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Layers help please (Photoshop CC)

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Old Monday 24th December 2018, 11:11   #1
Pete007
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Layers help please (Photoshop CC)

Having spent too long doing things the wrong way I am finally trying to get to grips with using layers to better effect and it has be said I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to using them.
I would therefore appreciate any help (in simple terms !) in how I would best achieve a composite using the two images shown.
I would like to use the image of these birds in flight against a better looking background such as the sunset sky illustrated.
As the moment I am selecting the background sky and then creating a layer.
I then copy and paste the birds on top of this layer and adjust the opacity to give an image than appears washed out and not what Im trying to achieve.
I suspect what I need to do is isolate the birds from the original background before placing this on the layer but I'm not really sure how best to do this.
I would therefore appreciate any help on how I should go about combining the two images so the birds appear boldly silhouetted against the sunset sky.
I attach the following images to show the two being used and the third showing the washed out image I currently achieve.

Many Thanks
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Old Monday 24th December 2018, 12:23   #2
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Just on my phone at the in laws so can't have a play myself. But try selecting a bird using the magic wand with contiguous turned off. Plus use your selection to create a layer mask rather than deleting stuff from the layer.

You could also create a layer stack and then try the different stack averaging options.
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Old Monday 24th December 2018, 13:05   #3
njlarsen
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It has been a long time since I have done something like this so take with a grain of salt:
1 select the background of the bird photo using the magic wand. adjust settings until happy.
2 diminish the selection with 1 pixel, and blur the selection with about 1 pixel
3 invert the selection
4 copy the selected into a new layer above your background.
5 play around with the blending modes
if necessary, add a layer to lighten the birds a little, given that the background likely will darken them a bit

Hope this helps

Niels
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Old Monday 24th December 2018, 21:17   #4
Mono
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There was an earlier thread that may be pertinent.
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=366554

Particularly the last section
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Old Wednesday 26th December 2018, 14:38   #5
Pete007
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Thanks for this - will certainly try experimenting and see what results I can get
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Old Wednesday 26th December 2018, 14:41   #6
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Thumbs up

Many thanks for the information - it will obviously take me a little practice but hopefully I'l be able to master things in time



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mono View Post
Just on my phone at the in laws so can't have a play myself. But try selecting a bird using the magic wand with contiguous turned off. Plus use your selection to create a layer mask rather than deleting stuff from the layer.

You could also create a layer stack and then try the different stack averaging options.
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Old Thursday 27th December 2018, 18:10   #7
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You'd be all day trying to select every individual bird with a magic wand


With a plain sky background like that - try playing around with the "background eraser" tool on the image with the birds.

Did this in about a minute - Limits - Discontiguous, Tolerance 27%

Not perfect but with a bit of playing around...
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