Category: Creative images

Creative Images through Layer Masking

Design ideas and design process

Final Design 1

Combine black and white with colour

The idea behind design 1 as a final design is that it shows one of the new skills I learnt for this task. This was my first attempt at working with layer masks and I can now say that I have a better understanding of them after carrying out this design. I feel that this design shows that I understand how to use layer masks to design a creative photo.


Final Design 2

Changing the image in the background

I have chosen design 2 as a final design as it shows another one of my new skills I have learnt from a tutorial. Whilst also pushing my experiments with layer mask; by using layer masks in a different way to the previous design. I am happy with how this design turned out, and feel that I am getting the hang of layer masks and will start to use them more in the future. As they are a really useful tool. I also feel I now know how to better manipulate images by merging two together. As previously when I have tried to get an outcome similar to this it has looked messy, But then again I did not use layer masks before.


Final Design 3

Dripping & Splatter effect

For my last design I wanted to experiment with layer masks to create a dripping / splatter effect. I found this hard to do with one of my own photographs as I have never done this before and I struggled to find a simple picture that was right for this. So I decided to download the file provided for one of the tutorials. I chose this design as one of my final designs as I feel that I am starting to master layer masks and because of this, I was able to create an image with dripping and splatter effects. Also this designs shows a different experiment to my previous ones.

original photo

For my final design I was set to try and experiment with dripping and splatter effect created through layer masks. I watched a couple tutorials on this but I felt I hadn’t quite found the right one to follow yet. I used my last tutorial and downloaded their files to follow their tutorial. I was going to use my own images to follow the them but I found this very hard to do, as I wasn’t sure on how to do it still. So I decided to use their images they provided.

Quick selection tool

I started off by using the quick selection tool to select the girl in the photo, I then added a layer mask to get rid of the background in the image. I duplicated this layer but made one invisibly.

Dripping layer

My next step was adding the dripping image provided onto my art board. I used the magic eraser tool to get rid of all the unwanted white on this layer. (I never knew the magic eraser tool existed so this was a new tool for me to learn).

Mask layer

I then placed the dripping image behind the layer of the girl and resized it to where I would want the dripping on the girl. Whilst being on the dripping layer, I selected the mask of the girl and pressed add mask.

dripping effect

I then made the original layer visible and erased the bottom half of the girl, creating the dripping effect seen as the image above.

Development of splatter

After knowing how to do this, it is quite easy to create the dripping effect using layer masks. Although it is still a long processes. Instead of leaving my design here, I stretched it further by adding splatters into the final design.

Software tutorials

I used a wide range if tutorials for this task; some more useful then others. In this blog I will discuss the more useful of the tutorials I was, focusing on the ones that helped me with my designs.

Combine black and white with colour  Is the tutorial I found most helpful with when creating my Design 1.  I never knew how to properly do this before as I always found a long winded way round this before, so it was useful watching this and learning about an easy way to achieve this. I wanted to try this for one of my designs and follow it step by step to make sure I understand and knew how to achieve this.

Changing the image in the background I used this tutorial for my Design 2. Whenever I have tried this before it has always come out looking messy or unprofessional. So it was useful watching this tutorial and learning how to do it properly and creating a good outcome without getting frustrated along the way as it isn’t working or coming out how I want. So this was a good tutorial to watch as I learnt how to properly do it. Which will enable me in the future to create work that I have wanted to create before but didn’t know how.

For design 3, I watched many tutorials to try and understand how to create this effect. I found that each tutorial taught it in a different way. The tutorial I followed for this design was  Dripping paint splatter. I found it the most easy to follow and one which had all the images available to download to follow each step. What I worked out following these tutorials is that you need images to full-fill the dripping and splatter effect, or your other option is to draw it. There is not one tool (that I know of) out there to create this effect.

I would like to further my skills by putting this into practice and creating more complex designs. I would also practice the dripping and splatter effects different ways on my own photos, as this will enable me to perfect my skills. I plan to do this by watching and following more tutorials.

Resources for research and inspiration

I mainly used tutorials as my resources for research and inspiration. As for this task, it wasn’t just about the outcome, rather it was about learning how to use layer masks to the fullest so in the future I can create unique designs. Therefore, I didn’t spend time looking at outcomes that I could create, rather how I could create these outcomes.

Design 3 was the design that used the most research before creating. I always saw design pieces like this and wondered how to actually get this outcome. Was there a tool? Was it a filter?  I still feel there is more to this then what I learnt for this task. Therefore this is something that I want to explore further in the future. But what I can tell you, is what I know now and what I learnt.

Have a go at the ‘Dripping and splatter effect’ that I linked previously, as I believe this tutorial is a good starting point and the most easy to follow and understand. Along with the way they did it using layer masks just is easy to understand compared to some of the other tutorials that I found.

If you want to experiment another way try Dripping effect. I found this tutorial useful and easy to follower, as the designer talked over his steps of what he did and why. I would recommend trying this after the previous tutorial.


Overall, for this task I learnt how to use layer masks and now that I understand them; they are actually a very simple and useful tool to know and use. Not only do I know how to use layer masks one way, I understand how to do multiple different effects using them. This was through the variety of tutorials I watched.


Learning new techniques in Photoshop

Design ideas and design process

Idea 1

For idea 1, I combined a sunset sky  with a photo of The Kicking Horse river in Jasper. I used a clipping mask to remove the sky from the Jasper photo and then used the select options to contract and feather the edge of the mountain. I then went back onto the clipping mask and used the brush to pull the colour from the sunset into the remaining clouds on the Jasper photos, by using a soft brush at half opacity. Lastly, I changed the colour balance on the Jasper photo so that it looked more realistic with the orange sky, making it warmer and redder. I really like the sunset approach to this river, which was originally in full daylight, and the warmer atmosphere created.

