Merging two photos using a simple mask.
I have chosen two different pictures and we will create an illusion using a simple mask command. In this tutorial we will also use the very popular gradient tool to mask the first photo on top of the other.
The first picture shows a very beautiful blue lagoon found in a sunny little island called Malta. The second one is an aztech pyramid found in Mexico. To start with you can simply open the first picture in photoshop. This will automatically place it as a background layer. As background we want the blue lagoon picture. Then open the pyramid and drag & drop it on the blue lagoon file. Automatically the pyramid will be visible and named Layer 1.
You can now close the pyramid file and focus on the blue lagoon file. Now click on the Mask icon and create a new mask. (Visit our Mask tutorial if unsure). Then your layers window will look like this.
Now click on the Gradient/Fill bucket option and, with the foreground colour set to black,
Click and drag a small space at the middle of the picture. It is important that you start from the bottom and drag to the top as this will mask the bottom part. If you do it reversed, the pyramid’s grass and the lagoon’s sky will show. The gradient is represented by two cross hairs as shown below, and the line in between is the distance across which will be faded out.
It is also very important that when you apply the gradient, make sure that the mask is chosen in the layer window, otherwise the gradient will be applied over the photo. This should be the end result, a pyramid semi submerged in water, possibly Atlantis in ancient times.