Photographing autos for for sale on the web, using Photoshop Elements to optimize photos of cars for AutoTrader.com and other online sales sites... Design & Publishing Center,   Photoshop Tips & Tricks Department. . .

Photoshop Elements

Merging the images

First we'll crop the main shot. We'll use Element's cropping tool. You can click it from the tool bar, or simply tap the "C" key.
Then open the first diagram.
Crop for effectiveness...
My crop includes more ground than overhead. That's because I want to eliminate as many visual distractions from the image as possible and feature the car. I also want to leave room for the inset photo of the second view.
     
I double-click inside the active crop tool selection and the image is cropped.
     
Now I'll create a layer and name it "Inset".
     
Let's open the second image and get it ready to import.
     
This is a vivid, saturated images and as we know from experience these types of files will gain contrast as we reduce them. They'll also become more anti-aliased. So, to compensate for that we'll set the brightness a bit higher using the Brightness/Contrast command.
     
Pull down the Enhance > Brightness/Contrast > Brightness/Contrast and set maybe 20 or so in the brightness but leave contrast alone. At this point I'll also do a rude Sharpen. (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) Folks, be careful with this one because you don't want to over sharpen. I knew it was okay since we're reducing the image size by at least 50%.
     
Go to: Image > Resize > Image Size
     
Pull down Document Size and select "Percentage" and put 50% into the field. Leave "Constrain Proportions" and "BiCubic" as they are. Click Okay. This looks pretty good.
Move It:
Click on the "Move" tool, or tap the "V" key to select the Move tool, and click-hold in the image window. Drag the image into your original file -- noticing the outline of the file as you drag it.
     
Now select the original file.
     
(Now you can Open the second diagram. At right you see the thumbnail of diagram #2. You'll need Java enabled for the previous link to open that image in a new window. If that doesn't happen, click here)
 
Reduce inset into position
Back in file #1, we see our reduced image, placed on a freshly created layer, with "Free Transform" handles around the selected image. As you can see, the 50% reduction wasn't enough. We'll have to make it smaller yet.
     
If you don't see the handles, but rather the "racing ants" then simply hit the letter "T" to initiate the Free Transform tool.
     
Grab the lower right corner handle, then hold down the shift key and drag until the image looks like it will comfortably fit in the pavement area of the image. To drop the still-selected image, simply double click inside the selection. (If it's not small enough the first time, simply "drop" it and then undo the action. The image will return to its original size.)
     
Holding the Shift key constrains the image -- keeping its aspect ratio correct.
     
Now drag it into position and drop. (Double-click inside the selection)
     
Go to the file menu and select "Save As..." and rename the file.
     
This file will be ready for Auto Trader as soon as we optimize it.
 
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