11 min. to read
Perhaps you find the perfect landscape to take photos of people against but don’t have a model around. Or maybe you end up with a great photo of a serene beach or the most happening street and wish you had taken a self-portrait in that location.
Instead of regretting that you didn’t think of inserting a human subject into your frame while you were taking the photo, you should learn how to Photoshop someone into a picture because, yes, that is very possible!
Photoshopping a picture isn’t just about adjusting its colors and exposure, removing noise, cropping it to a custom size, and adding filters. It’s much more than that. Photoshop is software that allows users to go pixel-deep with their editing. This means that you can actually select a single pixel in an image and edit it if you want. With that level of control, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Photoshop allows you to insert someone into a completely different photo in a few easy steps.
If, however, you’re here just for a good photo editing software without all these super advanced features, then we suggest you give the user-friendly and capable Luminar a try first.
Photoshopping someone into another image is a simple process, but you do need to follow some guidelines in order to successfully pull it off. Let’s take a look at some of the steps involved in the process:
The first thing you need to understand is that you can’t add a person from one photo into another photo if the two photos aren’t visually compatible. What does visual compatibility mean? It simply means that both images should have similar characteristics such as lighting, perspective, and overall ambience.
For example, let’s say you have a photo of a green, hilly landscape that you took during the golden hour and you wish to insert your own photo into the frame. You can’t just stand in your room in front of a plain wall, take a photo, and then add it to the scene because the lighting won’t be the same even if you’re a pro at Photoshopping. The final result just won’t look that natural.
So in order to do this, it would be ideal if you actually used a photo of yourself in a similar place. You should also keep the perspective of your landscape in mind, as well as the weather it was shot in. You can’t really add a photo of yourself wearing winter clothing to a green and sunny landscape.
Another thing many people forget while Photoshopping a picture this way is the side where the light is coming from. If the sun or any other light source in your landscape shot is visible or the light’s direction is discernible, then you need to make sure that the picture you bring into this landscape also has the light source in a similar direction.
Notice how the light hits the figure from the left of the frame.
Once you’re happy with your choice of photos, it’s time to merge them. To start the process, use the lasso tool in Photoshop to make a rough selection around the person that you want to bring into your landscape. Copy your selection and paste it into the landscape.
One very important thing to remember for this process to work is that you need to keep the added selection in its own layer. Once you paste it into Photoshop, it will automatically be added as a new layer, so don’t merge it with any other layer. You want to retain the flexibility you need to work with it. Another thing that people learning how to Photoshop pictures often forget is to make a copy of the new layer and keep the original hidden, just in case you mess up and need to start again.
The next step is probably one of the most important things you need to consider when learning how to Photoshop a picture for this purpose. Once you bring in the person to what will become the final image, you need to be very careful about resizing them to scale. We aren’t talking about resizing the photo for a platform like Facebook, but rather about shrinking the person to fit well with the landscape. During the resizing process, hold the Shift key to keep the proportions from getting distorted.
Correct scaling makes photos like these look convincing.
Now that you’ve added the new photo into the landscape and scaled it, it’s time to make it look like it’s a natural picture and not Photoshopped. To do that, you need to clean up your rough selection.
Select the mask tool and increase or decrease the size of your brush depending on how much cleaning up is needed. Using a small brush is recommended as it allows for finer adjustments, making the final image look more natural. Once you’ve done this, simply paint over the excess background that has accompanied the photo of whomever you’ve inserting into the landscape. As you do this, you’ll see the excess elements of this inserted photo disappear.
Before you start feeling happy that you now know how to Photoshop a person from one photo into another photo, you need to incorporate some basics of photo editing into your creation. Adjust the colors of the new addition to make sure they match the ambience of the landscape image. Play around with the exposure and contrast a little, tweak the lighting, use levels to edit the reds and blues, and adjust the white balance. All of these play their very important parts in making a photo look natural as opposed to digitally manipulated.
Learning how to Photoshop pictures correctly and convincingly does take time, so it’s okay if you don’t end up with perfect results on your first try. With that said, this is a very easy and quick method to place a person in a completely different photo if you ever need to. Just be careful of the kinds of photos you use and the final results should be close to natural.
One aspect that people do sometimes forget about while Photoshopping pictures with this method is that photos to be used can be edited before you perform all these steps too. So instead of bringing in a photo of a person into a landscape with a different ambience, you can actually edit one of the two photos to make it look similar in color and exposure to the other. This process can be done easily in a program like Luminar, as you’ll be able to do it with easy-to-use tools instead of spending a longer time with Photoshop’s complex controls. You can even overlay images in Luminar, adding a different sky to your landscape, for example, and helping you achieve your desired look.
If you don’t want to photoshop someone into pictures on your own, you can buy a Pro Photo Retouching Package and get image editing up to 24 photos at affordable price and according to your requirements.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download the free trial of Luminar to make adding a person to an empty landscape easier and the final result more natural!