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Creative Composites Using Your Own Photo Stock

Lesson 10 of 12

Supersize Phone Captures To Use Within Your High Resolution Composites

Karen Alsop

Creative Composites Using Your Own Photo Stock

Karen Alsop

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Lesson Info

10. Supersize Phone Captures To Use Within Your High Resolution Composites
Learn about resolution and blending elements of different sizes together in a non-destructive workflow. Supersize small files to incorporate into a high resolution composite without compromise.

Lesson Info

Supersize Phone Captures To Use Within Your High Resolution Composites

Like many of you have been in lockdown for most of 2020 and 20, and it's meant that I haven't been able to go and photograph all the elements that I wanted to or go back if I'd planned to photograph. One of the things that I often do when I'm creating an image and coming up with a concept is if I go to a location of photograph on the phone as a reference and then plan to maybe visit it later with my camera if I don't have my camera with me. This was the case with the boat that I used in homeless penguin. I'd photographed it on my iphone and I had plans to return and photograph it on a number of different angles. Adobe Photoshop have brought out a super sizing feature enhancing an image, making it four times the size of the original without creating dodgy pixels or really pushing it too far. In fact, when you use this process, it really does work. So I'm gonna show you how I did this and you can follow along and if you've got any photos that you've photographed on your phone or maybe on...

a lower resolution camera that you want to match with something that is a higher resolution. This is definitely the way to go. Now this is the boat that I photographed and it is a raw file because my iphone photographs wrought with light room and so if this was the one that I used and it's not really high resolution. Um it's, it's okay, it's quite a sharp image but it wasn't going to be high enough to include in my homeless penguins image. So what I ended up doing was enhancing it. Now you can do this in light room now. So light room, classic light room, Creative cloud and in Photoshop in camera raw. So I'm gonna take you through it in Photoshop. But the same process by right clicking it, you'll find that option in light room as well. So let's open it in Photoshop. It'll opening camera or what we want to do here is right click it and go to enhance. You need to have the latest version of bridge of camera raw of light room to do this. But if you go to enhance and you have it clicked on super resolution. That is without enhanced. So that's if you enlarge it just by re sizing it and that is with enhanced and if we just move over to different parts of the image, this is a super zoomed up preview of it. Press the button and let it run and once it's finished you'll have an image that is four times the size of your original image. You want to make sure that you do click on the new version and you can tell what it's called by looking at the top title there. So this is the enhanced version from the Apple iphone 12 pro. Now if I open that as a smart object, it now is the size that I require it for my image. If we go to image size We can see all that detail in there. It's now by 8000 and most of my canvases that I'm working on our around the 8000 marks. So knowing that I can now put this into my scene and put it into the homeless penguins image. I know it's going to work. So if I press cancel let's just zoom up and have a look at this. So you can see there's a lot of detail in this image, plenty to work with in a composite. So it is a great feature if you're using a phone picture and you want to enhance it. So another reason you might need to enhance the photo is if you're needing to crop in on a smaller element. So you've taken a photo and you've been too far away and the element that you want in your composite, you need to enhance it so that it's the size that you need to put into your new image. So this picture of this little penguin, I probably could have got away with not enhancing it just because of where I placed it in the final image but by enhancing it I just had so many more pixels to work with and the detail that I wanted. So this is the original and this is the enhanced version. Now you probably can't tell a big difference. But if you put them side by side this one is four times the size and it will come into my other image, my composite at that size. And then if I pull it back down as a smart object and I pull it back down in size, it will retain its detail. One thing to remember when you work with smart objects. I've talked about keeping that raw data and that's really important and you can also package up groups by making a smart object. But the other benefit is when you're in a lodging and then sizing down and sizing up, you will not destroy your image. But if you do that without it being a smart object. So if you just drop the restaurants version into Photoshop and then you resize a bigger, smaller, bigger smaller every time you do that you're destroying your image. So keep it as a smart object and you keep the integrity of the image because it's packaged within it. So if we head back over to homeless penguin, you can see the boats. That is the enhanced version of the boat and how crisp it is in this image, you've got the little penguin there that was enhanced as well. And a lot of the elements that I needed to make bigger are enhanced in this image. So it really is a great tool for being able to be flexible with really any tool at your disposal in the next part of this class. The final part, I'll be taking you through homeless penguin. I'll be taking you through all the little elements that I worked on to bring this together. And I'm looking forward to showing you a few final little tricks that I know you'll be able to use in your own composites.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 


  • Photograph textures, atmosphere and elements that you can use in composites.
  • Easily manage your own photo stock library.
  • Shoot miniatures and focus stack.
  • Supersize phone photos and use them in your composites.
  • Create photoshop patterns and brushes.
  • Photograph costumes and dress your subjects in Photoshop.
  • Find creative ways to make anything possible.


There is nothing like the feeling of creating art from your own images. Purchased stock can be a valuable resource, but it shouldn’t be the first solution when you are working on a creative composite.

Learn how to creatively photograph elements that become other elements in a composite. Turn miniatures into life sized elements. Photograph incredible costumes and dress your subjects in Photoshop. Create brushes, textures and patterns from photos that you can use over and over again. Be resourceful and creative in your hunt for elements, and take your compositing to the next level.

These techniques will open up a world of possibilities for your image creation, where anything is possible.


  • Composite Photographers who would like to expand their creativity
  • Photographers that would like to take a leap into the compositing world
  • Anyone that is looking for fresh and unique ways to bring their imaginations to life


Adobe Photoshop 2021 (22.5.0)
Lightroom CC (4.4)
Adobe Bridge 2021


Karen Alsop is an internationally acclaimed Melbourne, Australia-based photographic digital artist. Expanding on two decades of photographic and graphic design experience, Karen brings photography and art together to create stunning artworks that tell a story and take the viewer into another world.

Specializing in Portrait Art, her digital portraiture captures the personality and character of her subjects by placing them within a visual story highlighting their interests. Karen uses the power of Photoshop to composite multiple captures together, making the impossible possible within her art.

Karen's latest project sees her using her compositing skills to give children with severe disabilities the wings to fly. The Heart Project, a joint partnership between Story Art and The Sebastian Foundation is bringing hope worldwide to children and families through the power of photography.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Story Art Education Offer

Actions and Brushes

Camera Files


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Charlene Mitchell

WOW! I'm not familiar with Karen's work so this was a wonderful surprise! Loved the detail she included in her instruction and her passion shows through in every topic! So many tips and tricks to help 'sell' the finished piece as believable - details I wouldn't have thought of. Going to check out her other class on CL and also her website!

Melissa Helland

Can’t tell you how much I appreciate all I’ve learned from this teacher. Wonderful classes here on Creative Live and her site has even more learning opportunities. Worth every penny of my Creative Live membership just for this class alone!

Cristina Menor

Karen is an excellent teacher. Her lessons are always very well explained and very easy to understand and to follow. You will learn lots of valuable tips. I absolutely recommend this class if you want to learn how to create incredible compositions very near to reality.