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Best way to tune a portrait shot


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I need to adjust a photo of a child sitting on adults knee in front of a portrait backdrop. What I did:

1. Used the lasso tool to cut out just the child and put on a new layer.

2. Created a new layer as a background, set a radial gradiant.

3. Merged the layers

The problem is blending edges. The result looks like I cut out the picture and glued it onto the background, and specifically the hair; since this was a closeup you can see the color of the old background through the ends of the hair and the body has a cut and pasted look to it.

What is the recommended way to do this? Any of the bluring effects don't seem to give the desired results, they just de-focus the edges but don't blend them?

This is my first use of paint.net so looking forward to hints and techniques!

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