Idea 2

In idea 2 I did a pink colour pop with one of the macaroons and applied a background blend of coffee beans. To do this I used the black and white layer adjustments mask and adjusted colour levels to make the macaroons stand out. I then used the select tool and a black brush to bring the pink macaroon back out. I experimented with black and white gradients on the layer mask to bring in edges of pink but I didn’t like the look of this. Instead, I selected the macaroons and duplicated them before placing a photo of coffee beans onto layer 0. I played with different blend modes and opacities, ending up with a subtle coffee bean print, suggesting that these are coffee flavour ed. I like the final macaroon design for its simpleness and cleanness, with the subtle coffee beans hinting at the flavour.


Idea 3

On design three I tried the splatter technique on a peacock image. I masked off the background of the peacock and then created a new layer. Using the keyboard shortcuts I and B I made splatters behind the peacock and on the layer mask of the peacock. I adjusted the brush settings to get different sizes of splatter. I really like this effect and it was surprisingly easy for how effective it is. I then put a photo of a forest behind it and did more of the same effect to unify the image.I think the peacock design is bright and refreshing and feels sort of magical, as the particles of colour fly around and disperse.

Software Tutorials

I enjoyed watching a wide range of videos on Photoshopping techniques for this project. I learnt a lot about layer masks, which I had not explored further than colour pop before, which are very useful for applying effects to only one part of an image. They also allow you to edit photos ‘non-destructively’, meaning that it is much easier to go back and edit/reselect areas of an image, possibly saving a lot of time. A useful shortcut I learned was that ‘x’ switches between black and white when using clipping masks.

I have a better understanding  how to create other effects such as splatter and glow, as well as the endless possibilities using blend modes. I also found out that command clicking on a layer selects just the layer. Here are the videos I found most useful:

How to Use Layer Masking: Photoshop | Adobe Creative Cloud – About masks


The Macaroon project: 



creative pictures

After doing some research I thought of making something which was see through organza( a fantasy ) like. I didn’t really made any sketches because I knew what I wanted in my mind and I had reference to look at. I had some pictures of my friends because photography is one of my hobby and I use to take a lot of pictures around friends. I have chosen a picture of him to do my manipulation. I chosen this image as when you look at this image you can see how it looks like he is imagining something you can see the happiness in his eyes. I have dragged the image into the photoshop and than i have choose two different pictures to make the background and the foreground . However i would like to keep the mid-ground. By pressing this button I I made another layer of that layer. After that EDIT>Fill. Then by using the eraser tool I have taken out the bits and left the background. I like this image as the this image is very imaginative and doesn’t really happen in real life. I am not pleased with the outcome as the picture looks really fake and a bit edgy however it was an experiment .To develop this further I would like to change the background into something different sach as a bridge or a tree but not these kind of images.After that i might try to printing to see how it would come.

for my second design I have used my friends picture which I have taken. I chosen this picture for my experiments as in one picture the light is to much where as in the other picture the light effect is a bit less. I was thinking if I could combine them and create a similar picture to the last design however a different. In my initial design was to create this see through portrait. I have used IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>HUE/SATURATION to change the colours of every single picture. After i had to move the two pictures to another place so i can see it i changed the capacity so i could see through. after looking at it I didn’t line the colours it was too bright and hurting my eyes so I have taken two different pictures and the I have change the colour to black and white which was quite the opposite of the picture. had already seen. Then I have added both pictures in photoshop and adjust the capacity to 50 both. after that the picture was looking alright however I wanted to add some colour to it so I have used brush too and coloured some parts of the picture. I like this picture which i made because of the colours and the see through capacity of this image ,the black and grey colour went perfect with the burnt yellow colour made it more meaning full. I don’t like that the image is to simple however i think if i would have added another thing in this it would have been to much, as i tried to see how would it look in the experiment picture.For further improvements I would defiantly try to create the second picture out of colour then maybe it would have been a bit more interesting like a face mask or a personality mask

For my 3rd design firstly I have used a picture form google l and then cut it out to use just the face of it, then I have used the text which was distorted by the filter to give it this yellow water look. to create the lines I have simply used the rectangle shape maker tool to Create these lines which look like a fence after that I have looked at how to make this gradient by the help of the video I haven’t done the same but its not that different either. I have used a the grid tool to make the lines in the background. after that I had used the gradient shape on the eyes and that was it for this design, however it looked a bit empty so I left it for some time and changed some bit the next day and then added a computer and the flowers. to develop this further I thing the flowers could have been a bit better than these but its alright I guess

Photoshop task-Creative images

Photoshop task-Creative images


Design ideas and design process

For the Photoshop task, I focus on creative images. The idea behind the images is to try to merge two pictures or multiple pictures. Make photos more interesting. But at the same time, it is eye-catching and stands out. I looked for many different tutorials to watch how to make different styles of photos. I am most interested in the double exposure effect. At the same time, I also hope to merge two images with completely different colours. I try to use this method to complete my picture task.

I downloaded two different images into Photoshop, and then put each image into its own layer. Because it will simplify the layers that help me. In the first step, I chose a portrait photo that I took of myself.

