Inset a photo in another

Here is an interesting procedure to inset, insert, or superimpose, a photo on another. This is certainly not the best, or easiest way, but it can be quick and handy.

Photo editing programs are the way to do this. There is a better way using Picasa, see my post How do I superimpose a photo on another one?

Windows Live Photo Gallery does not provide for such a task, but when a photo is opened in Paint other images can be easily pasted in.

Take these two photos. The detail image of the water iris is to be added to the scenic pond photo.

Approaching Storm

Water Iris

We want the inset to be at an angle. So how does one add this twist?

Word-P1Open the “base” picture in Paint. Open Office Word 2010 and insert the second photo.

The Picture Tools, effective when the inserted photo is clicked, offer a wide range of tools, effects, and options.

To allow moving the inserted photo around on the page, right-click on it, select Wrap Text and in the right menu click Tight.

With the picture selected, there is a “rotate” handle sticking out at the top. You can see it in the illustrations here.

When you move the pointer to the little colored circle a curved arrow will wrap around the tip of the pointer. This tells you that the rotate function is available. Move the pointer left or right to rotate the picture.

Approaching StormWhen you have the rotation the way you like it, release the mouse button. Press Ctrl+C to copy the rotated image.

Now go to Paint with the base photo. You may need to change the View so you can see all of the photo. Click the Home tab and click Paste – or just press Ctrl+V.

The pasted photo will be in the upper left corner. It likely will not be the size that you like. No problem. Just be careful not to click anywhere in the picture area. Click Resize. In the Resize dialog you can change the size of the inserted photo either by percentage – up or down, or by actual pixel dimensions. The imageillustration here shows the details.

No need to worry about the white area around the titled image just yet. Just get it to the right size first.


imageNext click on the down-pointing arrowhead below Select. Click on Transparent selection. the white areas will now be transparent.

Move the pointer over the inserted photo. It will change to the four-pointed drag icon and you can drag the photo around to position it exactly where you want it to be.

All this will take less time than you spent reading about it here.

Naturally, you can add more than one inset image using this procedure. When you have completed the process, be sure to save your new photo with “Save as” so you will not overwrite the original photo.

Here is my finished product.

Approaching Storm

By the way, the properties, or EXIF data, of the base photo will be retained in the composite. Not, of course, any information from the inserted images.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Fun with Food – pictorially speaking

Someone else started posting photos of food, the pictures looked so appetizing that I just had to wade in. Let me start with the menu:


LJK_3170-1024Let’s set the table.

The photos here are just for fun. As such no elaborate efforts were employed, not even a tripod. When flash was used, it was on-camera flash, with just a paper napkin as a diffuser in one of the shots.

Mind you, my dear reader, Café Ludwig is a blog, not a place to eat, so, no reservations, please.


LJK_3175-1024 LJK_3160-1024

How about spaghetti tonight? With a pleasant little chianti? Or maybe a chicken curry? Just a sandwich, perhaps? Or a “hurricane” dish – pantry food!

LJK_3177-1024 LJK_3183-1024

Oh, my, I used the same placement in two photos. Microsoft Word 2010 “Picture Tools” to the rescue:


The Background Remover needed just a little help around the plate – maybe a couple of minutes at most were spent on “lifting” the plate. A rectangle shape with a texture fill serves as the new placemat.

Using Picture Tools provides so many artistic effects that I couldn’t help playing with my food:

How about a couple of posters for Café Ludwig?




Ready for dessert?

LJK_3185-640 pudding-WA02 (854x1280) pudding-WA05 (427x640) pudding-WA09 pudding-WA08 (427x640)

Just one “fruit-on-the-bottom” pudding – all these artistic affects – you have also seen a version in the banner at the top. Microsoft Word 2010 shares these “Picture Tools” with Excel 2010, and PowerPoint 2010. Always handy when you want to play around with your photos – or your food. The banner was made only partially in Word, the capital letters were customized in Paint.

Bon appétit !


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


Making a photo greeting card – image editing and manipulating

Over on the other side of Café Ludwig you can see my Happy Holidays greeting post. Here I would like to tell about the process and tools I used to transform a photo into an abstract image. This also gives me the opportunity to introduce some newcomers to the concept of layers in photo editing. Layers is a powerful feature found in image editing programs. These programs can be intimidating because there is so much to learn to master them. For this project I did not use a photo editor at all, I used Microsoft Office Word 2010. This “text editor” has some great “Picture tools” that are simple and easy to use.

I started with a nice enough photo, but wanted to make the picture to be more like a painting. The “Artistic effects” tool called “Cutout” reduces the continuous tones into just a few shades. After trying several settings I liked the effect best with six shades. The resulting images was nice enough for me to use on greeting cards. For this project I wanted to do a little more. Here are close-ups of the candle in the photo. The first (left) image is the original photo, the second (middle) picture is the results from the “Cutouts” effect transformation. More about the third image a bit farther down.


I wanted to add a glow and light “spikes” around the candle flame. The glow should go behind the flame. When using terms like behind or above we come to “layers”. In Word it is quite easy to place one image over another one. That’s all there is to layers, one image over another. In “Picture tools” there are also tools for setting “transparency”. The first one I used was picking one color to be transparent. The third image (on right) shows the result when I picked the black color to be transparent. In this case the “white paper” is seen wherever the image had been black. stack

Now I could put this image over another and see the layer underneath wherever the picture had been black. Let me describe what I did in a little more detail. The picture on the right here will explain the steps and the layers.

I used the drawing tools to make a black rectangle. This would serve as replacement for the black that I had made transparent in the photo.

I made a smaller black rectangle and placed a blue radial gradient on it. You can see it at the right. I put this rectangle, or “layer” over the large black one in place so the center of the blue glow would wind up behind the candle flame. I then positioned the image layer over both of these.

The glow behind the candle was now in place.

I used drawing tools again to make a small four-pointed star. In Word you can freely rotate an image, so I set the angle to an orientation that looked good to me. The star was also filled with a gradient of yellow color. It is pretty hard to see in the “stack” illustration here. Placing that over the flame completely hid the details behind the star. This is where the “transparency” setting comes in. This setting is for the whole image, not for a single color as I used before. A transparency of 100% means that the image is like a sheet of glass with nothing on it. Set to 0% means that the image blocks everything behind it. At intermediate settings the image is more or less faded and allows details from a lower layer to shine through.

There was a little problem once I had the transparency just right for the spikes. The center of the flame was now covered with the star which showed detail. So I made a small oval shape, the size of the flame part that I wanted to be completely white. I placed this shape over the flame. That was a bit hard to do with a white oval – it was hard to see. So I made the oval red. You can see it just barely in the stack illustration. Once it was in the correct place I reset the color to white.

This completed the picture part of my project. I had made the black rectangle a bit smaller than the photo so the two candy decorations would hang out of the “frame”.

Word, of course, is great for text and text effects, so the “Happy Holidays!” message was easily added. Here is a view of the finished project.


I enjoyed preparing this image to wish you the best for this holiday season and for the year to come. Maybe my explanations also gave you some insight and ideas for your own enjoyment.