You may ask, "What's the big deal?" It means I don't have to break the flow to cut out an image and clean it up before adding it. Sometimes I forgo the image all together because I don't want to fiddle. I have hundreds of images, some of which I'll never use, so I don't want to break apart everything. I tried to make it easier by using the SEPARATE PHOTOS in Elements. That function sucks. So it's nice to be able to place an item. So sweet, so simple. Let's hear it for PNGs.
I thought I'd give a quick rundown of photomanips and images. I use a new layer for each element in a piece. It gives me lots of control over the project. The image below has 11 layers. Two are background layers. I can use up to 5 background layers alone. On top of that I may apply photo effects on each or all layers. Then I add shadows and lighting to each of those same layers. The umbrellas are made from one stock photo of an umbrella. They have been re-coloured and angled and sized. Photomanipulations are very time intensive.
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Umbrellas & mannequin: letinhastock.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2mgquq
Cat : best-resources.deviantart.com/gallery/?23941544#/d2xvmgj