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How to create a geometric photographic collage

Creating the geometric pattern

Let’s start by opening a new document in Adobe Illustrator. I’m going to open an A4.

We're going to create our geometric piece with the Polygon Tool, so create a 3 sided shape with a 300 px radius.

And with this triangle, we're going to build the whole pattern simply copying (Ctrl + C), pasting (Ctrl + F) and rotating (Press shift to keep everything perfectly aligned).

It’s important to remove the fill color so you can see through the shapes.

So these are the steps to follow:

Note: When you're done with step 4, group the figure, that way when centering the triangle in step 5 you'll have no problem using the Align options (Align vertical and horizontal).

If you've followed the steps correctly you should have something like this:

Ok, so now to finish, change the line's color to white and keep it there until we need it. Let’s go to Photoshop!

Photoshop: preparing the photos

Open the photo you chose for the background. I don’t really like the tones, so I adjusted the Curves.

No I want to create a mirror effect, so I'll duplicate my layer (Ctrl + J), go to Edit > Transform > Flip vertical.

Double click on the Background Layer to unlock it in order to work with it.

Move both layers up and down until you get what you want. To achieve a symmetrical effect, lower the opacity of the one that’s on top.

When everything is in place, use the Marquee Tool (M) to delete the center of the top image, so that it doesn’t cover the one underneath.

And to make the edge softer go over it a couple of times with a Soft eraser (E) and lower the opacity.

Tip: Press Shift to erase the straight line along the edge.

Now, open the other picture you're going to use and place it on top. Adjust the size if you need to.

Go back to Illustrator, select the lines we made previously and drag the shape onto the image, adjust, and we can now we get to the interesting part, creating the collage itself!

Note: If your image is very big, you might need to increase the stroke width. In my case I had to increase it up to 2 pt.

Cut outs

To create the cut outs that will allow you to see the image below we're going to use the Wand tool (W).

So we don’t make any mistakes, let’s name our layers to make the process easier.  (As you see, we've merged the two mountain layers)

Ok, so we're in the Lines layer. With the Wand tool select the spaces you want to erase.

And that’s it! Repeat the process as many times as needed. I recommend going little by little so you can see how it turns out and correct it if you need to.

And we can finish here or we can keep on adjusting values and adding effects. So only for the brave, let’s go for it!

Effects and final touches

We're basically going to adjust the colors. The first thing we're going to do is add a gradient on top to give it a special halo.

Create a new layer and select the Gradient Tool. From the presets you have, use the one that is half transparent, half color (I’m going to use a peach color). You're going to move the color from left to right (and opposite with the transparent) in order to make the center of the gradient transparent. We're going to apply a Radial gradient.

Click on the center of the figure and drag it to the edge of the image. Change the blending mode from Normal to Multiply.

We already have a nice tone, but let’s keep going! Now, I don’t want the blur to affect the BACK image, so I’m going to go back to the LINES layer, select the same spaces we deleted before, and on the GRADIENT layer, delete.

Now we're going to adjust the FRONT layer a bit with the Color Balance.

And the BACK layer with Hue and Saturation.

We could keep going forever but time is running out and we have to finish! So here you have the result of this super easy tutorial. Hope you enjoyed it and that you found it useful! Until the next one!

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