Balloon, empty picture frame, chalk board, whatever you want to 'write' on.
Photo editing software
(I used Photoshop. You can probably do it in Paint shop pro or maybe even Windows paint.)
I recommend downloading the trial of Photoshop here.
Step one: Take your pictures. Make sure you have a nice, wide, plain background.
Start at the edge of the frame.
(It's easiest if your photographer can look through the viewfinder and direct you.)
Choose a pose, snap the shot, move a couple spaces over.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I wanted to spell 'Pieces' so I needed 6 good pictures.
Take more pictures than you need.
I repeat, take more pictures than you need.
Chances are, you're not going to like one of them, the lighting was off, etc.
I promise, you'll want options.
Here are the pictures I took for my new header:
|click to enlarge|
Step two: Bring your pictures into PS.
I use ctrl + click to multi-select all the pictures I want to bring in.
Also, it's important that you don't edit your pictures until after you've put them all together.
We'll get to that later.
Step three: Using the selection tool, (second icon down on the left) draw a box in your second picture.
Get really close to the left side of the person and select the rest of the picture to the right.
Switch to the move tool. (right above the selection tool).
Step four: Using the move tool, you're going to click and drag the selected part of the picture into your first picture. This will create a new layer.
File + Save As + .PSD. Choose your file name.
I recommend saving after every step from here on out.
.PSD is a Photoshop document. This leaves the file editable.
Later on, we'll switch it to a .JPG so we can use it online.
Once you have your two images together, you're going to need to zoom in. (see the two sizes of mountains over in the navigator box on the right? Use those.)
Once you've zoomed in, you'll be able to move your second image around to match it up with the first one.
Find a rock, a cloud, a brick, a tree... something in your image that you can use as your reference point to match the pictures up.
Step five: Blend.
My rocks are lined up now, but because the clouds were moving a lot that day, the color is different.
Also, this is a secret so you don't have to spend forever lining up the pictures perfectly.
Take your eraser tool, use it on the edge to blend the lines between the pictures.
If your erasing is looking to drastic, you can change the opacity of the eraser in the opacity box at the top.
Just play with the values until you get the look you like.
Steps six through whatever: selection tool, move tool, click and drag, file+save, match up, blend, repeat, repeat, repeat.
Step Q: (I don't know which number we're on anymore)
If you were wise (unlike me) and used a real tripod
instead of your camera bag, your sky (or whatever the top of your image is) will match up better.
If you didn't, it's okay.
'Cause you can crop the crap out of that thing!
The crop tool is 5th down on the left side.
Then, at the top, you can set the size you want your image to be and your crop tool will crop to that ratio.
Step &: Layer + Flatten image.
This puts all your layers into one so you can edit.
Step π: (That one's for you, Steph)
I used both the dodge and burn tools to make the grass and rock colors match.
Dodge tool lightens, burn tool darkens.
And you can change the exposure of both at the top.
Step Z: Add your letters using the text tool.
You can change the opacity of the text over in the layers box in the bottom right corner.
File + Save as + .JPG
This is fun to use as a desktop background, decor for your child's room, as a greeting card, etc. All I ask is that if you use this idea, please credit me. But, by all means, use the idea! Sharing is caring, right? :)