure was produced when film was the standard and a picture was taken with two exposures on one frame in camera. Today, photographers can control their work more easily due to advances in digital post-processing. You can now stitch two photos together using software like Photoshop.

double exposure
double exposure

By using double exposures, you create composites that have a dreamlike quality to them, bending reality and defying expectations. Visual metaphors or a specific mood are commonly conveyed using the technique by artists.

In a hurry? Here is detailed viddeo on how to merge two photos in photoshop

6 Steps to Merge Images in Photoshop

1. You may need to open your images in Photoshop Open the image you wish to use in Photoshop. If you want to open up the file in Photoshop, you can usually do so by right-clicking on the file in Finder, Lightroom, etc., and selecting it from the ‘Open With’ list. Then, drag your photo into the same Photoshop tab as the image you want to overlay.

opening image in photoshop
opening image in photoshop

2. Optimally align your layers (optional) When working with two bracketed/nearly identical images, you’ll want to ensure that the details in each image line up precisely. Choosing the layers that will be aligned first is the first step. To align layers automatically in Photoshop, click on the Edit option, then choose ‘Auto-Align Layers’. An alignment dialogue box will appear, where you can align the layers as needed. Just select “Auto” from the projection options. Just press OK, and Photoshop automatically aligns the layers.

3. The top layer of the composition should be mask to remove any unwanted details. Use Photoshop’s brush tool to block out any unwanted details. Alternatively, you can fill the layer mask, then erase the areas in where you’d like detail to shine through. To create a more natural-looking transition between layers, use a soft brush around the edges.

4. Make your top layer more opaque (optional) The more opaque your top layer becomes, the better you will be able to get the tones and details in your composition. These methods are Making ‘double exposure’ photographs is crucial to their artistic expression.

making double exposure photos in photoshop
making double exposure photos in photoshop

5. Double-check the results Before saving and exporting your composition, make sure it looks as you want. Add any finishing touches to mask edges and opacity. It may be a good idea to make any editing changes that affect both layers at this point.

6. Combine the two layers (as well as any additional adjustments you may have made) applied). Right click and select ‘Merge Layers’. Voila!

merging layers in photoshop
merging layers in photoshop

See the Results


During my recent trip to Acadia National Park in northern Maine, I hiked through the park. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. When I reached an overlook and took out my camera that afternoon, I began to experience serious problems due to the overcast skies.

Despite the granite and trees surrounding me, I was able to catch the appropriate amount of highlights and shadows in my exposure. While the grey sky above was blown out almost completely, the ones below were not. My settings were adjusted to capture some more details in the clouds, but I began to lose some details in the dark branches of the trees.

Related: 6 Tips To Photograph Paintings to Take Prints

There is, of course, the possibility of doing some dodging or burning to try bringing back some detail from one of the raw files. The two shots could have been merged and masked, when necessary, but merging and masking are simpler, quicker methods. My photograph now possesses a much more striking appearance, while still maintaining an authentic and realistic feel. I achieved this by following the steps described above.

Aside from that, I took time to play around and tried to create my own double exposures. The following are two images I selected from a recent desert trip:

Using a second exposure, a largely transparent gradient mask, and a 180-degree flip of the second exposure, I was able to obtain the image below. It is important to remember that combining exposures doesn’t require perfect science. Make every composition your own by experimenting with Adobe Photoshop’s settings!

By using double exposures you can create unexpected shapes, textures, and colors in your photographs. These two pictures have been sitting in my archives for quite some time. There was something lacking in both of them – both come up a little short individualy. Nevertheless, after combining both in Photoshop, they began to come alive.

In contrast to the warm backlight of the hotel room, the cool blue of the casino carpet was an eye-catching contrast. In addition, the sharp geometric peak of the second exposure contrasts remarkably with the natural curve of the silhouette. Even the human figure was able to appear through the thick blue lines thanks to a little masking.

Concluding Thoughts on Merging Two Photos in Photoshop:

Regardless of how you slice it, merging images in Photoshop can make a huge difference. It can even enhance images that would be entirely unusable individually. Efforts can be made to achieve both subtle and drastic changes with this technique. A good photographer should know this trick!

I hope this guide has served as helpful tips and tricks to you, regardless of if you are new to photo merging or not. Would you mind leaving a comment below if you have any experience, questions, or comments of your own?

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Abdul Rehman
By Abdul Rehman

Hi, I'm Abdul Rehman and I'm the Blog Editor of VloggingBlog.com! Owing to my love and passion for tech gadgets, I started this blog to help others by sharing my knowledge on how to start a successful YouTube channel through blogging about techniques, tips, tricks, tutorials and reviews of relevant products that will help you create awesome videos easily!

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