Project 6: Composite images

Composite images are images that are composed of more than one image. A good example of this is the creation of a "panoramic" image that is actually composed of multiple images taken from slightly different angles and then combined to form a large seamless image.  Another composite or montage technique is the "Joiner" technique where images that are shot with a specific configuration in mind are later pieced together like a puzzle.

Panorama Shooting suggestions

  1. Manual focus
  2. Manual exposure
  3. Manual white balance
  4. Overlap 1/3 of image
  5. Try to eclipse low sun with an object
  6. Tripod
  7. Vertical orientation
  8. 180 degrees, or 360 degrees around

Joiner Shooting suggestions

  1. View your scene at wide angle lens setting to get a feel for the entire scene and imagine rows and columns of image pieces
  2. Auto exposure can produce more difference between shots
  3. Use long focal length (telephoto) for your shots so you're only seeing a small fraction of the entire scene
  4. Capture many small compositions of your scene in rows and columns
  5. 4 or 5 columns wide


1) The first step in the process of creating your joiner is going to be export all the images into a small size:


When working with so many at the same time, it is important that we follow a process for re-scaling images in order to have a more manageable size of file.

Get your images into the organizer

  1. Select all of the images that will form your panorama by tagging them in the organizer
  2. Create New folder called Panorama images
  3. Choose File>Export As New Files
  4. Choose size, format (jpeg,800x600)
  5. Use High quaility
  6. Choose (browse) your new folder
  7. Hit Export

This will resize all your images to a smaller more managable size. 

The next step will be to Create the Canvas

For the joiner, you'll then create a new document 3000px 3000px.

As you drag and drop your images onto your new document, you use the move tool and I suggest that you uncheck the bounding box, but keep the Auto Select Layer, and Highlight on rollover checked.

You can right click each image to adjust its stacking order

Finally, make sure you save this document as PSD format so that you don't lose your layers.

before you send your image to the printer or photo lab on your memory card or via internet, you should save it as a full resolution jpeg which will also flatten the image, remove the layers and make it easier for the lab to work with.

Photoshop Techniques

Panoramaic image:

  1. Open Editor
  2. Choose file>new>photomerge
  3. Follow instructions
  4. When you Save For Web, make the exported file 3000px wide

Joiner image:

  1. Using Full Editor
  2. File>New>Blank File
  3. 18" x 12" @ 300ppi
  4. Paint background color with bucket
  5. Open first five images
  6. Use the move tool to drag and drop each of the images from the project bin onto you canvas
  7. You may want to un-check the bounding box feature so that you don't accidentially re-scale
  8. if you need to rotate any images in the project bin, simply right click and choose rotate
  9. Un-check the Show Bounding Box in the options bar of the move tool
  10. Once your images are in your main file, you can use the move tool to drag them around
  11. You can change the arrangement of the layers by dragging the individual layers in the layers palette, or you can right click and "bring foreward/backward"