A neat trick to add depth to your photoshop repertoire is the opacity feature. It allows you to stack two or more pictures on top of each other while still being able to see both images. For this week’s entry I used a page of text from a report I wrote a couple years ago about the German Student movement splintering and transitioning into a more violent movement. The most prominent group to splinter off was the Red Army Faction, or RAF. This terrorist group targeted anything they saw as fascism. I thought the report was good enough, but once I layered the RAF logo (that I found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RAF-Logo.svg) to the page of text, I knew I had something special. It reminded me of a pamphlet that a campus group could hand out.
I found this old report on my Dropbox.com folder and I saved it to the desktop as a pdf. I also saved the RAF image to the desktop that I found on Wikipedia. When I opened up photoshop I pulled down the “file” menu and clicked “open”. I highlighted both files and clicked “open”. Since I wanted the text/report as the first layer or base image I opened the RAF logo tab. Then, to get rid of the RAF logo’s blank background space, I used the “quick selection” tool, which is 4th icon down on the toolbar. Click there, hold it in, and another side menu will pop up. I Clicked “magic lasso” (last weeks lesson) and traced the outline of the logo. Then I command c’d. I opened the tab containing the pdf text file then command v’d it. The star was small so I hit command t, held shift and drug the corner of the logo to the size I wanted. Then i averted my eye to the photoshop toolbar on the far right. Just above where you can select which layer you are working on there is a pull down sliding bar that adjusts the opacity of each layer. In this case I want the logo to be less opaque (more see-through) than the writing. I made sure I was on the layer for the logo and then changed the opacity to 34%.
There you go, and like I said, you can do this with 2 or more images, too. It is a great tool for photoshopping and adding depth of meaning to your strange photos.