Creative Compositing Part 2: Putting it Together in Photoshop By Joel Grimes

1 hr 20 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Master the compositing secrets used in professional commercial advertising. Join legendary commercial advertising photographer Joel Grimes as he shares his best creative Photoshop techniques, tools, and tips and tricks that will teach you how to “sell the fake” and create breathtaking, professional composite portraits.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Joel as he recaps the first part of this two-part class where he did all of the shooting, both in studio and on location, to capture the images that will be used in the second part of the class.
When making your selects, you are going for the look that works with the project and background. By shooting multiple poses and angles it provides a great resource of photos to chose from.
Look over Joel's shoulder as he demonstrates all the settings and choices he makes as he runs the background captures through Photomatix Pro to create the final background image.
Starting with a portrait of Ashley, the soccer player, Joel takes us through his process for getting his signature grungy look.
Learn how to use the Quick Select and Refine Edge tools in Photoshop CS5 to make the job of extracting the subject from its original background a piece of cake.
Before dropping the subject into the scene, the background image needs to be run through the same grunging process that was done to the subject to help them work together.
A big part of "selling the fake" is taking steps to connect the subject to the background by creating and enhancing the atmosphere of the photo.
Dodging and burning is a great technique for evening out the tones in the model's face and bringing out her beauty.
Joel brings the final composite home with a few techniques to retouch the subject and burn in the shadows to add to the sense that she is really standing in the scene.
Profile photo of Joel Grimes

Meet your instructor

Joel Grimes


After receiving a BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona in 1984, Joel began working as a commercial advertising photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. His style of capturing portraits has earned him the attention from many of the nation's finest Advertising Agencies and Art Buyers. Due to his strong fine art background...

Joel's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of gchevers gchevers

    Really great class. I look forward to watching more.

  2. Profile photo of

    Hi Joel i have just watched your class on creative compositing i loved your class and have just made two photos seamlessly blend together.
    thanks Joel

  3. Profile photo of roubens1 roubens1

    Great course and dedication for perfection. The more I learn the more i find out how much I don’t know.

  4. Profile photo of

    Excellent very clear and he does not hire anything!! Keep doing man!

  5. Profile photo of Katie Katie

    The subtle little touches are what make this series for me. I’m familiar with most of the Photoshop tools and techniques Joel uses here, but HOW he applies them is just fantastic to watch. Joel’s workarounds for his colorblindness are a huge inspiration and I feel a lot more confident with my compositing after seeing him work. THANK YOU for sharing, Joel!

  6. Profile photo of Tedrick Covey Tedrick Covey

    This is definitely one of my favorite courses at Kelby Training. Joel is an excellent instructor, and he shows us all the steps and “tricks” that he used. He is honest and sincere in his teaching. I will seek out all of his courses at Kelby Training. Time well spent for me, and I will watch it again in the not so distant future to refresh what I have learned.

  7. Profile photo of hillbill hillbill

    Excellent course – the levels technique to remove the halo is dynamite – brilliant!

  8. Profile photo of lucienr lucienr

    Excellent course! I have learned many new things. This is one of the best courses at Kelby Training.

  9. Profile photo of Vetsuburb Vetsuburb

    Mr. Grimes, is now for me, the best instructor at Kelby Training. He is practical, informative, and well spoken. He would be a photographer and artist that can be very helpful in the real world situation. I give him 5 starts

  10. Profile photo of Michael Michael

    Joel’s process and the resulting image generated a lot of ideas for my own work. Time well spent.

  11. Profile photo of mcampbell66 mcampbell66

    Great course – learned a ton. Enjoyed the methods and flow.

