Randomly searching the web and I got this mind-blowing picture:

enter image description here

Accordingly, it says the the photograph didn't use Photoshop to do it. Even if it does, I want to ask how did it happen? Any idea?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the photographer just printed out a screenshot of the window on a piece of paper and then held it in front of his screen. However, I don't see why you link to a spam site with the word Accordingly. How is the link related to the question? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 6:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ actually that link is about trick photography. is it really a spam site? I've visited it awhile ago and there's some gallery of trick photographs in there. It's where I get the picture. Here's the link> trickphotographybook.com/?hop=242click \$\endgroup\$
    – Jez'r 570
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 6:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ The sitemaker claims to make you a creative photographer for $47 (limited offer). That's why I mentioned it's a spam site. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 7:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Photoshop is not the only image editing program in the world :p \$\endgroup\$
    – fortran
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please see this post about this type of photo-example question and edit the title and question to be more descriptive. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 9:01

4 Answers 4


Easiest way to do this:

  • Take a picture of your hand in front of the screen (framed larger than the screen)
  • Download the image to your computer, set as wallpaper
  • Drag a Notepad window where you need it
  • Take another photo of the screen contents (framed tighter than screen borders), or just take a screenshot (note that Windows tends to hide mouse cursor from screenshots)
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the picture you can see the arm clearly outside the borders of the screen and the icons in the taskbar are less sharp than the hand. I think these features can not be achieved with the method you propose. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 7:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Screen's borders and being out-of-focus would come from the photo taken in first step \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 7:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's a video tutorial at photoextremist.com/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Nir
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 7:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I originally voted this answer down because I misunderstood what it was saying, but now I see that it's 100% correct. This is how the effect is/was done. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tortilla
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 8:29

Here is the tutorial: Watch on YouTube. Got it from this Flickr page.

In a nutshell:

  1. Move all your icons off screen.
  2. Take a photo of your hand in front of the screen, making sure that you leave space around the edge of the monitor.
  3. Set the image as the background.
  4. Put all the icons back.
  5. Put a window (such as notepad) over your hand.
  6. Take another photo, but this time zoom in a bit and frame within your monitor.
  7. Have a beer.

Okay, the last is optional.

  1. The easiest method to be sure is to buy his dearer than I'm probably willing to pay e-book.

  2. He appaears to be "cheating" permissibly :-). Photoshop is equivalent to a set of cutting and drawing tools (albeit some rather good ones). He just used a real world cutting tool.

Occam says a camera and a printer are a good enough answer.

In the bottom image below there is no confusion because the hand and postcard are logocally related and having them placed in front of the screen makes sense (even if e don't know why it was done).

In the top image I'm holding a printed cutout of the original photo. I could as easily have sized it to make the result the same as the original, but shown like this it becomes trivially obvious what you are probably seeing.

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Occam's Razor states you don't even need a printer: 1) take a photo of your hand in front of your screen. 2) Set that as your desktop background. 3) drag Notepad window over hand 4) take screenshot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 9:24

I'll make this another answer to avoid confusing my above one.

His "method" has more value in its "how do he do that" aspects than in its practical utility.

A photograph IS necessary somewhere is the process in order to get the monitor external view so suggesting that it can be done "all internally" may be misleading.

  1. Note that the referenced tutorial uses a mixture somewhere between "my" method above and the all in-computer method - he does actually photograph the external screen after the overlay is added, rather than using screen capture.

  2. Yes, various people here are correct, once you have an external picture of a hand relative to a monitor it can all be done "in computer" and without using "Photoshop", PROVIDED that you are willing to accept the limitations of what can and cannot be put into a window.

The notepad windows and Irfanview windows can be positioned to achieve the sort of effects he has shown. BUT whatever borders that the application demands are unavoidable. If you have an application that will display a clean window, well and good (as long as you don't want eg rounded corners). And using a photograph or printout is excessively clunky. But it hardly needs photoshop to achieve the effect of choice far more flexibly that his method.

eg $0.00 Irfanview and much more will allow you to insert a "window" of text onto a screen captured image with far better control of edges, frames etc.

The picture below uses his method. My text ends here enter image description here


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