In the second step, I first use the quick selection tool to quickly select portraits from the first layer. After selecting, I found feather by right-clicking. Feather the portrait. The third step is to select the layer and copy a new layer. The fourth step is to delete the background layer. The fifth step is to adjust the size of the picture you want, because you need enough space to create a double exposure effect. Then select Crop Tool to expand the layer. The sixth step needs to create a new adjustment layer. Then select solid colour and choose white as the colour. Put the portrait on the top layer.

The seventh step is to remove the portrait colour. Reduce the transparency of the landscape image. Adjust to a suitable position. The eighth step is to add a layer mask to the landscape picture. Finally, use the brush tool to erase the surroundings to get the effect of double exposure. At the same time, the colour contrast is also very important, because it can make the image look more harmonious; it also makes the image more prominent. In the background of this picture, I chose pink that is like the sky and clouds as the main background. This way the picture looks not more abrupt.

The seventh step is to remove the portrait colour. Reduce the transparency of the landscape image. Adjust to a suitable position. The eighth step is to add a layer mask to the landscape picture.

Finally, use the brush tool to erase the surroundings to get the effect of double exposure. At the same time, the colour contrast is also very important, because it can make the image look more harmonious; it also makes the image more prominent. In the background of this picture, I chose pink that is like the sky and clouds as the main background. This way the picture looks not more abrupt.


Software tutorials


I started watching from the tutorial provided, and I think I learned a lot of new things from the video. Before making this photo, I am good at will liquefy the portrait image and correct the skin colour. I use tutorial to be learned how to add adjustment layers and composite images for the first time. Before starting this project, I was only able to use one part of the photoshop skills proficiently. After watching the video, I watched some content that I was interested in through YouTube. In the end I chose the double exposure effect to do my task.


This tutorial made me no doubt about Layers & Layer Masks in photoshop. The concepts of Layers & Layer Masks are introduced. Through the tutorial, I learned how to use add layer mask to add a background to the picture in double exposure. I think I learned a very important skill in Photoshop.


After watching different picture making tutorials, I finally chose the double exposure effect image making tutorial. These tutorials all helped me make my final image. Greatly improved my ability to use Photoshop. Every video I watched is very useful, even if I have learned what I think I need to learn. I will continue to explore these tools.


Resources for research and inspiration

Before making this image, I browsed a lot of pictures on the Internet. Because at the beginning I didn’t have any ideas, or even what topic to do. I use Pinterest the most. They provided many relevant pictures on Pinterest, allowing me to quickly determine the theme of the pictures I will make-double exposure. It not only helped me think of specific topics but also gave me an accurate direction. I made a board about double exposure.


I also browsed a web page called designbolts. The page I visited was about 30 Most Amazing Double Exposure Photography by French Artist Nevess. I saw that he has a different idea about each picture. On the surface, I think it’s just a combination of two different photos. But in fact, I feel that he wants to express some people’s thoughts from the two combined double exposure photos.


Through this Photoshop task practice, I feel a little better about my technique. I will continue to explore different techniques in Photoshop. I believe this will extend my photo editing skills and increase my proficiency in the use of software. Finally, I think Photoshop still has many functions that I haven’t explored yet. I will learn as much knowledge in different fields as possible and use it proficiently in editing photos and designs. In my opinion, learning Adobe software is to lay the foundation for my future design work. If I continue to study, I can learn more different skills.

Getting creative with Photoshop

Design ideas and design process

The task I chose for week one was the Creative Images Photoshop task where we were free to create any sort of image which distorted reality in some kind of way and demonstrated progression in our photoshop skills. I liked the idea of this because we had complete freedom with our designs to make anything we wanted rather than a set goal to complete. For the first design, I wanted to create something interesting with an eye. I had the idea to only have the iris in colour so made an adjustment layer to convert the image to black and white, then used the brush tool to add colour back to the eye. I added images of a forest, moon and starry sky using layers and clipping masks with the quick selection tool. I discovered that the refine edge brush tool was really useful to capture the small details of the trees. After this I used the brush tool to get rid of the the areas of the images that I didn’t want to be visible, so that they were positioned how I wanted them inside the shape of the eye. I also used the gradient tool to blend them in, as well as changing the opacity on my brush and using this around the edges.

With my second design I used the same process of clipping masks, while adding some more adjustment layers to alter the effects of the image in the sky, and to make the girl look more blue so that she fitted into the sky better.

For my final design I used two images together and experimented with how I could combine them. I used an image of a girl and the umbrella as the base layer and then imported the lightning as a layer on top of this. A challenge I overcame here was that I wanted to integrate the entire image with the girl and the rain drops with the lightning, so i reduced the opacity, however this faded away the girl too. So again, I used the brush tool to make the parts I wanted 100% opacity by removing the foreground photo from these sections, while the rain drops and the background of the photo were faded in order to blend with the lightning photo. Lastly, I used the eraser tool over the shape of the umbrella to make it appear in full colour and solidity.

Design 1 – Creative Images







Design 1 process layering process







Design 1 process showing layers and masks
Design 2 – Creative Images







Design 2 process layer adjustments







Design 2 process showing adjustments and layers










Design 3 – Creative Images









Design 3 process showing original image



Software tutorials

I watched some tutorials in order to learn some more complex tools and techniques in Photoshop. I started off by watching the photoshop tutorial on layers and layer masks on youtube which really helped me get to grips with how layers can be used in different ways to your advantage. I hadn’t understood how layers worked before this, and now I can easily integrate images using layers. I then looked at the adobe tutorial ‘combine black and white with colour in a photo’ which gave me more of an understanding about how the layers work and the use of adjustment layers. The next tutorial I watched was the adobe youtube video: How to use layer masking, which gave me some more complex information on how to integrate different images by removing parts of one image and showing parts of another. In addition, I used the adobe tutorial: How to make a photo composite in photoshop, which demonstrated the steps of using layers masks to get the final piece. All my tutorials were based on what layers are and how they work, which gave me lots of really useful knowledge for improving my photoshop skills. After using these tutorials I was able to create new layers, use the quick selection tool to cut out images, use the brush tools to control areas of clipping masks, and add adjustments to the colour settings.