  12. Profile photo of steve250 steve250

    this class was very good I want to watch it again and take notes

  13. Profile photo of joaoamerico joaoamerico

    Very good Course. I Lover his Style!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of jessjaim jessjaim

    Great course , I really learned a lot from this course and I’m excited to go out and try some of the techniques I learned .I liked the fact that Joel was very honest and didn’t try to pretend that he had all the answers to every question but that a lot of his work is trial and error and he is still learning too . —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of sullinator07 sullinator07

    Honestly, I can’t put into words how much I have learned. There are so many golden nuggets I’ve found just in this class. Joel Grimes and I share a similar problem. We don’t see color too well. But he’s come up with such a brilliant way of maneuvering around it that will increase my workout put so much faster! THANK YOU SO MUCH! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of tankinmd_2 tankinmd_2

    Learned a lot, thanks for sharing this excellent process. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Jair_dom Jair_dom

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing this! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of emilnekem emilnekem

    Extremely valuable info. Complex things told simply and honestly. The 14 minute segment “Getting that grungy look” opened up a new world for me. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of kenshi2008 kenshi2008

    He is very good instructor, and give great tips on Third party software for Photoshop. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of davestarrett davestarrett

    the greatest course on here by far, joel is brilliant and an excellent communicator —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of Jonathan Brandon Jonathan Brandon

    I learned a ton from this class. I have Matt’s book too and plan to watch this class a few times while I practice my skills… —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Raul Balboa Raul Balboa

    Good tutorials, I will try it for sure. I am still trying to learn more. Regards to Matt K. I love his tutorials as well. May I assume you are on camera raw and not jpeg? Pleas let me know. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of BlackBox_Impressions BlackBox_Impressions

    Great unselfish tutorial from a great artist. Thank you Joel for sharing your technique. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of minderhoudphotography minderhoudphotography

    Excellent two courses about compositing with Joel Grimes. Made me decide to give it a try and it really rocks. Would love to see some more from him on this! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of wayne rivett wayne rivett

    This is a great course, if you don’t get something out of it you need to get your doctor to check for a pulse, quickly! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of SvenlovesFlo SvenlovesFlo

    Wow ! What a great teacher . He seems to really care that I understand what he is teaching.Well done Joel and . Kudos —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of Walt Walt

    Wow, terrific lesson and Joel really communicates well plus very very creative. Love his style… —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of brandonleia brandonleia

    Great info! Thanks Joe. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  29. Profile photo of davestarrett davestarrett

    Joel was brilliant and showed a technique I thought was brilliant. The video moved at the exact right pace and the beginning to end coverage was very thorough. Perhaps the best video I have seem here on Kelby.

  30. Profile photo of JoeCarr JoeCarr

    awesome! would really like to see more videos similar to this style. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of sirwamz sirwamz

    Holy goodness!!!! Joel is one of the best teachers out there. I really feel like he held nothing back. Simple to understand and follow and he didn’t blabber about, went right to the point of what he was doing and why. Please bring him back for another course if possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is simply awesome. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  32. Profile photo of Jo Jones Jo Jones

    Great instruction, Joel Grimes! Totally worth the time to watch.

  33. Profile photo of kamilio77 kamilio77

    absolutely amazing thx for that course

  34. Profile photo of 773121 773121

    Couldn’t find this at first, but once I did…..I LOVED IT!! Great explanations, and little tips along the way. I’ll be shooting tomorrow, to try this new (new to me) technique. Always love Joel’s work. Thank you!!! Never knew about the refine brush. WOW – was I missing stuff by not knowing this!!!

  35. Profile photo of Claude King Claude King

    Great course full of composite tips that will help you make the final image as realistic as possible.

  36. Profile photo of Jack Jack

    Joel was effin’ brilliant with this two part session patiently walking us through the whole process from capture, both studio and field, to post production techniques. He has motivated me to now attempt a similar shoot and follow-up, which means that I will be revisiting this video frequently. I truly appreciated Joel’s casual and straight forward style with emphasis on the K.I.S.S. approach.
    Question to Joel: I am a retiree and involved with photography solely as an enthused hobbyist. Would you recommend a particular model Wacom tablet over another, keeping in mind that I have a tight budget and that Kelby enterprises has chewed up whatever disposable income I previously had? Thanks a lot ~ Jack

  37. Profile photo of leroyaaron leroyaaron

    It would be great if you could post the 2 raw files that Joel used in this course so we can follow along

  38. Profile photo of tebbetts tebbetts

    This was an excellent course–well organized and well presented. Joel communicates very effectively and does not clutter the important points with a lot of unnecessary chatter and philosophy. His honesty is refreshing, and the techniques in his two compositing courses have applications far beyond just placing a person in an environment. Great work Joel, and thanks very much for sharing.

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