Lightroom users often question whether layering images is possible in the software, especially when they don’t have Photoshop. Understanding how to layer photos in Lightroom will help you bring out a virtual story and spark the viewers’ interest.
Note: You don’t need Photoshop for the method described below.
Adding layers is an effective element in photography that helps add new dynamics to the images. Especially in real estate photography, you are often required to layer photos to convey a composite picture to the clients. It is a great way to increase their interest in a particular property.
Lightroom Classic doesn’t allow layering photos in the typical way other image editors do. However, there is a set of features in the software that can be used to layer photos. We admit that it is not the commonplace way to do layering, but it fulfills the purpose of adding depth to photos to improve them.
You can use the Print module in Lightroom to lay an image on top of another image. Suppose you need to blend two images of the exterior and interior of a real estate property. You can show the interior as the main image, and layer the exterior over it in the form of an inset.
Let us walk through the process of photo layering.
Firstly, we need to select images that will be layered. You can pick an image of any interior space (preferably the central area like a living room). The other image has to be an exterior view of the property to give the viewers a sneak peek about what it looks like from the outside.
You can also use more than two photos depending upon the compositional style you wish to create. For instance, you can use two more images of separate areas of the interior to layer on the main one. Here are the two images we have taken as an example to demonstrate the layering process.
After carefully selecting the images, start the editing process by cropping them according to the layout you want in the final image.
Process the images as you normally do in the Develop module. Make changes according to feel you want to achieve. We are looking for a mingled effect of both images; hence we will add some vignette and feathering to our foreground image.
You can go on to process the image as per your preferences. Now let’s move on to the background image.
We want a clean and crisp image to serve the purpose of sparking interest in the property. We want some vibrance and the perfect balance of exposure and colors to bring out the lively feel of the interior.
Once done with the editing, it is now time to go to the Print module to carry out the layering process. This module has a lot of features, adding to the functionality of Lightroom Classic. We don’t intend to print our layered image but want to save it as a JPEG afterward.
You can see that we were able to achieve the final outcome just the way we planned. The interior looks clear and inviting, plus an ethereal sneak peek of the exterior is there in the corner. Layering these photos allows the viewers to see the complete picture of the house in one image.
You can also add some text to the layered photos in the Print module.
Lastly, you can click on Print to File and save your image as a JPEG file on the chosen destination on your hard drive.
Layering helps bring more interesting results that give a deeper insight to the viewers about a property. Rather than showing them only one image, you can show them multiple viewpoints via layering images on top of each other.
Having more than one focus helps them create a better story in their mind for the future, which is what real estate photography is all about. Hence, photo editing software providing the layering feature can be a great technological assistance for real estate agents.
The brief summary of the process we have used to layer photos in Lightroom is as follows.
Using this technique, you will be able to tell a comprehensive story using the background and foreground images.