Digital Photography Book vol. 1 | Moon Tutorial – Book Extras
Including the Moon and Keeping Detail
The first step is to open both photos in Adobe Photoshop (a shot of the moon on an evening sky with no clouds around or behind it, and the photo you want the moon to appear in).
From the Toolbox, choose the Move tool (V). Then click on the moon photo and drag-and-drop it right onto the other photo (in this case, it’s a shot of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.).
Go to the Layers palette and change the moon layer’s blend mode from Normal to Lighten (as shown here). Doing this, on a background like this dark blue sky, hides the black square around the moon from view, leaving just the moon itself visible. The key is to make sure you place the moon over a photo with a dark sky (at least as dark as the blue one shown here, or darker).
The final step is to resize and position the moon where you want it in your photo. To resize the moon layer, press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to Free Transform. Press-and-hold the Shift key and then grab any corner handle and click-and-drag inward to decrease the size of your moon. To reposition your moon, just move your cursor inside the Free Transform box and then click-and-drag it where you want it. When the size and position look good to you, just press the Return (PC: Enter) key to lock in your changes.
Here’s the final photo with the moon added. Its black background has been hidden, and it’s been scaled down in size and positioned over a dark sky. That’s all there is to it!