Combine images and text to design a postcard-style collage-James Paterson shows you how

I ravel photography is one ot the most enjoyable pastimes for most photographers. What better way to spend some quality time with your camera? There are so many interesting new sights to capture, youprobably come home with a bag full of maxed-out memory cards. Inevitably, once youprinted your favourites and shared them with others, yoube left with lots of other good shots. But what to do with them?

Well, why not make a postcard-style collage? This technique works best on simple shots of recognisable landmarks and objects, so it s perfect for those holiday photos weall taken that, while pretty, wonwin any prizes for originality. It uses a host of key Photoshop skills, from combining images with type to using simple selections and Layer Styles. And thanks to a handy Photoshop feature called Clipping Masks, making the text effect is quick and easy.D

01 Type the words

Open ny01_before.jpg, then grab the Type tool. Choose a font (we ve used Impact). Type your words, then click the Move tool. Check Transform controls , then drag the bounding box to make the words fill the screen. Hit Enter.

02 Add an image

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings. Check Drop Shadow, set it to 30px and hit OK. Open ny02_before.jpg. In the Layers panel, right-click the Background layer. Choose Duplicate, name it ’, then set Destination: Document nyOLbefore. Hit OK.

03 Clip the image to the text

In the Layers panel (Window > Layers), hold down Alt and then click the line between the newly added image layer and the type layer below. This clips the image to the layer. Grab the Polygonal Lasso tool and plot a loose box around the N.

STEP BY STEP Create a photo montage Use Layer Masks and Styles to get this stylish typographic effect

04 Add a mask

Make sure the ny02_before layer is highlighted, then click the Add Layer Mask icon. Click the little link on the top layer between the image and mask thumbnails to toggle it off, then click the image thumbnail to highlight it.

05 Position the layer

Grab the Move tool, then click the layer s bounding box. Press Cmd/Ctrl+O to see the whole box, then drag it around to choose which part of the image is visible through the N. Hit Enter when you re happy with the result.

06 Fill the other letters

Open ny03_before and repeat the steps: copy the layer and Alt-click between the layers. Select E, add a mask, unlink the mask and image, highlight the thumbnail and position the layer. Repeat for the other images.


The link in the Layers panel between the image and mask thumbnail can be toggled on or off, so the layer and mask can be moved independently of one another. The great advantage of using this feature here is that the entire image is available for repositioning at anytime —itjust hidden behind a mask. This means you can fill all the letters and then judge the overall composition, tweaking if necessary. Also, if you think an image would work better over a different letter, simply delete the Layer Mask, add another, and then reposition the image.

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