Peter Neely

Peter Neely

Don Mills Camera Club



My experience with photographic collages goes back 25 years or so to the days of negative and slide film. In those days we called them sandwiches where we would layer two or more slides or negatives together to create a new image; this can now be done digitally.

Using Photoshop Elements I can now layer numerous images together and create a digital collage. The process for making collages is actually quite simple and involves layering images and using blending modes. You can use one image or many images to create the collage.

The process for a single image collage using Photoshop Elements is as follows:

  1. In Preferences make sure you have the Floating Window open.
  2. Open and duplicate your selected image.
  3. Go to Image (on top bar), click and select Rotate (from drop down panel); choose which way you want to rotate the image. You will now have one image flipped opposite the other image.
  4. Place cursor on one image, left click and hold down and drag on top of the other image and align the images; now you have a new layer on top of your original image (make sure Layers is open).
  5. Open blending modes by clicking in box at top that shows Normal; this will open Blending mode choices where you can scroll through and see how each mode affects layered image. I usually choose Differences mode to start as it makes the biggest change to the layered image.

For multiple image collages the process is the same as the above.

You can Rotate, Stretch, Shrink, Crop and add pieces of images; each time you change the Blending mode the appearance of the image is changed.

1Original Image

Example #1 is a single image rotated horizontally and collaged using Difference mode.

2Example #1

Example #2 is the same single image arranged differently and collaged using Lighten mode.


Example #2

Example #3 is 2 images collaged using Difference mode.

4Original Image #1

5Original Image #2

6Collaged Image