How to Overlay Pictures

Overlaying pictures is easy in Luminar. Try Luminar for Mac today.

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One of the most common uses for overlaying pictures is to add a dramatic sky to an image — so, we’re excited to demonstrate this technique in Luminar and expand your horizons.

For this project, you’ll need two images to start with. First, you'll need the photo with a dull sky that you want to enhance. Then, you'll need an image of a dramatic sky that you can position on top of the first photo.

Sound easy? Great — let’s move on!

Start by launching Luminar and loading the dull sky image. Next, find your Layers panel on the right side of the interface and click on the + icon in Layers. Choose "Add New Image Layer" from the popup menu. Then, navigate to the image that you want to use for your dramatic sky.

The second layer serves as an overlay for the first. But, you can control how much of it is displayed. Make sure your second layer is active, then click on the Gradient Mask Tool that is located in the toolbar on the right side of the interface. It will provide the control that you need for adding that perfect amount of the dramatic sky to the image.

Pull down the gradient screen from top to bottom. As you do so, the new dramatic sky will magically replace the boring one on the image below! If this doesn't work as shown in the illustration, check the gradient screen controls to ensure that "Subtract" is selected.

Even though you can see the effect of the sky, you can also view the actual mask by clicking on Show button in the Gradient Mask toolbar. If you need to edit position of the mask, you can do so by clicking and dragging its handles up or down

Once your dramatic sky is placed to your liking, you can edit the other elements in the image. For example, you can use Luminar's filters to enhance the tones and colors of the base image. Or, you can add another layer for noise reduction.

Once you're finished, export the completed image and make sure to save your Luminar file for later. Even though we used a sky to demonstrate this technique, remember that you can overlay any type of image for these projects. The creative possibilities are wildly endless!

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