Photomontage: A Beginner’s Guide

Photomontage Service

Montage is a photographic work in which images are used for artistic, advertising purposes.

This photographic technique is applied to the process and results of creating illustrations composed of other people.

The Last Hours of Work (1858) by Henry Peach Robinson It is considered the first photomontage in history.

Each person who appears in the work corresponds to a different negation.

After the First World War, artists like the Dadaists began to use montage as visual anarchy.

Raoul Hausmann was a Dadaist under the pseudonym Der Dadasophe and was a pioneer of Dada collage His experimental work brought him institutional criticism in Germany.

Dadaist activism included photographs in public spaces, demonstrations, and art publications through which they staged intense critiques of art, culture, and more.

These photos were combined to create a new character with heightened visual intensity.

In Russia, Constructivists used montage as an effective way to spread revolution.

Gustav Klutsis and Valentina Kulánguina created the first photomontage for the Soviet government.

Salvador Dalí, Aleksandr Ródchenko, John McHale, David Hockney and G. were some of the artists influenced by this montage movement .

Man Ray and René Magritte also turned to the technique with hyperrealist imagery.

French artist Gilbert Garcin (1929-2020) is one of the greatest exponents of montage.

His photo work is based on montage, mainly using analog techniques.

Currently, montages are used in a variety of ways and are great tools for advertising, and technology has made it easier to create montages using the amount of software available.

However, the technique is still the perfect tool for creating fantastic and surreal worlds.

Photomontage: a step-by-step guide


Photoshop is one of the most useful graphic design programs for creating realistic photomontages. With a few tricks and different techniques you can create incredible compositions . This post will reveal some of them. An example will show you step by step how to create a simple photomontage in Photoshop Don’t miss it!

Open photo and select subject



The first thing to do is open the two photos that will form your photomontage. On a  separate document for each. You will need a photo of the crystal glass and a photo of the person sitting. Let ‘s go to the girl’s photo first. Prepare to add to photomontage.

The first thing we have to do is duplicate the background layer . You can unlock it and enter command + c and when + v (if you are using Mac) or control + c and control + v (if you are using Window) into your computer. Let’s choose the girl we created in this new layer . In this case I used the subject selection tool. Then create a layer mask by clicking on the symbol that appears to be marked in the image above. Make sure there are no imperfections , remember that if there are any, they can be fixed by going to the layer mask, covering them with a black brush and painting with a white brush. You already have a layer where the girl is separated from the background, but in this process we lose shadows. Luckily we can get them back.

How to recover Photoshop shadows


The layer below holds the shadow, so let’s get the shadow back from there. Hide the top layer and create a layer of gray uniform color neutral, completely underneath.

Now we will use the Funds Eraser tool , press and hold the normal Eraser tool and it will appear in the toolbar.  On the girl’s layer that hasn’t been edited yet, erase the white background of the image, being very careful not to erase the shadows.

Finally, use a regular eraser. Playing with diffuse circular tips and opacity further delimits the space near the shading. Finally, go to Image, Settings, Desaturate . All you have to do is change the blending mode “keep” from the layer y erase the gray layer With this simple trick we got our shadows back!

Bring the two layers of interest to the glass document



Select both layers y paste on the glass document. Simply select both layers and drag them with the move tool to the other document and your photomontage is ready to begin!

Link the two layers of the girl together to make it easier to work with. Type command + t (if using Mac) or control + t (if using Window) on your computer and resize to fit the space of the glass . Rotate the image a bit to match the perspective as well. Make sure to hold down the option (Mac) or alt (Windows) key to avoid transforming. Remove any edges that may have been visible with the eraser of the background removed in the previous step.

Generate a glass effect in Photoshop


Generate a glass effect in Photoshop


Next, generate a glass effect to make it look like the girl is in glass. First, of girls who cult o- tierNow go to the glass layer and select it . You can use any selection tool you like. We recommend using the Object Selection Tool or the Quick Selection Tool. If you find that your selection is not very accurate, you can use the Quick Mask mode to correct imperfections.


Double your glass selection


Double your glass selection
Double your glass selection

You have to duplicate the selection . To do this, just type command+c and command+v (Mac) or control+c and control+v (Windows) on your computer. Now, with the new layer generated that puts it on top , all layers will remain visible. You can play with the opacity of this new layer and start simulating that glass effect, but I’ll show you a much more professional way to do it.

Go to “Image” > “Settings” > “Desaturate “. And then Image’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Levels’ , using the black eyedropper, click until only black and white colors remain. Change the time blending mode to “raster” and you should have already succeeded in creating that effect! how is it?

latest tricks


latest tricks
latest tricks

Before we finish, let me show you a few more tricks that will make your photo montage even more realistic. Glass tends to distort everything inside or behind it, and you can simulate that effect. Go to the ‘Filters’, ‘Blur’, ‘Gaussian Blur’ tabs on the girl’s cloak . In the effect settings window that opens automatically, setting the blur to around 0,3 or 0,4 is enough.

Now go to the tabs «Filters», «Distortion», « Zigzag” , move the parameters that appear in the effect settings window to transform the girl a little.

Another interesting option is to lower the opacity of the girl’s layer a bit. So no those intense colors. If there is a very drastic change in tone between two photos, it can correct. I’ll leave a tutorial linked here that explains a very simple trick to match the tone of two photos .


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