How to blend with Photoshop: Browsing the Internet, who knows how many times you will have come across blurred images, to be clear those in which the subjects portrayed in them gradually end up in a white, black or transparent background, and I bet that now you are dying to create one yourself. Well, I have good news for you! Today I am here for this very reason, to explain to you how to blend with Photoshop any photo.
Of course, it is useless for you to tell me. You have learned how to use Photoshop only recently and you still don’t feel ready to perform too “reckless” photo editing actions, but rest assured because what I’m about to offer you today is such a simple guide that even a child could follow it. So … a few stories and mouse in hand, let’s get started!
Just a small clarification before starting: for the writing of this article I used the 2018 version Of Photoshop CC for Windows, but the indications in the guide are valid for practically all the most recent versions of Photoshop and for all platforms (both Windows and macOS). Now we can really get started!
How to blur an image with Photoshop
If you want to learn how to blur an image with Photoshop, the first step you need to take is obviously to start the famous photo editing program and import the photo you want to blur into it, selecting the item You open from the menu File and then selecting the file you want to act on (or, if you prefer, dragging it directly into the application window).
Once you have imported the image you want to work on, you need to convert its background layer into a freely editable layer. Said this way it might seem a very complicated operation, but I guarantee you that it is not at all. To do this, in fact, all you have to do is go to the management panel of levels of the image, which as you know is located in the lower right corner, select the level with the right mouse button Background and choose the item from the menu that appears first Convert to Smart Object and then, after right clicking on the level in question again, the voice Rasterize layer.
The next step you need to take is to create a quick mask, which you will use to outline the part of the image that must remain visible and the one you want to blend (which will be highlighted in red). Then press the button Q of your PC keyboard to create a new quick mask, then press D. to return black and white as primary and secondary colors in the Photoshop palette and select the tool Shade which is located on the toolbar (the icon of the gradient rectangle) or, if you want to speed up the times, press the key G. keyboard.
At this point, make sure the tool’s gradient is in the upper left corner of the main Photoshop window Shade (excuse the pun!) is set by the black to white (otherwise set it in this way, so as to obtain a gradual and homogeneous gradient effect) and draw a line with the mouse cursor on the photo to create the gradient that will then characterize the image. Please keep in mind that the area highlighted in red is the one that will then be faded in the photo, so choose very carefully the portion of the image to be faded in order to obtain an optimal result.
Once you’ve created your quick mask, press the button again Q on your PC keyboard to disable the mask tool and click on the icon Add a layer mask present in the lower part of the management panel of levels (the rectangle with a circle inside it which is located at the bottom right), so as to create the actual nuance.
Here we are! Now that you have seen how to blur a photo with Photoshop, all you have to do is save your digital masterpiece by selecting the item Save with name from the menu File. If you want to keep the gradient with a transparent background, select the target formats PNG or GIFwhile if you want a nice gradient on a white background, save the image in the classic format JPG. Have you seen how simple it was to blend an image with Photoshop?
How to blend two images with Photoshop
Desires blend two images with Photoshop creating a suggestive “fusion effect”? I guarantee you that, contrary to what you might think, it is not at all a complicated operation to implement. All you have to do is upload the two images you want to “merge” with each other and follow the instructions below.
First, start Photoshop (in case you haven’t already done so) and import the two photos you want to blend by selecting the item You open from the menu File or, if you prefer, by dragging them directly into the application window.
Now, select the tool Rectangular selection (the icon of dashed rectangle) from the sidebar located on the left and select the portion of the second image that you want to “merge” with the first. In case you intend to select the whole image, press the keys at the same time Ctrl + A (on Windows) or cmd + a (on macOS).
Then select the item Copy from the menu Edit or, if you prefer, use the shortcut Ctrl + C (on Windows) or cmd + c (on macOS), go to the first image that will be the “base” and select the item Paste from the menu Edit or press the keys Ctrl + V (on Windows) or cmd + v (on macOS) to paste the copied image portion onto it.
Now, to blend the two images and obtain the desired overlay effect, go to the panel relating to the management of levels which is located in the lower right corner and choose the blending mode that suits you best (ex. Dissolve, Drain, Overlapetc.) by selecting it from the appropriate drop-down menu (the one in which the option should be selected by default Normal). The advice I give you is to try more blending effects, so that you can get a clear idea of which one is best suited to your project.
If you want, you can also act on the menu Opacityalso located inside the layers panel, to decrease the degree of opacity of the foreground image and apply a semi-transparent effect: you decide whether to change this parameter too or not.
At this point, if you deem it necessary, move and / or resize the selected image to obtain a more precise final result: open the menu Editselect the items Transform> Scale and use the mouse to move and / or resize the image you have selected and give Enter on the keyboard to apply the changes you just made.
If, on the other hand, you just want to move the image (without resizing it), select the tool Move (the icon of the cross) located in the left sidebar and move the foreground image by holding down the left mouse button on it and moving it to the desired point.
If you are a “maniac for perfection” and you want to make sure that there are no errors of any kind on your work, for example portions of overlapping images that are visible and that create unsightly “smudges”, call up the tool Eraser from the left sidebar (the eraser), position the cursor in the point where the defect to be eliminated is present and, holding down the left mouse button, remove it. Easier than that ?!
As soon as you are satisfied with the image obtained, save your work by selecting the item Save with name from the menu File (top left) and that’s it. Did you see that it wasn’t that difficult to blend two images with Photoshop? Of course you can apply the instructions I just gave you to blend even more than two images: you simply have to load them into the program and follow the same instructions I gave you just now.
Photo blending app
Not having Photoshop and your trusty PC at your disposal, would you like to know if there is a way to blend photos from your smartphone or tablet? Of course! You can rely on some photo blending app which are really simple to use. If we really want to be honest, they don’t offer the same blending tools made available by the famous photo editing program (most of them only allow you to blur photos and not blend them, which is a very different thing), but it’s always better than nothing, right? Here are some of the most interesting.
- Snapseed (Android/iOS) – it is a very famous photo editing app developed by Google. It allows you to blur photos through its many tools and has an interface that has been cured down to the smallest detail.
- Autodesk Pixlr (Android/iOS) – is an excellent alternative to Snapseed: it integrates many useful tools, including some brushes that allow you to blur and pixelate your shots.
- Pixelmator (iOS) – is one of the most popular photo editing apps for Apple users (as it is also available on macOS). It is not cheap at all since it costs 5.49 euros (the version for macOS, on the other hand, costs 32.99 euros), but it integrates many useful tools to correct your shots and apply various effects, including those relating to the gradient.
If you want to learn more about these and other photo editing apps, take a look at the guide I just linked to: you will surely find it very useful.