Photoshop an Image of an LCD or Monitor

September 28, 2012

Here's a 4 minute Photoshop workflow on how I create a photo of any items with a screen, such as a tv, phone with an lcd, or anything with a display. Normally, taking a photo of a monitor, it's tough to see what's on the screen.  And exposing for the screen, would under-expose the other part of the photo.  Here I used Photoshop CS6 to combine the two photos: One photo of the workstation properly expose, and another photo of the screen itself properly expose.  I used a tripod to capture both photos.  Below is a summary of steps from the video above.

  1. Use the Rectangular Marque Tool (M) and make a selection around the properly exposure of the screen.
  2. With the Marque selected, duplicate the selection to a new layer Command+J (Ctrl+J).
  3. Use the Move Tool (V) and drag the duplicated screen layer to the properly exposure of the workstation.
  4. Click on the eye next to the layer to hide the screen layer.
  5. If needed, add the "Curves" Adjustment layer and drag the white triangle to the left.
  6. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the path around the outside border of the screen.
  7. Once the path have been drawn, go to the Paths Tab and "Save Path..." for any future changes.
  8. Right click on the saved path layer and choose "Make Selection...".
  9. Feather Radius could either be set to "0" or a low pixels of "2" is fine.
  10. Go back to the Layers Tab and reveal the screen layer that was hidden in step 4.
  11. With the selection selected, click on "Add layer mask".
  12. Click on the link between the screen layer and the new layer mask to break the link.
  13. Delete the "Curves" Adjustment layer if it was added in step 5.
  14. Click back on the screen layer and select the photo, not the layer mask.
  15. Command+T to transform the layer.
  16. Hold down Command (PC: Ctrl) and move each of the 4 corners to line up the screen layer to the monitor.
  17. Press Enter to commit the changes.