In the previous tutorial in our macro series, we looked at taking some great autumn close-up photographs, but what do you do with them once you've got them? If it's not all witches and pumpkins in your home for Halloween then what better way to decorated your house than with an autumn montage!
What You'll Need
- Your autumn pictures
- A background
- A funky autumn font
In order for you to be able to follow along, here are the assets I used to create the montage:
- Background: Autumn Leaves via Pexels (there are also lots of great autumn stock photos on PhotoDune that you could use)
- Font: Autumn by Aaron Ryan
Create a Canvas and Make Guidelines
Step 1: Create a New Document
Create a new document 2300px by 2300px.
Step 2: Add Guides
Add some guides so that you can keep everything equal and looking neat. Click View > New guide and choose horizontal 10%.
I’ve also put a guide in at 50% both ways so I know where the middle of my image is.
Create Clipping Masks
Step 3: Create a Rectangle
Using the rectangle tool, draw a square so that it fits the top left square made by your guide lines and name it something sensible – I’ve called it ‘top left’
Step 4: Divide the Rectangle
Duplicate that layer 3 more times and fill your other
Place Your Images
Step 5: Place Your First Image
Open up your first autumn picture; you can drop it straight onto your montage or you can open it separately in Photoshop and paste it in, whichever you prefer.
Roughly place it over whichever white square you want it to be and make sure it’s above that square in the layers panel.
Step 6: Create a Clipping Mask
Right click the image in the layers panel and choose Create Clipping Mask. You’ll notice the picture now fits within the confines of your white square. You can adjust the size as necessary.
Step 7: Repeat for Remaining Squares
Repeat the previous steps until you have all of your images in place.
Create a Border
Step 8: Pick a Fall Colour
The images might look a little messy all bunched together and against the background, so let’s give them their own border. Use the colour dropper to select an appropriate colour that will stand out against the background but still fit our theme. I’ve used one of the orange leaves.
Step 9: Draw the Border
Use the rectangle tool again to draw a square around your four images so that you can still see some orange around the edges. Doing one image at a time, click a picture (don’t forget to select its mask too) and using the arrow keys, nudge it one or two places so that the orange shows through.
Step 10: Make Some Space
We don’t really have enough space to add some text to the top, so select all of your images and their clipping masks (including the border behind) and move them down to make some room.
I've also cleared my guides here too. Just click View > Clear Guides to remove them.
Step 11: Choose Your Font
Click the type tool and choose your Autumn font. You need to have installed this for it to show in your list.
Step 12: Add Your Text
Write your text above your montage; I’ve gone for ‘Autumn’ but write anything you like. Then double click your text layer and add some styles to make it stand out against the background.
Tick Drop Shadow and leave it on the default settings. Tick Stroke and have as thick a border as you think looks good, I’ve gone for 5px.
Click Gradient Overlay then click the down arrow next to Gradient. Click the cog icon on the right and choose Special Effects and then go for the orange striped look.
Step 13: Add a Drop Shadow
Add a drop shadow to your orange border to separate it from the background.
Step 14: Soften the Background
Use the blur tool at about 50% with a large, soft brush and paint over your background image to soften it so that it doesn’t distract from your pictures.
Add a Border
Step 15: Draw a Border on the Image
Finally, add a border to your whole image. Hit Select All > Modify and then choose Border. I’ve gone for 10px.
Step 16: Colour the Border
Click Edit > Fill and choose a colour or pattern – I've gone for black.
The Finished Montage
Sometimes it's hard to know what to do with your pictures and creating some fun, seasonal decoration with them is a great way to use them and show off your macro and design skills!
Why not try some different backgrounds too?
The world is your... well, creepy spider or mushroom. You're only limited by your imagination so try different colour, font and background combinations and see which works best. Go ahead and post your own montages here, we'd love to see them.
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