Resources for research and inspiration

For sources of inspiration, I browsed through examples of photoshop creative images on the web which helped me brainstorm ideas of my own. I especially found that Pinterest was full of creative images and I saw many examples of photoshopped eyes which stemmed by idea for my first design. It was really fascinating to see other people’s ideas of how they can distort reality by using ordinary subjects and placing then in unusual contexts as well as editing the colours and shapes. Also, browsing through creative instagram accounts gave me lots of inspiration as I admired other’s work, and even just searching #photoshop resulted in lots of amazing photoshopped art. Additionally, I used Pixabay to search for all the images that I used in this design task, and some of the photos gave me inspiration and ideas for how I could use them. Finally, having looked on our spring term Padlet wall, I could see what creative images some of my fellow students had come up with which inspired my own designs and gave me some direction in what sort of image to design and create. I really enjoyed looking at other’s work, especially students who were at my level of photoshop skill because it gave me a rough idea of what I might be able to achieve myself.[]=photoshop%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=art%7Ctyped


Creative Images in Photoshop

Our task was to use photoshop to make some creative images that would develop our skills with the software.

Design Ideas

When looking at existing creative images they often reminded me of dramatic scenes from books or movies, I thought I would draw on this for my inspiration. For this piece I wanted to create something that would remind me of my book collection, I looked at other creative images with a story and found those with a fantasy atmosphere were the most interesting. The idea of castles, magic and battles was a highly enticing one.

I wanted to create an image of a woman running through a castle and then having some kind of suggestion of magic in the image. I had to find some photos that fitted with this idea. I found some images in and around castles and settled on a shot of a dramatic staircase with some detailed architecture, it has some intense warm lighting that I could emphasise even further by altering the colours of the piece. My next task was to find a subject, I wanted a powerful image that had some form of symbolic suggestion to it. I also wanted the colours to match nicely with the image, I had tried previously and found that when a subject has massively contrasting clothing to the room they in no matter how many alterations you make it still won’t look right. Even if the image was authentic it still would lack a certain pleasing visual nature I therefore went for someone with a red dress and a lantern whose light I could change to be more warming and fit with the rest of the scene. I wasn’t trying to simply cut out a person and put them in another setting I wanted to create an entire piece and for this there had to be a story.

For the narrative of this image I wanted to go with magic and power of some kind, my initial idea was to have a large sword and to make it appear as though flames or magic was erupting from it, however when I found my image the sword wasn’t the centre piece of the subject so instead I grew this power from the lantern she is holding.


Tutorials and how I used them
In order to create the image that I wanted I had to find some tutorials that would help me produce flames or magic artificially in my work. When doing this research I found a designer named Max Asabin, he is a Russian artist that is known for his own unique way of creating flames of magic in his work. He does this by using a gradient map and then drawing over this gradient map by hand to create the texture of whatever you want, in this case for my image I was able to create the texture of flames and because they were drawn by hand they had an organic nature to them. I had some issues with these tutorials because a lot of his work is fully in Russian and a lot of his videos don’t have translations, I did however find some other Russian artist that also speak English that have conveniently translated his personal tutorials or created their own using methods similar to his or what they learnt from him.

My first step in creating this image was to find my subject and cut her out from her original scene and then place her into the stairwell, this was quite simple as I’ve practised this before on other images I did however then have to alter the lighting in her image so that it appeared that she was actually stood on that staircase rather than somewhere else. I learnt this in another tutorial that showed me how to change the lighting and the colours in order to make something look like it could belong anywhere that it was put. I did this by overlaying black and white layers and increasing the saturation to bring out the true colours.

After I had made it look as though she was in the scene I drew some shadows around her to increase this realistic affect and then it was time to create the flames. I created a gradient map and then a layer mask; the gradient map that I used had all of the colours of flames. I’d use it in other images where I’d used un-natural colours that made it appear more as magic rather than fire. Using the layer mask I drew on top of this gradient map so that only the colours of the gradient matter available could determine what colour the flame would be in linking to the amount of pressure that I used with my pen. This helped to create a nice natural look for the fire and I could have it spread from the sword in the lantern anyway that I desired. The finishing touches for this piece were alterations to the saturation and lighting of the peace as a whole to give it a kind of warm and orange glow and add some clothes and dust effects to create some more depth and texture to make it look as though you are in that scene rather than viewing a picture of it.

Here are the links to the tutorials that I used in order to create this image.

Inspirational resources

My inspiration for this piece came from the things around me in the form of fantasy books films and posters, it’s quite a common thing for fans of books or films to create their own artwork around it and it’s quite common for me to see Photoshop manipulations that involve magic or some kind of mystical world. I’ve looked at a few images that included this and I really liked how they looked and I wanted to be able to replicate it myself.


