Photo editing basics: working with layers

Learn how to use layers in your favourite image editor to improve your photos and add sophisticated effects.

Drop the Subject Onto a New Background

After you've isolated your subject from the background--by using a feature like Magic Extractor or some other selection method--it's time to add it as a new layer to a different photo.

To begin, open the photo that you want to transfer the subject to. If you're using Photoshop Elements, you should see both images in the Project Bin at the bottom of the screen. Switch to the first photo--the one with the extracted subject--and click the Hand tool, (the third icon from the top of the toolbar). Press Ctrl-A and Ctrl-C to select the whole image and to copy it to the clipboard. Then switch to the other photo and press Crtl+V. The subject should appear as a new layer in the photo. Because the two photos might be different in size or scale, you may need to grab the copied photo by a corner handle and resize it until it looks right. Afterward, you can tweak the photo using other layer effects until the image is perfect.

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