Photography/Layering???

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Question
Hello Akshay,
Just a basic question I hope. I just got back into photography after a 20 plus year lapse. Things have changed a great deal since film cameras!!! I recently was given a very basic point and shoot style digital camera and have been trying to combine two photos into one. The effect that I am looking for is to combine two photographs where one can be seen through the other. The effect may be called "ghosting". I have been experimenting with Photoshop Elements 2.0 but, trial and error is taking too much time. Jus wondering if you can point me in the right directions without taking too much of your time? The concept I'm sure is easy, I am just lacking the knowledge to execute it.  

Thanks much,
Tim

Answer
Hi Tim,

Welcome back to photography!
Much has changed over the last 20 years, but the fundamental underlying principles have remained pretty much the same. What was once recorded on gelatin coated with silver halide is now recorded on semiconductors, and post-processing once done within the confines of a darkroom is now done on a computer.

I'm not sure what kind of images you're trying to superimpose, but there are plenty of tutorials on the web for what you're describing.

The simplest way to do it would be to reduce the opacity of the layer that you'd like 'ghosted', then use the eraser tool (reduce the hardness of the brush, though) to remove parts of the image that you want to exclude.

Here are a few examples:

The first one's a funny video and will teach you how to overlay one image on top of another and reduce opacity. It's a Photoshop tutorial but you should be able to do most of the things in Elements.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_X5uR7VC4M

http://www.ehow.com/how_6952660_superimpose-photo-adobe-elements.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcYSXuQYkCc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbDL6b97kY0

I'd be able to help you better if you  

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Akshay Singh Jamwal

Expertise

I'm a professional photographer and I can answer questions questions relating to SLRs (35mm or DSLRs) and general photographic technique. I'll be happy to share my knowledge with anybody who's looking to learn or is just plain confused about something. Questions about studio lighting, studio flashes, and flashguns are also welcome. Questions about theory (e.g. colour theory, guidelines behind composition, depth of field, etc.) are welcome as well. Digital photography also involves some amount of post-processing using an image editing application such as Adobe Photoshop; a program that I am proficient with. I cannot answer typical generic questions, viz. "Which is the best camera?," as the short and sweet answer to questions such as those is "There is no such thing." Furthermore, there is a lot of literature available on the web pertaining to the same. Also, please do not ask me for camera recommendations based on a budget.

Experience

I have been passionately taking photographs since I was 13 years old. In totality, I've been involved in photography in one way or another for over a decade. I've used various cameras (and lighting equipment) over the years, including but not limited to Minolta/Konica Minolta, Nikon, Canon, and Mamiya.

Education/Credentials
High school degree.

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