How to Do Overlays in Photoshop

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One of the interesting things about working with Photoshop is that, although Adobe constantly adds new features with every new version, it keeps the tried-and-true things that work. Among these things are the "Blending Modes." These effects can be used on one layer to impact how it interacts with the one below it. For example, if you want to make an overlay effect in which one image shows through the one above it, this is where you would turn. You also can use this in other ways, like adding fog to an image.

  • Load the photos that you plan to use onto your computer by transferring them from a camera, other digital storage medium or by scanning them in. When using a scanner, make sure you use a high resolution (600 DPI).

  • Open Photoshop. Select "File" and click "Open." In the dialog that pops up, browse for the image you loaded that you want to be the background and open it.

  • Select "File" and click "Open." In the dialog that pops up, browse for the image you loaded that you want to use for the overlay and open it. If you want to use only a part of this image as an overlay, select the "Magnetic Lasso" tool from the toolbar and make the selection. Otherwise, choose "Selection" from the menu and click "Select All."

  • Select the "Edit" from the menu and click "Copy." Go to the background image, select "Edit" and click "Paste." Position and resize the image to fit your canvas (if necessary).

  • Click on the "Blending Mode" drop-down menu (just above the layers) and change it from "Normal" to "Overlay." Save your work as a JPEG.

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