Using a Single Photo Across Multiple Layers in PS

I love the look of one photo being sliced up into different pieces.  It's been an effect floating around the digital scrapping world for a while, but I still don't tire of its look.

Here's a short tutorial and idea guide about how to create the effect of one photo spanning across multiple layers in Photoshop.

You can use a template, like I did in the layout below.  I used a photo template by Dawn Inskip that contains 3 stacked photo masks, 3 borders, and a ripped edge, each with individual drop shadows.  To retain the shadowing, ripped layer, and borders, duplicate the same photo, without repositioning it (in Photoshop, hit Cmd J on the highlighted layer), and clip each photo to the respective photo layer (making sure not to move the photo up, down, or side-to-side on the page -- Photoshop shortcut Opt+Cmd+G).  If you're satisfied with the results, you can simply merge the layers together when you are finished (Cmd+E).

An easy, easy way to achieve the same look is by using a multi-photo frame across a single picture.
Actions can also help you achieve the look in a snap.  Wendy Zine has Photoshop actions that will "cut and cluster" a single photo in one quick action, slicing the image up and adding a stroke (border) and shadows (see the image below, and the first image in this post).  You can choose from multiple variations of arrangements in this action.

Wendy also has an action that will stack a single photo, which has a subtle effect, similar to the first layout above.

Another simple but eye-catching way to span photos across two frames is just to mask off portions of the photo behind a double-frame element, and combine it with two different views of the same image. That's exactly what I did in this page, below.  I added a layer mask to the photo, and using a brush, painted black on the mask to hide portions of the image.  In addition, I used a sketch action on the same photo, and placed it beneath the framed picture.  I kept both the sketched image and the photograph the same size / scale, so they were easy to layer seamlessly one on top of the other.
WendyZine SketchIt action, Studio Digilicious Travelbug kit
Clipping a single photo to a set of merged layers in a template is an additional way to achieve this effect.   This works well when layers are not overlapping and there is distinct space between layers.   In the template I used below, there was a space for at least four images.  Instead of clipping one photo into each slot, I selected the four photo placeholders and merged all four layers together into one layer (in Photoshop, highlight layers in Layers Palette to select and hit Cmd+E), and then I clipped my single photo across the four photo positions.  Simple!

Do you have a favorite way of combining photos on a page?