Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Month: October 2017

Thank you and Congratulations

More than a year and a half ago, February 4, 2016, in my first blog post, I shared some photographs at Balboa Island that I had made while in California celebrating a birthday with my sister. My first few posts dealt with photographs that I captured while in California, but on February 10, I wrote a post, On a Winter Morning, about how I created a digital scrapbook page combining those photographs with Anna Aspnes’ Designs. Since those first posts, I have written 140 more, a few dealing only with photography but the majority explaining how I create artsy scrapbook pages with my photographs. When I began posting, I had no idea whether anyone would be interested in reading the content, but I loved the idea of having a place to share photographs and how I use them to create digital scrapbook pages.

This evening, I would like to thank the first 100 readers who have subscribed to my blog and encouraged me with your comments and support.  As a thank you, Anna Aspnes has generously provided a coupon to her store for me to give to one reader. Thank you to Anna Aspnes for all her encouragement. After creating a randomized list, Marie will receive the coupon to Anna’s store. Congratulations to Marie!!

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Refining Skills to Develop Your Style

I was out playing Pokemon Go with my husband when I saw a staged display of different pumpkins and mums. I was focusing on just a part of the display with my iPhone when a mom stopped to coax her elementary age girls to pose for a picture. She was delighted when I asked if she’d like to sit with them while I took her picture with her phone. Today I gave what I’d have loved to have had, an informal portrait with my kids in front of a pumpkin display. I hope she posts it to her Facebook page.

With my quick photo, I created a page that reflects me, my style, my photography. I clipped multiple copies of a photo to the layers of file 3 from Evanescent FotoBlendz No. 1. To get the blue color, I applied a blue color overlay with the styles panel before separating it on a separate layer so that I could reveal the brown of the hay. I added a fill layer above that in brown on color blend mode to turn the yellow mums straw by hiding everything but the flowers on a layer mask.

Next, I placed solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent. On the right I added the layers of Artsy Transfers Evanescent 3. I turned off one layer.

On the left, I placed the layers of file 5 from Artsy Transfers Evanescent. I adjusted the position of my fotoblendz mask and photo layers as a group.

Inside the group of transfer layers, I placed psd file 2 from MultiMedia Pumpkins N. 3. I added a color overlay from the style menu to make the black fabric blue.

Next, I placed two additional pumpkin files from MultiMedia Pumpkins No. 3 to add to my pumpkin display.

With a piece of word art from Moments WordArt Mix No. 1 and a subtitle, I finished  my artsy page.

This page came together fairly easily. The only different technique I used was to give the pumpkins in my photo a blue cast. I’ve used color overlays on previous pages, but I’ve not recolored pumpkins blue. Yet, I think they look pretty with the blue in the multimedia pumpkins. Basically, I’m experimenting with color overlays; I’m using them in a different way.

I’ve been thinking about a statement that Anna made about the expectation that one needs to continually learn new techniques. While I am continually learning, it’s more about refining my skills with my camera, whether my iPhone or my Fuji X-T2. I don’t need a new camera, I need to get better at making photos with what I have. I think that in the same way I am perfecting my skills with the designs that I use to create my scrapbook pages. I enjoy the process of experimenting and figuring out what else I can do with Anna’s designs in combination with my photos. Rather than using a new technique on every page, I want to continually develop my style, to clarify the look I want on my pages. That may involve incorporating a new technique periodically, or applying a technique in a different way, but my creative process is more about refining my skills because they define my style.

 

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Choosing Background Paper

I arrived at Lauritzen Gardens about 5pm for an evening photography class that began at 7pm. I used the time before class to capture mums in the Victorian Garden and garden art in the Japanese Garden during the magic light just before sunset. What I couldn’t figure out was what I could capture after dark in an unlit outdoor garden without a flash, let alone the tripod that I forgot. Think about it, photography is all about light. Without it there are no photographs. Yet in the dark of night, I found a bit of light in the conservatory.

Inside the conservatory the white flowers under a light above stood out against the the darkness of the room and the black night outside the windows. If you look carefully at the small photo on the left, you can see the grid of the windows. With camera settings, 1/80 sec at f/2.4, ISO 6400, I was able to hand hold my camera securely enough to capture these white flowers. My instructor recommended I use auto white balance. This is one of the angles I tried as I walked around the large potted plant. If it hadn’t been for the light above I would not have been able to capture a photo.

Initially I tried masking the photo on the darkest black paper I could find, solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette City Limits, before I decided that I would finish this page quicker to use Artsy Layered Template No. 257. I clipped copies of one photo to several of the template layers. I masked additional copies that I had placed above other layers.

Once I knew that the template layers would work with my photos, I placed the black paper and made additional adjustments with levels adjustment layers. I recolored a few of the stains a lighter color to blend with the flowers. I deleted a couple of the template layers. I also added transfer 3, art stroke 2 and splatters from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent. I adjusted opacity and blended into the edges.

Next, I clipped my photos to the small frames. extending one photo into the frame below it. I lightened the white in the flowers with a levels adjustment layer on screen blend mode and used a brush on the adjustment layer mask to keep that part dark.