This first image accurately displays what I was talking about, this fan made magical image using photoshop to make it look as though someone is appearing in a fictional world. I really love this and as someone who is a fan of fiction I felt that this topic was close to my heart. This particular image is brilliant and really stands out because there is such a detail to the drawing of the Petronas, it’s difficult for you to see that that would be something made by a fan rather than a professional I wanted to replicate this kind of magical lightning atmosphere within my work and the piece that I created.


This next images are quite clear separation between what is real and what isn’t. The man creating the magic symbols is an ordinary one and dressed in everyday clothes. However the effects around him help to enhance the narrative of the scene here, I really like the high intensity of the colours the oranges and yellows help draw your eye strongly to the piece and really help to add that sense of fantasy and magic.


For this third image I really liked how clearly all of the objects are put into this scene there obviously all taken from different angles on different objects maybe with green screens behind them but I really like how realistic the falling looks. I want to be able to adopt skills like this in my work and to be able to take someone from a fantasy setting into a real building or room whilst maintaining that sense of realism so it looks as though someone is actually performing those acts of magic.

Warping reality with photoshop

Design ideas and design process


Idea 1

idea 1idea 1idea 1

For my first idea I wanted to keep things relatively simple, the brief needed me to create an image that combines black, white and colour. I started by using pixabay to download a picture that included a lot of bright colour that would stick out from a black and white background. I opened it in photoshop and duplicated the image, setting the layer underneath to greyscale by converting all the colours to black and white. Then I focussed on the image overtop, erasing all of the colours except the red and orange shades, I did this using the eraser tool however I realise I could have done this with the quick selection tool to make the process a lot quicker.


Idea 2

idea 2idea 2

idea 2

Idea 2 was based around the changing an image’s background task. Again, I chose some images and pasted them in from pixabay, one of space and one of someone sitting on a bed.. I wanted it to look like the person was floating in space so I added a layer mask to the photo and used the black paint tool to hide the background of the original image, again I could have used a different method to hide the background to make it slightly quicker. To blend the two images together I created an adjustment layer with a star texture using the lighten effect. I don’t think I was able to make the image fully believable, also overall I think the result is a bit boring.


Idea 3

idea 3

idea 3

idea 3

I had to alter reality in idea 3, so I decided to create an image using a laptop and jellyfish. Again I got these images off pixabay. I used the same methods as before, using layer masks and adjustment layers. Although in this one I used the paintbrush tool at a low opacity to draw in the reflection of the jellyfish onto the laptop screen. I had some fun experimenting with adjustment layers although eventually ended settling with a simple one using the soft light setting. I probably could have rotated the image of the laptop to make it more realistic as it still looks like it’s sitting on a table despite being in the middle of the ocean.



Software tutorials


Resources for research and inspiration, I used a lot of the provided tutorials. The first one I looked at was the combine black and white with colour in a photo made by adobe. It helped with a lot of the basics for my first design, I had a slight idea of how to do this already however this tutorial put it into a much easier format that helped decrease the time it took to make my image. The second tutorial I used was a youtube video on how to use layer masking on photoshop, I hadn’t really understood what layer masking was before this, but it turns out that it is a key skill for photoshop if you want to do any editing that includes putting to images together, or even adding effects to one image. The third one was another adobe tutorial about accurately selecting image areas, it introduced me to the decontaminate colours option which was particularly helpful for when changing the background dramatically on tiny, difficult shapes such as hair.


I found the last one myself, they are both youtube videos. The first one was about simplifying and understanding blend modes, it helped me to add a watery effect to the jellyfish image.


Breakdown of blend modes:



Resources for research and inspiration


The first place I usually go for inspiration is Pinterest, just searching for interesting things people have made in photoshop. I quite like the darker, spacey images I found and I thought it would be fun to try and create something like this. The only exception to this was the first design, where it was required to combine black and white, and I was still learning how to use the tools correctly. I saw this image with jellyfish in space that I quite liked, however I was worried about copying the idea too closely so instead I turned my third idea into deep water, still including the jellyfish. When looking at images on pixabay to add to my design I found I also really liked the watery marble texture that appears on the surface of waves, I tried implementing this into my third design, although did not end up going with it as I felt it obscured the actual focus of the image, those being the laptop and jellyfishes.


Photoshop Collage

Design ideas and design process

I have chosen the Creative Images Photoshop task; this brief states we need to create an image that has been manipulated to alter ‘reality’.


I started my idea generation by finding some images I thought would be interesting to manipulate. By searching for “vintage fashion photography” I got loads of high-quality images that were very dynamic and interesting. I then tried to imagine additional objects within the images, for example in one picture I found that a woman’s hat heavily resembled a thumb. In another I thought the woman’s dress looked as though it might blossom like a flower. I started to sketch some ideas and when I was happy I began to seek out pictures of thumbs, flowers, and other objects that I could superimpose into my collage.



For my first idea found a picture of a thumb that was good quality and imported into my Photoshop document. I used an adjustment layer to make the thumb black and white (like the image I wanted to superimpose it onto).  Next I used the Magnetic Lasso Tool to select the outline of the thumb and to discard of the background. I then reduced the thumbs opacity and placed it on top of the woman’s head, distorting it so that it remained the same shape as her hat. Finally I used the rubber tool to remove parts of the thumb that overlapped the woman’s hat and I also used several curves adjustment layers to give the thumb the shadows and highlights that the hat had.


image.pngthumb lady low.jpg

For my next Idea I wanted to extend the subjects dress to resemble a flower. I found a suitable picture of a rose online, making sure It was Black as for it to blend well with the black dress. I imported the image into my Photoshop file and once again used the Magnetic lasso tool to discard of the background. I placed the rose upside down where the woman’s dress ended and used the Rubber tool to seamlessly blend the dress’s outline to the rose. The layers blended together really well but the work looked a little odd as the woman had no legs.

