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Imagination knows no boundaries. This is the idea behind composite images. Creativity and imagination work harmoniously to achieve a perfect illusion in an image.

Have you ever dreamed of being a warrior princess when you are a child? Fancy about being an astronaut floating in space or a time-traveler who happened to be in the late 60s’? These and all your wildest imagination when you were a child or even now that you’re already grown up have something to do with composite photography.

This may sound surreal yet superb. Composite images have a very close relationship with our wildest imagination. When we say ‘wildest imagination’, it can be a composite photo of a dragon with a human face blowing fire to the moon or a woman keeping her balance on top of the building tower. Whatever it is that you imagine while you’re reading this article, keep in mind that there are basic concepts and ways on how to create amazing composite images.

Oops! Before we get close to knowing more about how to make a composite photo, think about the composite images you have seen before. What makes you admire them? Did it almost make you believe like it’s real? Let’s take a few steps to understand more about composite images and the story behind digital composite photography.

What is a Composite Photo?

Defining by the word itself, a composite photo is composed of two or more images combined, layered, or whatever you call it to create one compelling image. There are so many reasons why people create composite images more than just because of our imagination. Art class projects, blog banners, and visual content with the aim to express something impressive and compelling. These and many other reasons to create surreal and powerful images.

By its definition, it seems like a very simple task on how to make a composite photo. But in reality, it took someone a whole day to edit photographs, blend colors, and copy-paste options to be able to express that the picture is in motion. It takes several photos to get a perfect shot that someone wants to achieve in the end. Also, it takes some skills in photo-editing applications to create your desired composite photo.

By concept, composite images tend to mix fantasy with reality. Others will say that anything can be made possible with composite photography. People tend to achieve perfection and connect to another world when compositing several images to form a new one. Artistic craft and bright ideas empowered by technology to form a whole new picture of magic. We do love magic, aren’t we? And we love to keep things as simple as perfect. Just like when you post a picture of yourself with an edited background of a sunset beach to fool a friend that you’re on a vacation trip. Certainly, we don’t do composite images to fool anybody but just for fun.

How to make a composite photo?

  1. Base or Background image - This is a simple representation of how we can make simple composite images. In reality, the image above is composed of four photographs. We used a photo of the sea of clouds as a background or base.

Three birds flying

  1. Your concept - Simple concept to add and combine a few photographs into one. There aren’t any birds flying in the clouds. But we made a copy of the same bird multiplied into three different sizes to show the distance. Consider your background color and the images that you want to add. To achieve a new scene and image, you need to pick the closest color that will blend with the base or background. Not to mention the smoky effects or glowing expression of the image, you need to be very keen on details.

The clouds at the peak

The three birds flying

  1. Adjust Image contrast- With a few contrast adjustments and cropped images of the flying birds, we achieved a captured moment of these three birds flying away. Of course, this is a very basic example of how to make composite images. Basic steps that can lead to your first try to achieve compelling images.

Here are some composite photography examples that can give you inspiration on what concept you want to achieve. Actually, we get some ideas on Strikingly user’s website having composite images on their gallery or even on their landing page. If you’re on your way to building your own website, it is fun to get some ideas on adding a composite photo on your page. So let’s take a peek.

  1. ALEX RUIZ’s website tells something about the rich imagination of the concept artist himself. It’s like taking you to another world of fantasy and giving a hint of a solid masterpiece.

Ship sailing away

  1. Leo Liu Design’s website about concept art expresses a full-packed action image. The artist knows how to put things together like the dust effects, helicopters, people running away, and tall buildings into a realistic image.

Soldiers and helicopters

  1. Comogomo website shows a composite photo of a boy reaching for an apple taken by a black hawk. On top of his head are collage photos of clock towers, a cat, and an exposed part of a carousel.

A boy reaching apple

Behind Composite Images

There is a story behind every composite image. It can be the time spent to form such a compelling photo or the concept behind bright ideas. Whether it is a dark illusion of fantasy and tragedy or the funny angles of several photos taken in burst shots, the art of composite images gives valuable meaning on our creative imagination as a human. It can take us to a whole new world. And bring us back to reality with a few shots and edits.

The good thing about composite images is that they can differ in time, distance, and space. You can be sitting at a cafe in Italy while you’re actually watching tv at home. You can pretend to be a time-traveler on a century-old photo. One can be an astronaut as he dreamed about it when he was just five years old.

Two persons away from each other can be together when photos of them combined with each other. I’m sure there are couples thinking about digital composite photography. Prenup photos together can be made possible by talented concept artists and photographers. Everything is possible with modern photo-editing applications. Adobe Photoshop has been known to many people with or without photography expertise. Why do people have to use photo-editing apps? Simply because people are fond of perfection and creative imagination. This is the gift of technology to humankind. It takes time, effort, and skills to create composite images. It sounds and looks so easy at first glance but when you get to know the story behind a splash of water on a cosmetic brand, you’ll surely end up in awe.

Hey! There’s more about how you can add and edit composite images on your Strikingly website. We’ve taken a few shots of how it looks like to add and edit images on your page.

  • Add an image background. Once you’ve chosen a template for your website, you can pick an image background for your welcome page. A composite photo is ideal but if you want to make it personal, you can upload your own image as a background.

Woman looking at the sea

  • Start Editing Image. You can easily adjust the contrast, change position, and stretch your image size according to your preferred layout design. Don’t forget to hit save on your work. You don’t want to lose long hours of hard work just because you forget to click the save button.

Collage of photos

Terraces at the peak
What are your takeaways?

More than a high-resolution camera, it takes a photographer’s creative concept on how he wants to achieve the end product of his materials. Don’t get rid of several shots of images because you might be needing them when you realize you want to combine one picture with the other. One photo may lack an element that is present on the other with a ‘not-so-good shot.

Sometimes, you can also use compositing for restoration purposes. Old photographs are precious, very precious. With the help of technology, a Photoshop expert can make an old photo bring it back to the time it was captured. As much as we want to preserve memories in photographs, we want to combine limitless possibilities in our work. Just don’t forget to go back to basics when you seem to get caught in between reality and fantasy.

Here at Strikingly, we love to bring you awesome ideas on how you would like your website to stand out among others. We empower our users with the tools they need to put their ideas into action. We can’t tell you more about how we can help you build your own website unless you create an account and choose the best template for your website. At Strikingly, your only limitation is your imagination!