Category Archives: Digital Imagery

How to Photoshop 12 Famous Landmarks into One Image

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MapMe is a story map platform that creates itineraries, guides and events in a completely interactive way. The company was looking for a compelling image for their home page that would represent their app.


————————I began with a sketch (above) to roughly show how I envisioned this. My concept was to create a 3D map of the world that would include many famous landmarks, which would be linked to show some of the product features.

As soon as Philippe Lang, MapMe’s CEO, approved my initial sketches, I let my imagination run wild in my favourite playground – Photoshop! I was given a list of items that should be included: city symbols such as the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, and rural areas such as mountains, sea, and lakes.


I began my task by looking for an aerial photo upon which I could base the image. I’m from South Africa originally, and like everyone from Cape Town, I am proud of the city’s exceptional beauty. When I saw this image, I immediately loved it because at the beach on the right is the seaside neighbourhood where I grew up. (If I look really carefully, I can even see our wooden bungalow, so this is a very nostalgic backdrop for me.)


I needed to create a sense of 3D space that would span from sea level to the highest mountain peaks. Keeping the bottom of the Cape Town image, I pasted a snowy mountain in the background and added grassy plains and a village in between.

Fields and forests were added, as well as a mountain from China and part of the sugarloaf from Rio. A cableway was created on the Swiss alp, and a desert area for the pyramids. To make the overall picture believable, I had to choose photos where the sun shines on the mountains from the same direction.

The composition changed a lot during the month that it took me to complete this. City and rural elements were added and removed, depending on what looked better and what seemed implausible. There were many changes and retouches to the mountain slopes, reflections on the water, and the merging of it all together.

Here are some of the closeups with more detail:

And here is the final image. Check it out here.