Picture within a Picture in Photoshop

For this tutorial we will use an image/images to apply the effect to.

1 - In Photoshop, open the image you want to work with.

2 - Right-Click on top of the Thumbnail in the “Layers Panel” and choose “Duplicate Layer”. Name the duplicate “Inner” and click “OK”.

3 - Create a New Layer” by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”. Name the new layer “Mask”. Make sure it is placed between the other two layers.

4 - Make sure you are working on the “Mask” layer and select the “Rectangle Tool” (U) with the “Shape” option and “No Fill”. Create a “Rectangle” that frames the main focus of the image (the portion you want to place inside the “Frame”).

5 - With the “Frame” still selected, click on the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”.

6 - To “Clip” the “Inner” layer to the “Mask” you can select it and go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Shift + Command/Control + G) or click on the line between the two Thumbnails while holding the Alt/Option key. To check the result, you can “Hide” the bottom layer by clicking on the small eye icon on the left side of its Thumbnail.

7 - Select the ”Shape” in the “Mask” layer, head to the “Properties Panel” and give the “Stroke” a 40 px thickness, position it “Outside” and color it White.

8 -Now, double-Click on top its Thumbnail and use the following “Layers Styles”:

Drop Shadow:


(You can experiment changing the placement of the shadow to your liking)

9 - Use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) to rotate the “Frame” a bit and re-position it if needed. Don´t worry if its looks strange, hit “Enter” or click on the small check mark on the Top Menu to “Commit Transform”.

10 - If you want to change the “Drop Shadow”, just click on the small arrow on the right side of the layer’s thumbnail to show its contents and double-click on top of the “Layers Style” to open the panel.

11 - Make sure you are working on the “Mask” layer and select the “Rectangle Tool” (U) again with the “Combine Shapes” option selected in the Top Menu. Create a second “Rectangle” that frames another portion of the image.

12 - Use “Free Transform”( Command/Control + T) to re-size and/or rotate it if necessary. Click the small Check Mark on the Top Menu or hit “Enter” to “Commit Transform”. Click “OK” if you get a Pop-Up window.

13 - Create another Duplicate of the “Background” and name it “Blur”.

14 - Go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur and use a 25 “Amount”, Zoom and Best . Click “OK”.

15 - Lower the “Opacity” to about 55%.

16 - Select the “Blur” Layer and make sure the “Adjustments Panel” is open (Go to Windows > Adjustments).

17 - Create a “New Color Lookup Adjustment Layer” on top (click on the small Black and White circle at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” to open the Menu). Choose one of the 3DLUT File options (we used 3Strip.look).

18 - You can experiment with the different settings to get a nice variety of looks, like “FallColors.look” or “Fuji ETERNA 250D Kodak 2295” or “Soft_Warming.look”. Check it out!

by @lornacane

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