Ep 120: A beginners guide to photo composites

Creating photo composites can save your bacon in some situations. Like when you wish that light stand wasn’t in the shot. Or when everyone in a group photo looks great but one person has their eyes closed. Or you want to shoot a Vanity Fair-style cover – but everyone isn’t available on the same day.

Photo composites can seem daunting to many. But, in this episode, Gina and Valerie break down the process into simple and easy steps so that you can get started doing photo composites like a pro.

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#ginachallenge #compshot

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Show notes

Photoshop or Gimp

  • Tripod
  • Lock off focus
  • Take notes
  • Shooting tethered for more advanced photo composites


1. Landscapes

Using multiple exposures to combine the right exposure for sky and foreground
Episode on HDR covers this in detail

2. Portraits

Above: Original file with light in the frame
Above: Final image


Combining 2 frames to remove lights from an image

  • Select the move tool
  • Drag file with light onto file without light
  • Select both layers
  • Photoshop>File>Auto Align Layers then select “Auto”
  • Select top layer only
  • Use eraser tool to remove the light stand
  • Job done!


Detailed blog post Light creep no more! How to remove a lightstand from an image using photoshop. 

Adding external images to give an image life eg balloons, birds, smoke, petals.

Face swapping in group shots


Above: Face swapping is a great way to guarantee everyone in your group portrait looks good.


Above: Adding a background to the image

3. Travel

Removing tourists from images

  • Photoshop > File > Scripts > Statistics.
  • Select “Median” for the stack mode
  • check “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images.”
  • click the “Browse…” button to select your set of photos > OK.

Photoshop will preserve static details and remove moving objects
You may need to do some retouching of random arms etc.


Green screen
Fotodiox 5’x7′ Collapsible Chromakey Green + Blue 2-in-1 Background Panel

  • Adding someone to a group shot
  • Swapping out a sky
  • Changing the background of a shot


  • Building and entire shot using multiple frames
  • Combining a group shot with people taken on different days
  • School photos
  • Sport final team photos
  • Family photos
  • Travel photos with crowds
  • Landscapes
  • Removing a lightstand from the image using 2 images
Above: Balloons were added to this image


Above: This shot would be very difficult to achieve in camera.


Above: Multiple images combined

Above: Multiple images combined


Above: Promo shot for the AFL Footy Show combing miniature throne


Above: Fat Tony promo shot using multiple images

#ginachallenge #compshot

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