Sentimental Project

When you're surfing around the internet, keep your eyes open for good ideas.  I saw a couple mentions of the site, dearphotograph.com.  Jerome Taylor, the site owner, has created a site where folks display two photographs of the same location, a photo of the past superimposed onto a more current one.  The person posting then puts a sentimental caption underneath to explain the emotion of the new composite.  Check it out; there are some really heart-felt creations there. My whole life I was moving because my father was in the Navy, and I was in the Army, so I don't have a photo of a favorite place that I can get to easily.  I decided to create a composite image from more current photos.  You can do the same.

composite image of grandchildren

I started with a picture of the house.  It was just a little too colorful, so I lowered the saturation a bit in the final composite.  I quickly realized that I needed to crop the image or the photograph in my hand would be too small when I aligned it with the background image.  The best crop also dictated a change from landscape format to portrait format.

house photo in HDR

I originally had my hand in the house photo, but I didn't like the image as much as the one with my hand as the focal point.  That meant I had another photo to work into the final image.

a hand to be used in composite

And, finally, I needed a photo of some very cute children.  Where would I find that?  Well, Mark says I'm not happy unless I throw in a shot of a family member into the blog every couple of months, so I grabbed a shot of the grandchildren just to allow him to be proven right.  ;-)

sweet children in colorful clothes

I have the shots; now we need to open up Photoshop and get to work.

Since the house photo would be the background and the largest portion of the finished image, that was my base image.  I reduced the saturation of the layer, dulling the colors to make it look older and so they wouldn't be as bright as the photo in my hand.

I opened the image of the hand as a layer on top of the base layer.  I only needed the hand, so I masked out the rest of the photo.

The final layer was the photo of the kids.  I used the Free Transform tool to shrink the image to appear like it was a photo in my hand.  I made sure that layer was fully saturated.  I aligned the photo to the bushes and the porch pole as you see being done in the other dearphotograph images.  I also put a white border around the kids' "photo" to make it stand out better from the background.  When I put the kids in place (top layer) where it needed to be, it obscured part of my thumb and fingers.  I masked part of the kids' photo, so the thumb underneath came through and created the illusion that I was holding the photo.  And the image was done.

All that is required is a sentimental caption to finish it off.

composite image of grandchildren

It was a fun little project.  If you have Photoshop, Elements, or a similar program, you can do this without too much fuss.  Keep having fun with your photography.