How to edit your pictures of flowers: adding the new backdrop
06 Add the new backdrop
Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to create a merged layer at the top of the layer stack. Open your backdrop image (for us it was a blue sky), drag it onto your flower photos to add it as a new layer, then drag this layer below the merged layer in the stack.
07 Select the existing backdrop
Take the Magic Wand tool, and set Tolerance to 27 and disable Contiguous. Click in the white background to select it; hold down Shift and click to select more areas if needed. Click Refine Edge, and set Smooth to 25 and Feather to 7.
08 Create a layer mask
Under Output To, select Layer Mask to create a mask based on the selection. Click the mask, and press Ctrl+I to invert it and reveal the flowers.
If you’ve missed any bits of white background, select them with the Magic Wand tool, then set the foreground toolbox colour to white, target the mask, and hit the Delete key: this fills the selected areas on the mask with white.
09 Fine-tune the mask
Take the Brush tool, and set Size to 1000 pixels, Hardness to 30% and Opacity to 30%. Brush over the central part of the picture, where the selection edges are noticeable: this lets some of the original white background show through, creating a smoother blend between the flowers and the new backdrop.
10 Add a lens flare
Add a new layer. Go to Edit > Fill Layer, select 50% Grey from the Use menu and click OK. Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Click 50-300mm Prime, and drag the centre of the flare to the right-hand corner of the preview.
Set Brightness to 145%. Click OK, then set the layer’s blending mode to Hard Light to hide the grey and reveal the flare, and set its opacity to 80%.
PAGE 1: Composing pictures of flowers from the ground up
PAGE 2: How to set up your pictures of flowers – steps 1-3
PAGE 3: How to set up your pictures of flowers – steps 4-6
PAGE 4: How to edit your pictures of flowers – adjusting colour and composition
PAGE 5: How to edit your pictures of flowers – adding the new backdrop
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