6 festive photo ideas to try this Christmas

6. Make a snow globe

There’s much fun to be had in Photoshop by merging two images into an offbeat montage. The technique also calls upon many of Photoshop’s most fundamental tools, such as layers and blending modes, so it’s a great way to learn core skills. 

Here we’ll combine a light bulb and a tree into a seamless scene. Cutting out the tree would take a while, but we can get almost instant results with the Multiply blending mode. Because the tree is a dark object against a very light backdrop, the lighter areas are effectively eliminated with a single click. 

The light patches of snow along the branches are also lost, but it’s easy enough to bring them back simply by painting a mask on a duplicate layer.

The trick to a montage like this is to make it as convincing as possible. So to help make the tree appear as if it’s inside the light bulb we’ll copy the bulb reflections on top of the tree. We’ve provided the bulb and tree images, but you can use the same skills to put anything you like inside the bulb (it helps if it’s shot against a light backdrop). So why not give it a go and make your own fantastical montages using any object that takes your fancy?  

Step-by-step: Have a light bulb moment

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.