How to Create a Poster Collage With Photoshop Elements 7

Written by marsanne petty
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How to Create a Poster Collage With Photoshop Elements 7
Poster collage. (New Year collage image by Pupkin from

Combining several photographs into a poster collage is an awesome gift idea. Not many people would be unhappy with such a gift. Using Photoshop Elements 7 makes the process of creating a poster collage much easier.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2 or more photographs

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  1. 1

    Open both images in Photoshop Elements 7, on separate files. For this example, we will be using a picture of a couple and a picture of a sunset.

  2. 2

    Click on the Move tool on the left toolbar and then click on the couple photograph. Drag the couple picture over on top of the picture of the sunset. Both photographs will now be on a single file, one on top of the other. If you have more than two photographs, repeat this process for each one. Keep in mind that you will need to repeat each step for each photograph that you want to include in your poster collage.

  3. 3

    Each photograph also has its own layer in the layers palette. Rename them now by right-clicking on the default name. Change "Background" to "Couple" and "Layer 1" to "Sunset."

  4. 4

    Resize the sunset photograph. Activate the Free Transform tool by selecting the sunset photograph and pressing "Control" and "T." If you cannot see the corner handles of the picture, press "Control" and "O" to fit both photographs in their entirety on the screen. Hold down the "Shift" key while you are resizing your sunset photograph so that it doesn't get distorted. Click the green checkmark when the placement of your sunset photograph is acceptable.

  5. 5

    Select the Move tool from the left toolbar and position the picture of the couple into place. Press the "Shift" key while you are moving the photograph so it does not get off centre.

  6. 6

    Click on the "Sunset" layer to select it and then click the "Add a Layer Mask" icon, located at the bottom of the layers palette. A diagram of a blank layer mask will appear next to the thumbnail for the "Sunset" layer. Ensure that there is a white border around the layer mask thumbnail---this indicates that the layer is not selected, but the layer mask is.

  7. 7

    Click on the Gradient tool on the left toolbar and select the Gradient Picker by clicking on the drop-down arrow on the options bar. Choose the third gradient pattern on the top row in the drop-down menu.

  8. 8

    Select your layer mask and drag a gradient box over the pictures, while holding the "Shift" key. Your gradient box should encompass the area where the two pictures meet and merge to form a poster collage. Let go of your mouse button and you can see where the two images blended together.

  9. 9

    Press "Shift," "Ctrl," "Alt" and "E" while you have the "Sunset" layer selected. This will allow the "Sunset" and "Couple" layers to merge together onto a new layer. Rename the layer "Composite" by right-clicking on the default layer name.

  10. 10

    Remove the colour from your "Composite" layer by pressing "Shift," "Ctrl" and "U." Select "Filter" on the top menu bar and choose "Noise," "Add Noise" to bring up the noise dialogue box. Change the amount of the noise to 2 to 6 per cent, depending upon the number of pixels in your image. Two per cent is the lowest; the higher the number, the more noise will be added to the photograph. Check the "Gaussian Blur" and "Monochromatic" check boxes and click "OK."

  11. 11

    Click on the adjustment layer icon located at the bottom of the layers palette. Choose "Solid Color" to summon the colour picker dialogue box. Choose a complimentary colour---in this case, a light orange---and click "OK." In the layers palette, change "Normal" to "Color" to allow the composite poster collage to be visible through the colour and to complete the image.

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