With Photoshop, you can make art out of anything. During a recent graphic design contest held in Belgium, graphic designer Maxime Quoilin wanted to create something truly original and ‘of the moment’. He got out his camera, went into the crowd, and randomly took pictures of those attending to include in his creation.

This could have been a pretty stressful thing to achieve; working with images he wasn’t familiar with in a limited period of time – and with an audience. Thankfully, what with Photoshop’s endless capabilities, including blending modes, advanced layer masks and the Levels tool, the process was smoother than expected.

Photo manipulation is all about blending pictures together so the overall image fits. This is what Maxime is going to demonstrate in this photo manipulation tutorial. You’ll also learn how to apply techniques quicker. Whether you’re in a contest, or just working to a tight client deadline, it pays to be lighter on your feet.

Step 1 Kick off by creating an A4 300dpi document in Photoshop. Insert PlasterWhite-Dirty0112_L.jpg from the Download Zone, rotate it and scale it to the canvas size, while more or less keeping its proportion. Adjust the contrast using Levels (Cmd/Ctrl + L), as shown in the above image, then lower the layer’s opacity to 65%.