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How To Merge Two Photos for a Clone Effect in Photoshop

Our Photoshop guru, Stefan, is back with more awesome Photoshop tips and tricks. He starts out showing us how to merge two photos for a clone effect!

Make a Cool Clone Photo Effect

Sitting at home all day can get quite boring sometimes, but with a fresh idea like this one, you’ll have something fun to play around with. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to use a fun photography and Photoshop trick to clone any item or person you want! Let’s get started:

You Will Need

  • A Digital Camera (Point-and-Shoot or DSLR)
  • A Tripod
  • A Room with Constant Lighting
  • Some Free Time

Taking the Photos

Set up your camera on a tripod. I’ll be using my DSLR and a standard tripod.

camera tripod setup

Choose a mode that works for the situation. Personally, I avoid full auto and pick aperture priority (A on Nikon, Av on Canon). Full auto will probably pick a shutter speed of at least 1/60, and fire the flash – quite a bad solution for the images we need here. Below are my settings – notice I’m not using a flash and the 1/13 shutter speed is no problem, since we’re using a tripod.

exposure aperture priority camera setup images info

Another good tip would be to use the self-shot option to eliminate vibrations caused when your finger presses the shutter. It’s also useful if you’re doing this by yourself and you have no one to take the photos for you: Find the timer button on your camera.

timer button nikon configure setting

 And then pick the delay you’d like.

self timer default 5 seconds timer nikon set setup photo

Effect Example

I’ll first demonstrate this with a typical front-and-back image of a mobile phone. I’ll take my first photo and then take the second one, being careful not to make the phones “overlap”:

phone front image one photo tutorial

phone front image two photo tutorial

And here’s what my final merged photo looks like:

phone front image final photo tutorial

Merge Two Photos in Photoshop

Step 1 – Importing the Images

Open up Photoshop and import one of the two images in with a Ctrl+O. Afterwards, place the second image in with File > Place. Make sure you align the photos correctly – you can use any background elements to help aligning the images.

images import Photoshop step one

Step 2 – Lowering the Opacity and Making a Selection

Pick the top layer and lower either its Opacity to 50%.

image opacity reduce step 2 Photoshop

That will leave the image looking something like this:

opacity change Photoshop image step

Now make a selection around the item in the bottom layer. (Tip – you can use any selection tool you like. For this one I used the rectangular marquee with a bit of feathering.)

selection Photoshop image

Step 3 – Merging

Now that you have your selection, press the Delete key.

delete key Photoshop image step tutorial progres

Then increase the Opacity back to 100% for the top layer.

opacity return 100 percent Photoshop image step final

Now all you need is a quick Ctrl + D to deselect and you are ready with the effect!

final image Photoshop effect result clone tutorial

Bonus Groovy Tip:

Everything about this effect is trial and error (both photography-wise and Photoshop-wise). If you get creative enough, you can come up with something really unique that can impress your friends. I decided to put a new meaning to “arguing with myself”:

final image idea Photoshop editing creative effect

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