Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Author: Linda (Page 1 of 15)

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.

More Brush Play

Fall isn’t quite here yet in Nebraska, but I looked back in Lightroom for some photos that I captured a couple of years ago because I love fall here. These photos remind me that looking up through a canopy of leaves to find the sky is a photo perspective that I have neglected. My Sunset Red maple tree is large enough this year for me to photograph from below the canopy when the leaves begin to change in November.

I’ve been working a lot with brushes and began this page playing with Anna’s new PaintedLeaves No. 3. I stamped brush 6 in brown on a new layer and clipped solid paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Amidst. I then duplicated the brush layer and recolored it a blue.

Note: I attached the layer masks after I placed the frame so that I would know where to erase.

Initially I experimented with adding leaves from a photo of my Sunset Red maple tree, but the color didn’t work. I then roughly extracted the leaf from transfer 1 using a layer mask. I duplicated that extraction, placed it over the brush stains and gave each a color overlay with the styles panel in order vary the color of each leaf. I added a drop shadow to each extraction.

At this point, I moved the psd layers of file 3 from MultiMedia Accordion No. 1 on to my document and enlarged the layers about 20%. I clipped a photo to each mask before masking out some of the brush and transfers on the left. I adjusted the exposure with levels adjustment layers.

I then placed overlay 3 and three copies of transfer 6 (rotated) from ArtPlay Palette Amidst behind the photo frames.

To fill in more white behind the frames, I placed all but one of the layers of Artsy Transfers Notabilia that I had used on my previous layout.

I finished my page by adding the leaf word art from Autumn WordART Mix No. 3, a leaf from the ArtPlay Palette Amidst, and a stem from MultiMedia Accordion No. 1.

What I like most about this layout is that my eye still focuses on the vibrant photographs.

Artsy Transfers


Sometimes, I simply like to create something unexpected with a photograph. My favorite products for playing when I’m in one of these moods are Anna’s artsy transfers. I try not to make it too complicated, but I enjoy experimenting by combining a couple of different psd artsy transfers on one page. You wouldn’t think transfers from such different palettes would blend together, but they can.

I placed most of the layers of psd file 5 from ArtsyTransfers Notabilia.

Below those layers, I placed all of the layers of psd 5 from ArtsyTransfers Shine.

This is what the two look like combined.

To the white paint layer of the artsy transfer, I clipped an extraction of a flower to which I had applied a paint effect in Topaz Impression. I flipped that layer and placed it below.

To finish my page, I added a custom shadow to my flower extraction, the foliage from ArtPlay Palette Notabilia, splatters from Splatters No. 3 and several threads.

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Summer’s End

No one stood behind the counter as I signed my name on a paper for an evening photography class at Lauritzen Gardens early in September. What a wonderful experience to search for light in a late summer garden, especially on the warm yellows. Pretty, isn’t it. I’m going back in October for another evening class to see what’s blooming.

For me, Anna’s FotoInspired templates are perfect for my photos. All I need to do is clip my photos to the masks, adjust the exposure by adding level’s adjustment layers and then add a bit of paint and/or a multimedia flower to finish a page. I used template is from FotoInspired Template Pack No. 2G for this page.

I’ve explained before how I clip my photos to the masks. I thought that for this post, I would share how I add adjustment layers to my photos. Rather than duplicate the photo, I clip a level’s adjustment layer to the photo. I do make basic adjustments for  color balance, whites, blacks, exposure, clarity and vibrance in Lightroom before exporting my photos to a layout. However, once I have all the photos together I often find that I need to refine the adjustments more so that all the photos work together on a page.

First, I press option (alt on PC) plus the icon for adding a new fill or adjustment layer at the bottom of the layer’s panel. I select levels and then a pop up window appears. In the space for name, I type the blend mode I want to use, in this case overlay. I check the box to clip it to the photo and choose the blend mode from the drop down menu at the bottom of the window. I adjust the opacity of the layer after pressing ok.

Note: I often add an overlay or soft light blend mode with a levels adjustment to increase the contrast on my photos.

For this photo I left the opacity at 100%.

Because the photo still looked a little dark, I again pressed option and the adjustment icon and chose levels again. This time, I chose screen blend mode in order to lighten the exposure. Yes, I could have done the same with the camera raw filter, but this is quick and adjustable.

For this photo, I reduced the opacity on the screen adjustment layer to 40%. In combination with the overlay adjustment layer, that seemed to be enough. I use the number keys to quickly adjust the opacity. This is the only photo on this page that needed an exposure adjustment.

To most of the other photos, I added an overlay adjustment layer. The opacity for these was set anywhere from 40 to 70% depending on how it looked. I pressed a number key to adjust.

To finish my page, I stamped splatters from Splatters No. 1 and paint from ArtsyPaint No. 9 on new blank layers. I placed the psd layers of file 5 from MultiMedia Spring No. 3, recoloring two layers of the petals and adjusting the opacity. I placed a transfer from ArtPlay Palette Sol behind my journaling and added a title.

