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Summer Flashback

Tell your holiday story by creating a playful collage. Various pictures from your best shots can make perfect surprise gifts to your friends.

Shapes, layers, and the Move Tool are used in this tutorial.

Step 1

Create a new document. Choose File > New and select the 1960 x 1150 document preset for the size. You can choose any size you want. A larger document will fit more pictures, a smaller one will fit fewer.

Step 2

The easiest way to create framed pictures is with the shape tools.To draw a rectangular shape, select the Rectangular Shape Tool and drag it across the canvas (613 x 1090 pixels). The color of the shape makes no difference as it will be covered by the pictures later.

Then, move the shape to the very edge of your document until it snaps to the edge. Hold the Shift key and press the Right Arrow three times. Each time you press the shape, it will move 10 pixels from the edge so you know exactly how far it is. Watch for the Alignment Guides to place the shape in the middle of the canvas. As soon as your shape is in the middle, the Alignment Guides will appear.

To create one more shape exactly the same, duplicate the one you’ve just created. Choose Layer > Duplicate Layer. Place the shape on the right side of the document where it snaps to the edge. Then, move it 30 pixels to the left.

Duplicate the shape layer again (Layer > Duplicate Layer) and place it in between the other two shapes. The Alignment Guides will help you to place the shape in the middle between the other two shapes equally.

Step 3

In the Layer palette, select the shape layer that you want the picture to appear on. Then, locate the picture you want to use in the collage and drag that picture onto the canvas. It will appear above the selected shape layer in the Layers palette.

To fit the picture inside the shape, add a Clipping Mask on the picture layer (Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Use the Move Tool to resize and place the picture the way you like it.

Repeat the same steps with the other two pictures.

Step 4

For the finishing touches, you can resize the shapes, adjust the colors, or add some effects. Once you feel the composition has a perfect look, it’s done.