Secret Stars: Daft Punk and Karlie Kloss in Inspired New Eveningwear | Vogueimage.pngwoamnflower-Recovered 2.jpg

I cropped out a leg from a poster of daft punk,  reflected it, duplicated it and arranged them in a way to look like they belonged to the woman. I then added some colour and text to get the final image above on the right.


For my final idea I wanted to place the moon on top of the subject’s head. I found a high quality image of the moon and imported it into Photoshop. Using the magic wand tool to discard of the background I then cut the moon in half and placed it on-top of the woman’s head. I neatened up the composite using the rubber tool on a low hardness.  I wanted to develop this idea further and I thought It would be interesting to stick with the vintage space theme. Using an image of a toy rocket, I made use of the magnetic selection tool and adjustment layers like Black and white, Curves, brightness, contrast and also hue and saturation In order to create a seamless collage. To finish I added some final details like text and noise (to give it a vintage feel) and am really happy with the results.

image.pngROCKET WOMAN 3.jpgimage.pngROCKET WOMAN 2.jpg


Software tutorials

A big part of creating a collage digitally is knowing how to blend images seamlessly. A resource that was provided in which I found invaluable was a video that broke down blending modes. I’d never really experimented with them before and this skill came in very useful throughout this task.

I also found some additional videos that were really useful.

These two videos were extremely helpful. One of the videos taught me how to invert adjustment layers and then use the black and white brush tool to apply the adjustment onto selective areas. This was a very useful tool as it allowed me to create shadows and give my images depth and realism that they wouldn’t otherwise have. The color matching video taught me how to manipulate individual colour channels in order to match it with another object. The video also had some great tips and tricks on how to use the curves tool.  PiXimperfect does some fantastic tutorial videos and is my go to channel for any problems Photoshop related.

In the future I’d like to improve my understanding of clipping masks and working non-destructively. I found myself merging layers and flattening the images multiple times throughout my Photoshop process which meant I couldn’t undo things later on, this is definitely a bad habit and something that would be worth learning about.
To learn how to work clipping masks I intend to watch some more YouTube videos, specifically ‘PiXimperfect’ as his videos are very enjoyable and easy to follow.


Resources for research and inspiration


I was inspired to take a collage approach to this task mainly due to an artist called Richard Vergez. ‘Richard Vergez is a Cuban-American visual and sound artist’ whose artwork uses a range of different images overlayed in a really creative way. I was inspired by how practical and hands on his work is;  Vergez will often take real magazine cutouts allowing his work to feature paper tears and texture  which gives it a really brutal and raw effect. I tried to replicate paper tears digitally but failed, however this is a skill I am really set on learning and can’t wait to give another shot. Vergez also used vintage magazines as a source material, this was something that I incorporated into my own work.

Organization Collage by Richard Vergez | Saatchi ArtRichard VergezRichard Vergez - Coeval Magazine


Taxer is another artist that deeply inspired me to take the approach to this project that I did. ‘Taxer is a self taught Austrian based graphic designer specialized in dark-surreal artworks.’ His work is very similar to that of Vergez’s however, unlike Vergez, his work doesn’t draw attention to the process with rough cut overlays but rather seamlessly blends elements together in a hyper-realistic render. In my own work for this task I tried to implement Taxer’s approach and focused on trying to make it ambitious where one image in the collage ends and where the other begins.

Meindl Taxer's Instagram post: “089 . . #typosters #printisntdead #graphicindex #dailyposter #itsnicethat #posterlabs #d… | Instagram posts, Graphic prints, GraphicMeindl Taxer on Instagram: “073 . . #typosters #printisntdead #graphicindex #dailyposter #itsnicethat #posterlabs #designfeed #v… | Instagram, Poster, Its nice thatMeindl Taxer on Instagram: “097 . . . #typosters #printisntdead #graphicindex #dailyposter #itsnicethat #posterlabs #v… | Graphic prints, Instagram, Graphic design

In the future I want to explore digital collage’s further and really dive into all the different approaches you can take.

Diving deeper into the world of photoshop

­­­­­­­­­Design ideas and design process:

For this design, I used my own photograph that I took whilst in New York. I chose this image as it was of high quality, and the composition was interesting. I also chose this because the background didn’t have too many buildings in it so I knew it wouldn’t be too complicated to isolate as this was my first time using the software. I first used the selection tool to select the sky and parts of the background that I wanted to remove, adjusting the size of the tool in order to get my selection as accurate as possible. I then used inverse selection to select the buildings and everything else that was in the foreground of the image so that I could make that selection a clipping mask therefore removing the background. I then fixed some details further on the clipping mask layer with the paintbrush tool using black to take away and white to add back some of the image, again adjusting the size of the paintbrush as and when I needed to. I then went back in with the clone stamp tool to get rid of some of the thin wires that were running across the buildings, as I had removed them along with the sky in the background. The results of this removal can be seen in figure 2.

Figure 1. New York image with the background removed
Figure 2. cables and telephone lines over the buildings, removed

Once I felt I had accurately cut out the background I then went on to place the new background image into the file. I used ‘place embedded’ to do this. I scaled the new background image to half the size and duplicated it so one was on top of the other shown in figure 3. This then allowed me to merge the 2 images into one layer so that I could then use the clone stamp tool to blend them together. Once I had blended the background images, I then moved the layer below the original photograph, leaving that as the new sky for my New York image.

