Today I'll be discussing my approach to executing a successful photo expansion. Now this is something I've learned through trial and error so I am sure there is more than one way to do it. However, this is the way I have found that works best for me! Photo expansions can be very helpful for when you have a portrait image that you really want to edit into landscape, or in my case, you don't want to lose the quality of your image by cropping guidelines on social media such as instagram. This image was not terribly difficult to transform, but that depends on what you are trying to expand.
Step 1: Selecting the Right Images
For my expansion I chose two images from the same series, in relatively the same pose, that makes it a lot easier. You want to make sure you have enough of the background to work with so you can smoothly blend the two images.
Step 2: Choosing Your Dimensions
First you'll need to decide how you want your final image to look. For my purposes I chose a perfect square so I could upload the image to instagram without cropping issues. Then I pulled my landscape image into the square workspace.
Step 3: Duplicating the Background
In this step you want to select parts of the background that are easily duplicated. In this image I chose portions of the flowers that I could lasso and duplicate into a new layer, then drag and drop into the workspace. This will begin building the new background seamlessly with the original image.
Step 4: Blending the Images
Now that you have a good base to work with you will want to drop in your other image. With the portrait image in place you can see where you need to blend the photos through additional duplicating of flowers and erasing certain areas until it looks smooth. It will take some trial and error but just remember - it doesn't have to be perfect!
Step 5: Final Editing with Fashion Actions
Once you have your images blended to your liking go ahead and finish the editing process as you desire. I love to use Emily Soto's Fashion Actions to give my images a polished and professional look. The photoshop action "Fashion Skin" allows me to retouch my image creating a flawless skin tone in a few easy steps. I also used photoshop action "Daisy" to create the dreamy and ethereal tones and light in my final image.
I hope you enjoyed this overview of photo expansions and editing with Fashion Actions. Please visit the Fashion Actions official website or Facebook page for more information and tutorials.