Image Dialogues

Of course, we know about image layering in photoshop (the little box down on the lower righthand corner of the screen)–you have your background, then assorted other layers–images, text, other images, other text–all overlapping each other. When you put a layer on top of another one, the topmost is the “most visible”. If, like Duchamp, Warhol, Man Ray, or Buñel, you want to make it so said layers form a dialogue with one another, or, to be less theoretic, make it so they don’t cover each other up, simply adjust the opacity of the images.
Here: Opacity Meter
This is your opacity meter. It is right above the layer box.

You can’t change the opacity of the background, I don’t think, so it’s better to start with a canvas and paste your first image into the first layer above the background to maintain complete control.
You’ll see as well that photoshop messes with the “lightness” of the picture when you make it more transparent. To counteract this (if this isn’t your desired effect) go to image > adjust > brightness/contrast and mess with that, or, get crazy with it and go to image > adjust > color balance; or even image > adjust > hue/saturation. All three of these menus should help you get some pretty psychedelic/chaotic effects. Remember, after you’ve adjusted the image one time, you can always go back and make the effect more extreme: the sliders work only with the current image, not the original image. So if you push the contrast all the way up, and it’s still not enough for you, tell the menu OK, and go back and push it up again. Same works for color saturation and hue too. Adjusting is the best part of this experiment.

Here’s an example:

This for example, is the picture below, layered several times, hues changed, with different sections of the layers cut out and recolored.

Original pic:

original image

Try also adding effects to either one of the images to really mess with things. If you already know about layer masks, you can also use them to create really interesting vignettes and floating objects in your layered image. Have fun.

–Josh Barnes

~ by hobodreams on September 12, 2010.

2 Responses to “Image Dialogues”

  1. I’m really kind of a newbie at using and working with layers, but this made a lot of sense to me even with my limited knowledge. You explained exactly what the goal was, and showed the reader everything he has to know without getting too wordy or complicated. Having comparison pictures was a good idea, and general, every image is well-placed. Plus, it’s actually kind of a cool effect.

  2. Currently, I have zero experience in photoshop so this was a bit confusing to me. I feel that this was explained very well but I’m not familiar with the terminology. I think the image looks great and am looking forward to trying this out in photoshop!

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