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Creating a Layered Image

There is one big trick to making something you add to a photograph appear as if it were there when the picture was taken: Match the lighting and camera angle of the original image. That means that if an image was taken from waist height and lit from the left, for example, the image you paste into the scene should also have been taken with light from the left and at waist height. The more attention you pay to matching lighting, camera focus, angle, position, and other attractions in the insert photo, the better your chances are of creating a seamless and plausible composition.

“Playing detective,” analyzing an image before you start making changes to it, is a recurring theme in this book. The more you notice about the qualities of the target image, the better you'll be able to spot, photograph, and/or manipulate an additional photo to fit into the scene.


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