Family Photo Ideas – step-by-step how to combine your images into one portrait (5-8)
05 Paint the blocker layers
Hide all but the bottom two layers again. Highlight the bottom layer, then click the Create New Layer icon. Grab the Brush tool from the Tools Panel and hit D to set your foreground colour to black.
Paint roughly over any unwanted areas on the bottom layer that are showing. Reveal the other layers one at a time and add more blocker layers between them, again painting with black to stop the lighter tones from showing through.
06 Convert to mono
Highlight the top layer, then click the Create Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel and choose Black & White. We used the Darker preset from the drop-down menu at the top of the settings.
Next, create a Curves Adjustment Layer to increase the contrast. Plot an S-shaped curve with one point dragged down on the left of the line and another dragged up on the right.
07 Retouch the details
Create a new layer, then grab the Spot Healing Brush tool. Make sure Sample All Layers is checked in the Options bar then zoom in close and use the tool to remove marks, blemishes and lines.
Now make another new layer, grab the Clone Stamp tool and again set Sample: All Layers. Hit 2 to set the Opacity to 20%. Hold down Alt and click to sample a clean area of skin, then clone over bags and wrinkles to soften them.
08 Dodge, burn and crop
Hold down Alt and click the Create New Layer icon to access the New Layer options. Set Mode: Overlay and check the Fill with Overlay-neutral color box then hit OK. Grab the Burn tool and set Range: Midtones, Exposure 20%, then use it to darken areas around the faces and background.
Switch to the Dodge tool and paint to lighten the eyes. Finally, grab the Crop tool and crop in tighter to lose any rough edges.
PAGE 1: Family Photo Ideas – step-by-step how to shoot your striking family portrait (1-3)
PAGE 2: Family Photo Ideas – step-by-step how to shoot your striking family portrait (4-6)
PAGE 3: Family Photo Ideas – step-by-step how to combine your images into one portrait (1-4)
PAGE 4: Family Photo Ideas – step-by-step how to combine your images into one portrait (5-8)
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