The final stage

The next stage is to look carefully at each clone layer and decide which of the layers are the most successful. Once you have done this you can adjust and combine them in several ways.

Move the layers up or down the layer stack. Alter the opacity of the layers. Change the layer composite method. Use layer masks to hide parts.

This stage is very much about trying out the combinations that look the best, experiment and you will produce many different results. You may well decide that some layers are not required and delete them. If you are still not satisfied with the picture, then you could start another clone layer with a different brush or paper.

The layers palette arrangement for my final version is shown in Figure 7.21 with the finished picture overleaf in Figure 7.22.

The layer settings, from the top are:

1 Colorize composite method, 73% opacity.

2 Default composite method, 61% opacity.

3 Default composite method, 77% opacity.

4 Hard Light composite method, 66% opacity.

The final layer is the original copy of the photograph and in this case it has not been used. It is however very useful on occasions to move the layer to the top of the layer stack and use a layer mask to hide or reveal parts of the original.

Figure 7.21

Final layers palette.

Figure 7.21

Final layers palette.

One of the most interesting and exciting uses of layers is to make a montage. Montage is when several different images are combined in a way that makes the final result more than the sum of its parts. Montages can be used to get across a message, or to make an image that is interesting and satisfying in its own right using layers of texture and imagery.

Certainly one of the most important things to do before starting work on a montage is to think really hard about the picture that you are intending to create. The more you can plan in advance the better, but that is not to say that you should not experiment as you go along, indeed one of the great joys in making montages is that they can go off in directions not originally envisaged. Obviously if you are working to a commercial brief you may not have this opportunity, but in personal work you are free to go where your imagination takes you.

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