Start by finding yourself a photo that you wish to use. I am using an image that i took at the Eden Project in Cornwall during Bulb Mania 2007 using a Nikon D40. Ive uploaded the original image for you to use for the purposes of the tutorial. If you wish to use the image on your website or in any other form please request permission before you do so.
Notice i have selected a portion of the image that i want for the tutorial using the Marquee Tool (M).
By holding shift you can create a square as i have below. Then using apple-c followed by apple-n, enter, apple-v I enter my selection into a new doc. (ctrl-c, crtl-n, enter, ctrl-n on Windows)
So here is my starting image:
Now we are going to duplicate the image by right clicking on the layer in the layers pallet and selecting duplicate.
Next we apply the mosaic effect to the duplicate image layer:
Filer > Pixelate > Mosaic | Size of mosaic cells should be set to your preference. Personally i used 15px.
Now to create the transition we must first set our foreground colours to black and white. You can do this by pressing D.
Next click on the Add Vector Mask button under the layers pallet. It looks like this:
Now select a Fill Gradient Tool from the toolbox. You may have to click and hold on the fill bucket to see the option.
Finally set the gradient to go from black to transparent using the dialog at the top of the screen. It is normally the second option on the list you can access by clicking the gradient image.
To achieve the effect simply drag across the image. I dragged from right to just passed the middle. You can play around until you are happy.
I finished off the image by adding some text. The font used is called Chalet – often some well placed text can make and image so choose carefully!
To create a blur behind the text i again used the Mosaic technique.
First copy the text layer(s), then move them behind the original text. Next use the Filer > Pixelate > Mosaic tool to create a size you like.
It is worth noting that you can have more than one gradiated transition per image by holding the shift button while dragging.
You may also wish to use non linear gradients which you can select from the dialog in the top right.