How to Make a Simple Collage Using Photoshop

Below is the final result of this tutorial.

Here I have a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ll use the same photo to make a simple collage.

The first thing I’ll do is hit Ctrl+J on my keyboard to make a duplicate layer:

Then I’ll make the background layer active by clicking on it. I’ll also click on the “eye” of “Layer 1” so that it’s not visible:

Now I’ll go to Image / Adjustments / Hue and Saturation:

When the Hue / Saturation dialog box comes up, I’ll bring the Saturation to -100 and the Lightness to +51. I’m not going to touch the Hue slider; I’ll just leave it at 0. This will give the layer a subtle washed out look. Then I’ll click OK:

Now I’ll go back to the layers palette and click on “Layer 1″ to make it active. I’ll also click the box where the “eye” should be so that I can see the layer:

Now I’ll go to Edit / Transform / Scale:

At this point I’ll see a border around the photo with four small boxes at the corners. With my mouse I’ll grab one of the corners and bring it down across the photo while I hold down the SHIFT key on my keyboard. Holding the SHIFT key keeps the scale proportional. I’ll decide how large or small I want the inner photo to be.

Note: While holding the shift key make sure you let go of the mouse before you take your finger off the shift, otherwise it won’t work. Here I think this size looks ok:

Now I’ll click on the check mark on the options bar at the top of the screen to commit to the transform:

Now I’ll click on the “move tool” in the tools palette to center the inner photo:

This is what it looks like at this point. Just a few steps left:

While “Layer 1” is still active, I’ll go to the layer style, “FX” at the bottom of the layers palette, and click on the Stroke option:




Here the Layer Style dialog box comes up. I want to set the size to 8, and make the Position “Inside”. I’ll keep the Blend mode set to “Normal” and Opacity set to 100. I also want to change the border around the photo from black to white, so I’ll click on the color box:

When I click on the black box, the Select Stroke Color dialog box comes up. I’ll just click on the top left hand corner of the box to select the color white. When I’m ready, I’ll click OK:

Here I still have the Layer Style dialog box open. The next thing I want to do is to add a drop shadow. I’ll check the drop shadow box by clicking on the square box and the words “Drop Shadow” for the drop shadow box to come up:

In the Drop Shadow section on the right, I have the Blend Mode set to “Multiply”, the Opacity set to 75%, the Angle set to 131, Distance 63, Spread 14, and the Size I have set to 27. When I like how it looks I’ll click OK:

Here is the finished collage:

13 thoughts on “How to Make a Simple Collage Using Photoshop”

  1. hi,,
    i liked it and tried also but it has not come so wel as yours mayb as mine in photoshop cs add some more

    regards suruchi

  2. Wow… Just what I was looking for! Thank you soooooo much for explaining it so well and easy to follow! 🙂

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