I chose to edit the foreground image as, in real life, if the sky was really that colour you would see pinks and blues in the reflection of the buildings. I first increased the contrast which you can see in figure 5. I then adjusted the colour balance. I left the mid-tones as they were, added more blue and cyan to the shadows and then added more magenta and red to the highlights of the image. This can be seen in the feature image at the top of the post.

Figure 3. The background image prior to blending
Figure 4. The blended background image
Figure 5. Image with adjusted contrast

For my second design, I removed the background of the original image using a layer mask and then placed the 3 butterflies I wanted on to the image. They originally had a white background, so I selected the butterfly using the object selection tool and then made it a mask layer. I then scaled and rotated the butterflies to sit on or around the baby. Next, I placed an image of grass in the file in a new layer making sure it was the very bottom layer. I then edited the contrast and blending effect of the grass so that it fits in well with the rest of the image. Finally, I added drop shadows to both the babies and the butterflies. This is because the original image of the baby had light coming in from the right and so I wanted this to be reflected in the rest of the image, making sure it was consistent and didn’t look like multiple images put together.

Figure 6. Design 2

For my third and final design, I kept it quite simple. I duplicated the image layer and on the new layer selected the parrot and branch to make it into a layer mask. I did this so that I could get the paint splatters close and packed together near the parrot without it going over the parrot itself. I then placed paint splatters using the brush tool around the right-hand edge of the parrot taking colour swatches from within the parrot.

Figure 7. Design 3


Software tutorials: This was a given resource. As photoshop was still a fairly new software to me, it was necessary to teach myself exactly what a composite image is and see how I could potentially go about making one myself. I felt it was important to understand this before beginning my ideation for the edits so that I could start this task in the right direction and with a full understanding of what it was that I was creating. This again was a given resource that was particularly useful for the New York edit. From the beginning of the creation of this edit, I knew I wanted to remove the background of the image, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. This taught me, not only how to remove the background, but to remove the background with as much accuracy as I could. It did this as it showed me how I could remove part of a selection by holding down the option key as well as how to use black and white with the brush tool on a mask layer. I used this tutorial for a task in a previous week. However, I re-watched it to refresh my memory as I knew the clone stamp tool could help blend the 2 sky images together, as well as fix the reflection issues I had in the New York edit.

I think I have largely improved my photoshops skills from completing this task and using the tutorials to aid me. Although there is always more to learn and so to continue growing my skill set, I will use photoshop when I feel it is appropriate with my projects in other modules. I will carry on with experimentations and if I see an interesting image, I will be sure to be inquisitive in terms of how it was produced and even try to recreate it myself with the help of some adobe and YouTube tutorials.

Resources for research and inspiration:

For my edit of New York, I got inspiration from the brief as it suggested to replace the background of an image and straight away I knew I wanted to do this to a city scene so it looked like a scene from a supernatural movie that uses special effects, such as Avengers. This was helpful to look at for the New York edit as it is what made me consider editing the image in the foreground with the buildings as I noticed the reflection of the green and blue light from the sky in the buildings. I think this really helped to tie my image together rather than look like two images layered on top of one another.

Going forward, it would be interesting to explore beauty photo editing in photoshop. I think learning the tools and techniques used for beauty editing will give a new perspective to offer to the conversation about whether it’s ethically right to be editing beauty photos at all, especially when it comes to advertising and beauty products.


Learning Creative Skills

This was a task that allowed me to explore my creative skills and improve my photoshop skills. I was able to create otherworldly images using photoshop and manipulating normal backgrounds and object to fit my concept.

Design ideas and design process

Book Transformation:

Original Design







Final Design








Design 1 draft







My most tasking work was the book transformation design as it took the most time to create with the longest tutorial among the other two.

it Is one of my favourite design because I am interested in fantasy artworks. I was able to come up with the design for this image by looking through YouTube for photoshop manipulation and came upon a book pop out manipulation.

It is a transformation from a book placed on a table to a pop-out photo manipulation of a whale and a little girl. The image reminds me of a story coming to life and this design allows me to manipulate the background of the image to fit the concept of the book story.

The main tools for this task were clipping mask tool, pen tool to cut and a leaf brush stroke.

I used “Create Clipping Mask” to add the field and the ocean waves on the book page. This was a very useful technique to know because I would be using it for the next creative task.

I used the quick selection tool to cut out the shape of my whale and place it on the ocean. I then downloaded water effects and added them to my whale image because I wanted to show the illusion of a splash.

The last thing I did was cut out the “girl sitting down” image using a pen tool luckily the image I found also has the girl looking up which complement the pop-out design and give an illusion of her looking up at the whale.

I wanted to see how my image would look if I switched out the whale and added a mermaid tale and added a field, however, it made the image look busy as too much was happening so I decided to stick with the whale instead and removed the field because it blended with the field the girl sits on.


Plant Manipulation:

Original Design


Final Design









The Stages

Stage 1: Face Manipulation
Stage 2: Afro Plant
Stage 3: Dress Manipulation








This design is one that I would classify personally as the most beautiful or aesthetically pleasing works among the other design.

I went through many stages before I arrived at the final with this design.  I challenge my self and my creativity before I could produce the last because I felt the other two stages before the final could be improved.

Browsing through YouTube for photoshop manipulation tutorials I came upon a video of a plant faced portrait.

I first experiment with the tutorial to get an idea and to educate myself on how to create that image however, I did not find it interesting and wanted to explore it more.

