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Image manipulation exercise

For this exercise, I used Photoshop to create a composite image which appears to be a documentary photograph but could never actually be.


The headline for the image is ‘new cinema and shopping complex built onto the sand of Southport’. Perhaps this might be physically possible in the right place with the right amount of investment (eg Dubai), but it is not in rainy Southport on the north west coast of England.

The image comprises two separate images of the beach and the cinema complex that is actually firmly on dry land. Techniques used in Photoshop included:

  • Basic levels and curves adjustments
  • Selection and copying of the cinema building from its original image to a new layer in the background seascape image.
  • The free-transform mode to resize and reposition the cinema building.
  • Soft brush to mask the edges of the superimpose image, to help the blending.
  • A gradient fill over the whole image to act as a binding
  • A duplicate layer with blur effect applied to building/sky only (masked) with reduced opacity – to help the building blend with the sky.

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