Category Archives: Photography

Cascading Children(Child)


I do not have quadruplets!

When looking through old pictures I found some shots I had taken of my son taking a trip down the slide at a local park.  These were taken with a simple Kodak point and shoot camera using the “sport” mode of the auto settings.  I decided to combined them with some old photo editing software to show his entire trip down the slide in one picture.

A couple notes on taking the actual pictures:

  • DO NOT MOVE!  It is important for lining everything up.  If you move, you may still get good shots of your subject (my son in this case) but it will be very hard to line everything up with the background.
  • Start holding the button down early and hold it longer than you think you will need.  This will ensure that you have all the shots you need to combine into the final picture.  My first shot at this did not have enough pictures of the beginning of his trip down the slide.
  • Choose your shooting position wisely.  Yeah… that is my leg in the bottom left part of the picture…

Combining the pictures:

Pick 3 or 4 pictures where there is enough “movement” in between the subject that you can see you subject clearly in every layer.  If you choose too many pictures or there isn’t enough space, all you will really see of the subject is the last picture.  There is no fancy technique I used to do this… just lined all the pictures up side by side in order and picked out the ones that looked like they would go together well.


The 4 photos I am combining: These were chosen out of the 8 pictures that the sport mode took . There is good spacing and you should be able to see him well as each photo is layered.

Your “base” layer will be the picture at the beginning of your cascade.  In my picture, I used the one with my son at the top of the slide.  Every subsequent layer will have the background (mostly) erased so you can stack your subject on top of the previous layer.

As you are erasing the backgrounds in your pictures, pay attention to shadows (you don’t want to erase those) and look for lines or objects that can be used later to line everything up on the base picture.  I recommend just leave a little portion of the background to line things up.  I used the horizontal and vertical lines of the slide as a good reference to line the layers up with the base image.  Don’t worry about leaving little background pieces because you can go back and erase them later.

Last picture with the background erased. Notice that I left the shadows and some "pieces" of the background near his feet to help line the layer up.

The last picture with the background erased. Notice that I left the shadows and some “pieces” of the background near his feet to help line the layer up.

After all the backgrounds are erased, copy and paste each image as a new layer on top of your base image.  You may need to zoom in to move your layers around to precisely line them up.

Merging the layers

Merging the layers

Once all your layers are in place, hide all the layers except one to go through and do final touch ups including erasing any little background pieces you left for lining up your layers.  Repeat for each layer.  I also used a “softening” tool to go around the edge of each layer.  This helped blend the images together a little better so there were no sharp lines where I had erased the backgrounds.  Now you are done!  Save or export your image and do whatever you want with it.

(I am probably the last person to give photo advice… but I thought this was a fun project.  I am sure people with actual photography skills could do some very cool things like this)

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