This tutorial will be useful if you want to find out how to overlay an image in Photoshop in less than 5 minutes. Whether you are going to combine two images, create collages, or make a double exposure effect, you can express all your creativity using blend modes and layer masks in Photoshop.
How to Overlay an Image in Photoshop?
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Step 1. Open the Main Image and Overlay
Run Adobe Photoshop and use the shortcuts CTRL+O to activate the “Open” image dialog window. Click on the main image, press CTRL and click the photo you want to use as an overlay. The “Open” button is located at the bottom right of the “Open” window key. Click on it to complete the action.
Step 2. Move the Overlay on Your Image
Select your second image or copy the layer from it to your main image. Drag the overlay to the desired place, rotate or flip if necessary. Check the box above.
Step 3. Create a Layer Mask
Move the overlay layer to the main photo, select the overlay layer, and click on “Add layer mask”.
Step 4. Enhance the Overlay Image with the Eraser Tool
If you want to remove some parts of the overlay in the main image, then use the Eraser tool (E) with a Hardness setting of 0% and erase unnecessary areas. You can apply an Adjustment layer to the overlay layer and change its color, brightness, and other parameters.
Freebies: Photoshop Overlays
You can overlay images in Photoshop for free by downloading free overlays from our collection.
Inside you will find the high-resolution overlays in PNG and JPEG formats. You can use them exactly as you have learned above.
The collection includes such options as Smoke, Fog, Bokeh, Rain, Sky, and others. Some of them were specially photographed to use as overlays, while others were designed by skillful digital artists.
Photoshop Overlays Tips and Tricks
Apart from learning how to overlay photos, you can find out numerous interesting ways to use Overlay Blend Mode to improve your pictures and create amazing effects.
Lens Flare Overlays
Lens Flare decreases the saturation and contrast in the image while giving it a mysterious and dramatic look and feel. This overlay will be especially useful if you want to hide unnecessary elements in the photo or complement it with the sun rays. Apply this effect to achieve a soft and dreamy atmosphere in your picture.
It is not recommended to place this overlay everywhere you want. If you don’t want to spoil your picture, carefully think about the position of the lens flare. Mind that you will increase the brightness since you add the light source to the photo.
Dodge and Burn with Overlays
If you want to lighten or darken specific areas of a photo in a non-distractive way, it is better to paint on a gray layer. Go to the Layers Panel, press Alt, and click the New Layer icon.
To create a gray layer, change the blend mode from Normal to Overlay and tick the Fill With box. After that, use Brush Tool and set the Opacity to 10%, and paint over the necessary parts in your picture either black or white.
Matching Colors in Montages
If you want to combine two photos to create a montage, read on to find out how to match colors to stitch images as naturally as possible. To do this, copy the Background layer and select Filter > Blur > Average.
Move the Background layer above the cut-out object layer. After that right-click the image layer and proceed with creating Clipping Mask. The final step is changing the layer’s Blend Mode from Normal to Overlay and adjusting the Opacity until you get the desired result.