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How to make a photo collage/joiner in CS4

See how easy it can be to create a photo collage in Photoshop.

|  Adobe Photoshop
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With the help of photo merge getting creative in Photoshop is easy!

  • Software used: Photoshop CS4
  • Time taken: 15 minutes 
 Create a joiner in Photoshop CS4

Step 1: Photo merge

Go to File>Automate>Photomerge. When the new window opens untick blend as we want the final image to have a collage feel to it and then click browse to find and select all the images you want to use. Once you click OK it may take some time for the software to process all of the images.


Photomerge window

Step 2: Play with layers

When the process is complete you'll see that all of your images have been overlapped to create a collage-style. If you're not happy with the way it looks try turning different layers on or off to see if they add or detract from the image. You can also make any adjustments to individual layers (brightness etc.) if you feel they need it.

Hide layers Turn layers on and off

Step 3: Create a shadow

To help each image stand out you need to add a shadow which you do by double clicking on individual layer or by clicking on the fx button at the bottom of the layers pallet. You can change the opacity, angle, distance, spread and size of the shadow. We changed the opacity to 62%, angle to 149 degrees and distance to 7px.
Add a shadow

Step 4: Use stroke

If you think your image needs more definition go to the fx menu again and this time pick stroke. Change the colour to white and change the size, opacity and position of the line. We had the stroke size at 3px, the position inside and the opacity at 23%.

Create a stroke

Step 5: Apply to all layers

You can go through each individual layer adding the stroke and shadow or if you want to use the same settings for each layer hold down the Alt key, click on the fx logo that's on the top layer and drag it onto the next one. Repeat this until all the layers have the logo on them.


With shadow and stroke

Step 6: Colour the background

Photoshop fill toolAdd a background colour to the image by creating a new layer (layer>new layer) and filling this layer with your chosen colour using the fill tool.

Final image with two different backgrounds:
Final image after using photomerge and applying a shadow and stroke


You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.

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