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My question is regarding integrating an island image onto an ocean image. I already cut the island out and I have a nice clean edge on it. It seems to pop out a bit however.

Even when I used an exposure mask and burn/dodge tools to integrate it better with the lighting it still seems to kind of pop out. My question is should I put a feather on the edge maybe? Or maybe should I have some blue from the ocean spill over onto the edges so it looks more like a part of it? What techniques do you guys usually use for this sort of thing? enter image description here

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    Hi Tyler Dahl, welcome to GDSE, we use to work with images, beyond your good explanation of what you did and how you want to get, the best is to put an image. For example what you have, what you have arrived at and what you want to achieve. Here we can describe endless effects of how to place an island into an ocean and none of them may fit your work. – Danielillo Sep 5 '18 at 14:42
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    Tyler, we'd love to see what you've achieved so far, and then we can weigh in with suggestions based on your identified workflow trouble... at the moment, sight unseen, it could be lighting, it could be colour balance, it could be relative image sharpness, it could be basic contrast or exposure... all these uncertainties will be clarified if you post your current WIP (work in progress) image! – GerardFalla Sep 5 '18 at 15:33
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    @GerardFalla thanks for the comments guys. Sorry for late response, was at work all day. Above is what I have so far. It's kind of a messaround to learn things but when i look at the image something just seems off with the edges. Thanks! – Tyler Dahl Sep 6 '18 at 1:25
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While it won't be perfect the first thing to fix is commonly called fringing. This is particularly noticeable on the leaves on the far left.

A very basic solution is to try to use the Defringe and Remove White Matte options both of which are found under Layer → Matting

A higher level method is to mask it out a bit better manually. It can depend on how you originally made it but if you have a mask then you can go through and use the burn tool over the edges to smooth it out quite a bit. I made a video going through this step by step a while ago that you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIpaMwBEQL0

As a beginner I would suggest starting with the Defringe and then just using a soft brush to erase parts followed by a curves adjustment to better match the background.

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