To finish off my layout, I added a button from ArtPlay Palette Evanescent, two threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2 and ButtonThreadz No. 3.

I generally use light backgrounds for my layouts, but occasionally a black background provides a better contrast for some photos. Using black paper with photos having a black background also made it easier to blend these night photos. In fact, blending is generally easier with paper that blends with the background color of photos.

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Simple Techniques and Basic Skills

When the kids spent the night recently, we walked up to our newly renovated neighborhood park. Kate’s been anxious to play there again now that the fencing has been taken down. It was a riot watching Corbin convince his sister that sand on a saucer swing made swinging even better. All I had with me was my iPhone, but I took some shots as they played, never thinking that I would use them to create a page. Yes, there are only photos about just a few moments at the park on this page, but for me they tell an important story about play between a big brother and a little sister.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with these photos. Initially, I dragged three of them on to my page. I knew I wanted one spanning the gutter of the page, so I would need to make some adjustments to a template. I added a layer mask to the photo and used brushes at various opacities to bring back the part of the photo I wanted to reveal. I changed the blend mode to multiply. I used another copy to extract my two grandchildren and the swing on normal blend mode and 100% opacity in order to make them stand out more from the background.

I followed the same process with the other two photos, using the lines of the sidewalk in the background and the mat in the front to line up the photos. It seemed more important that the scene flowed across the page rather than that the figures were exactly the same size. Remember, I was just playing around with my iPhone when I captured these photos. The color in my photos in the late evening light appeared too strong for me, so I attached a hue and saturation layer to each photo and reduced the saturation to blend them together better.

Next, I placed frames from two templates from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2. I made some adjustments in placement and size to fit my page design. I clipped my photos to the small frames and again added hue and saturation adjustment layers to reduce the saturation of each. I added the buttons for interest and depth.

I didn’t want more frames in the empty space below the center blended photo. So I imported another photo that showed more of the mat under the equipment. I used a paint brush on an inverted layer mask I attached to the photo to reveal enough to fill the space.

To recreate the sky in the photos, I added transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and ArtPlay Palette Summer Days. I attached inverted masks and blended away parts that interfered with the photos. I reduced the opacity, used hue and saturation adjustment layers to adjust the saturation and changed the blend modes to multiply.

I sampled the color of the mat under the equipment and stamped paint brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on new blank layers to extend the look of the playground mat. I used an opacity of 60% as I stamped on new blank layers under the framed photos. I stamped two splatters to finish my page.

A reader recently wrote a comment thanking me for sharing easy to use ideas. I am very grateful that she took the time to let me know that the ideas were helpful. I really don’t use complex techniques for my book pages. I blend and extract with my photos. I use templates (or parts of templates) and transfers. I stamp with brushes using the brush panel on new blank layers. I experiment with blend modes and adjustment layers on my photos. Having developed some basic skills with Photoshop makes my creative process much easier. I can’t say that I’m fast at creating my pages. I enjoy experimenting as part of my creative process so I’m not in a hurry. However, simple techniques and basic skills are the key to creating my pages.

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Artsy Paper Play

I missed getting out in the yard to capture some photos of my hydrangeas along the northeast wall. There was way too much happening this past summer. However, in some ways, I prefer the intensity of color that comes with the seasonal change. The greens turn rosy pink and the pinks darken to burgundy. I hate to cut them back for fall before they’ve dried out entirely. As soon as all the rain is over, I will go out to capture some more photos so that I can create a page for my flower book.

I often play with Anna’s papers by mimicking and rearranging her designs using the transfers included in each ArtPlay Palette. It’s simple way to learn about design from an expert. I started this page by placing artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Cider on a new blank document.

Note: ArtPlay Palette Cider is available for free with a $20 purchase during the sale.

Just above the artsy paper, I placed solid paper 2.

Above the solid paper, I placed two copies of transfer 1 on normal blend mode.

Then I turned off the solid paper and lined up the transfers with their placement on the artsy paper.

After turning back on the solid paper layer, I placed overlay 3, two copies of the gold paint (the top one on color burn to intensify the color), and two copies of art stroke 1. In essence, I used the basic design of Anna’s paper to create something different. I might add something more once the artsy transfers are available, but for the moment, this is enough.

Then I extracted a hydrangea, changed the blend mode to multiply and applied a filter. Next, I another copy of the photo on normal blend mode at 50%. I linked the two together and adjusted their position above transfer 1.

Above the extraction, I placed stains, the frames, text boxes, and thread from template 4 of Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2.

I clipped additional photo to the small frames.

To create more dimension, I duplicated the two copies and moved them above the frames. I extracted just enough of the flower and leaf to overlap on the frames. With a title from the artplay palette, I was finished with my quick and easy page.

I encourage you to experiment with Anna’s transfers to create your own version of artsy papers.

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Clipping Photos to MultiLayered Masks

In response to questions about how I clip copies of one photo to multiple layers of Anna’s MultiLayered FotoBlendz Masks I have created a short video. I often clip linked copies of one photo to multiple psd layer masks. I have also simply clipped parts of a photo to stains. In those cases I do not link the photo copies.

For a look at what I shared previously, see this post, Perspective, on the blog. You can find more of Anna’s clipping masks here.

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