I looked at multiple face plant tutorials so that I can broaden my knowledge on the skills to create this manipulation. I decided to look through Pinterest for inspiration for plant manipulation design and I came across a portrait with leaves and birds as her hair and another portrait of a girl’s hair and dress transforming into the plant. The image from Pinterest reminded me of mother nature, and I found it aesthetically pleasing to see.

Using the images as inspiration, the second design I created had the same idea of manipulating a plant with a face portrait except it comes out from the head instead however, I believe this concept of mother nature had space for improvement in my second design.

To further my design, I focused on the outfit and masking the flowers to it. I combined both the plant hair and plant dress to create the final work.  I am proud of the final outcome as you can see the influence of the inspiration in my design.



Portal Manipulation:

The Original


Final Design









The portal design is futuristic and combines two destinations into one image.

The use of glow rings is to highlight the background of the image because it is dull and dark. While also highlighting the background the glow ring also highlights the smaller image and is meant to portray a portal to another dimension.

It was created using a combination of three tutorials and I implemented interesting elements I found in those tutorials into my work.

I first started with the train tutorial however it felt boring was not as interesting as the other design in this task.

I moved on to creating a portal for the train design and implement the ring light to focus attention on the tracks.

My reason for the background being dark is to let the attention of viewers eyes be on the track. If the image had been with a lighted background, the portal would not stand out and would blend with the background.

I added the boy image last because I felt without it the work would not look complete. I analysed every aspect of my design so that each element had a purpose there and was not just there for beautification and I am proud of the final outcome.


Software tutorials

The pop-out manipulation

The tutorial took the longest time to learn out of all other tutorials. This is because I wanted every aspect of the book to blend from the background to the grass to the water wave. From this tutorial I was able to learn a clipping mask to implement an image on top of another image which is a useful skill that I want to add in future designs.

The tutorial was interesting to follow and taught me how to use the pen tool as a way of cutting out images and seeing the difference in using the quick selection and using the pen tool was amazing because the pen tool allowed me to have smoother edges and more control of what I cut out.



Plant Photo manipulation

The tutorial was interesting and fun to follow through, with the tutorial I could express these newly developed skills any way I wanted to. I improved my skills in blending and plant photo manipulation.

The main tool the tutorial taught me was using the pen “shape ” option to create depth in the background of an image that the flower comes out of. Therefore, teaching me how to create the illusion of an object coming out of an image using the shape tool.

Another skill I learnt from this task is using the “Bevel and Emboss” tool in the blending option. This allowed me to harden either the outside or inner part of an image. I could manipulate the size, depth and softness of an image.

I am proud of the outcome and the way I was able to manipulate the plant to look like that of an afro and a dress.


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Portal Manipulation:

I was able to create this image using three tutorials, it is a combination of the element I found most interesting about the tutorials. The tutorials taught me many things such as how to manipulate colours using colour balance and hue and saturation and how to create a portal using the clipping mask tool. Another skill the tutorial taught me was  using “color” option to dissolve the background  of an image such as the portal ring image however I didn’t end up adding that element into the design because I chose to create my own portal using the elliptical marquee tool and paint bucket

It was interesting creating the portal effect using the clipping mask tool and having to duplicate it and dissolve the black background image of the portal ring.



Resources for research and inspiration

Browsing through Pinterest and looking at YouTube helped me develop an idea of what I want I want to develop for the creative design task. It allowed me to challenge myself so finding the right inspiration and resources to develop those skills was important.

Pop-Out Photo Manipulation:

I was interested in creating a fantasy layout for this task so to begin it I browsed through YouTube for a suitable fantasy photoshop manipulation.  I came upon a book pop out manipulation which I found interesting and I like the presentation and layout of the image.

The inspiration design reminds me of a story coming to life which I liked. The background of the inspiration was a field and is realistic however mine is pink because I wanted to take my design foreword and illustrate the fantasy element of the design  This task was fun to make and allowed me to play around with different images and improve my layout skills.

Plant Photo manipulation:

There were different inspirations and resources that led me to my final design. The steps I took to get to my final design was interesting and the progress is clearly shown from the first design to the final design.

The first influence for my design was a face plant portrait, the layout and presentation of the design were interesting. However, when exploring it I felt I could challenge myself more.

The second influence was the leave and bird imitating the girl’s hair, this was another way of designing the face plant portrait, however instead of flowers coming out of the face the hair is made of flowers.

The final inspiration for this task is eye-catching with the way the hair and the flower blending together. The flowers spiking coming out of the dress give the image a fascinating look.

Another key element I took from the final inspiration was the dress structure. The structure of the girl’s dress was intriguing and one of the main reason why I chose to use this as the influence for my final design. The bold structure is one of the first things I noticed when analysing the layout of the design and when implementing this aspect into my design it allowed for the dress of my design to be dynamic.

Portal Manipulation:

Portal Inspiration

I had three resources to create the final design, the first design I started with was the one with the train track, however, the design felt boring compared to the rest of my work for this task.

I later browsed through Pinterest and stumbled on a portal design that I could link to the train track design. The idea of a portal design allowed me to combine two backgrounds together.

The portal glow highlights the person, the background and the tracks the person walks. It is one of the reasons I chose to add that element into my design because without it the design would not catch the attention of the audience.

The resources for my design was out of my comfort zone and encourage me to learn to improve my skills and broaden my knowledge on photoshop. It was very beneficial because I also learn how to improve my presentation, layout and creative skills.