I know that some people might be interested in how something like that is done, so let me devote a post to the process I used.
I suppose that a photo editing program like Photoshop would be a good choice for a project like this, but to be honest, I've never really gotten the hang of Photoshop, and it isn't necessarily a program that a lot of people would have unless they had a specific need for it. But Microsoft PowerPoint, which comes as part of MS Office, is a pretty common program, is easy to use, and has some capabilities that casual users might not be aware of.
My screenshot images below mostly come from the Mac version of PowerPoint, though I've used both Mac and PC versions. They look a little different - slightly different layout, etc. - but most of the basic commands and tools are the same (even if you might find them in a different part of the screen).
Step One - Insert a Photo:
You can take photos yourself, or download them off the internet. In this case with the head badges, a general Google search can turn up lots of examples. Searching for head badges for sale on eBay can turn up lots, too. If you're using downloaded images, save them to your hard drive so you can use them in PowerPoint.
The first step in creating a collage is to find the "Insert" tab, then select "Picture." That will bring up your browser, where you can select the photo you want to use.
Here's the first picture I'm going to insert in my sample project:
|Here, my first photo is inserted. When you double-click on the photo, you will bring up some picture formatting tools on the toolbar. For this step we want "Remove Background."|
|On the PC, the tools for Background Removal are in almost the same place. Again, the actual process is pretty similar.|
|When you select "Remove Background" you'll get this box around your photo. Adjust the box around the part of the photo you want to keep. The parts highlighted in purple will be removed.|
|Because the background on this photo was so neutral, and the contrast was so good, the background was eliminated very cleanly, with no adjusting necessary.|
Step Three - Rotate and Re-Size:
Step Four - Add Another Picture:
|Using the same process as above, I've inserted another picture. I'll have to go through the same processes as shown previously to remove the background.|
|The background on this head badge photo will be a little trickier to remove. The background is red, but there are also red details in the badge. I'll have to tell PowerPoint what to keep and what to remove, as it may try to remove too much.|
Step Five - Position the New Photo:
The background has been successfully removed from the Fuso head badge photo. Now I can position it where I want it in my collage.
Final Step - Save Your Picture:
As long as you want to keep adding photos, and making adjustments to your work, just keep saving the PowerPoint presentation as you normally would. But when it's completely done, you'll want to save it differently than the default setting. You want a picture file - not a presentation/slide-show.
|When your collage is finished, and you want to save it as a picture, pull up the "Save As" option under the "File" menu, click on the "Format" window and scroll down through the options. You can select .JPEG, or .GIF or some other picture file-type.|
|There we go - the finished product.|
|This was used in an article about my first set of hand-built wheels:|
A Bike Geek's Dream.
|This over-the-top-ridiculous composite was made for an article about spontaneously combusting bicycles. Caution: This Bike May Self Destruct. I used parts of about four separate photos.|
It's also worth noting that I added arrows and text to my instructional screenshots above using the same basic tools in PowerPoint, then saved them as .JPEGs.