FotoInspired templates are so easy to use and perfect for focusing on the photographs in a simple artsy way. I prefer adjustment layers because they use less memory than duplicating a photo layer. That keeps my file size smaller. I’ve just finished one more page for my flower book.

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Variety of Greens

There is usually a story behind every photo made. In this case after walking in the warm sunshine my sister, Glenda, and I enjoyed a salmon salad at the Farmhouse, a lovely open air bistro on the grounds of Roger’s Gardens. I suppose a photo of the salad might have marked our day better than these fake succulents, but this trip was filled with work days helping my daughter move. Once we found a little shade, I helped my sister photograph these with her new camera. Sometimes, I simply take what I get and fill in the details of the story in order to document an event. Sometimes, I just want to remember a time together.

This was a very simple layout to put together using Anna’s new release. I actually chose this photo to document our lunch based on the color scheme of the new ArtPlay Palette Notabilia. I placed transfer 1 from the new artplay palette on a new blank document and blended my photo into the transfer using an inverted layer mask.

Note: I adjusted the color in my photo with a hue and saturation adjustment layer, but I learned a valuable lesson on color as I worked with this page.

Next, I placed the layers of psd file 2 from MultiMedia Documents No. 2 to create a frame effect around my photo. I switched out the flower with one from the artplay palette and added word art from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I clipped an extracted copy of the same photo I had clipped to the transfer to the paper layer for the document multimedia file.

While I liked the photo on the multimedia document, I did not think there was enough interest on my page. I then opened Artsy Layered Template No. 255 and dragged the layers below my multimedia layers and turned them off. First, I moved the frames, text boxes, splatter and art stroke above the document layers but below the succulent element, thread and word art. I reduced the size of the frames slightly and recolored them an off white. The white frames appeared too stark with the color scheme. I wrote my journaling and added a subtitle from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I could have left my page as below, but it appeared incomplete to me.

I began turning on the template layers that I had grouped below the multimedia layers. I recolored some stains, adjusted the blend mode and deleted some layers until I though I had created a soft background for the document file. I especially liked the look of the textured paper on the left with the paper in the document file.

I though I was finished with this page, until I looked again at the lack of variation in color on my page. So I reopened the file, adjusted my framed photos a little more, recolored some of the template stains and reduced the opacity.

I like the more natural variety in greens on this page much better now. Too much matching of color is not always a good thing.

Perspective

What I see as I look through my camera lens isn’t always what my artist side puts on a layout. Often, I don’t even know what a piece of art will look like until I begin experimenting. However, that’s the joy I find in creating, finding a different perspective than what I initially saw in my camera.

For this page, I began with a photo that I captured last week and file 4 of MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. After working with my photo, I clipped copies to the different layers.

Next, I extracted the gates to the Victorian Garden from another photo and placed that over the first photo. While I liked the look, I didn’t think it looked as artsy as I wanted.

So I created a composite by pressing the keys command + option + shift + 6.

I turned off my composite temporarily and placed brush 1 from Cameras No. 4 on my page and changed the blend mode to linear burn.

I used the Elliptical Marquee tool to cut a copy of the center of the lens on the brush. I placed the copy just above the original and filled it in more with brushes.

I reduced the size of a copy of my composite and clipped it to the copy of the brush lens that I had created.

Next I clipped a larger copy of my composite to the original camera brush.

I placed brush 7 from Camera No. 4 below and clipped another linked copy of the photo to it. I placed one more copy of brush 1 on normal at 40% normal blend mode.

To emphasize the lens of the camera brush, I placed two threads from UrbanThreadz No. 14 and one from UrbanThreadz No. 3. I stamped some splatters from Splatters No. 1 on new blank layers and positioned them on a diagonal.

To finish my layout, I added a title and journaling explaining why I created this piece of art. I think it important for my family to know why I create from a different perspective at times.

Artsy Flowers

Although I am behind on the course content for one class, I couldn’t resist Anna’s newest class, ArtsyFlowers. I love photographing flowers and thought this course might be just the thing I needed to create my own multimedia artsy flowers for the fotoinspired pages I am creating for a book on flowers. I began viewing Anna’s video lessons with this specific photo open on a new blank document in Photoshop. As Anna demonstrated the process with her photo, I applied her techniques with brushes, transfers and textures using my photo. I learned that while my process involved more layers for my flower type, I could repeat with the same materials on the different petals. Basically, once I had a couple of petals done, I knew what to do to get the same look on the rest of them.

Below is what my finished multimedia flower looked like. It is a combination of materials provided by Anna for the course, as well as two other brushes, a transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer, some artsy stains, threads from UrbanStitching Misc No. 1 and file 8 from UrbanStitchez No. 1. I also added a few splatters. Once I finished my artsy flower, I wanted to use it on a page.

I placed the layers of template 1 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1. I placed my flower over the fotoblendz mask and deleted it from the layers panel. I duplicated the photo twice and clipped it to the small frames, extracting the petals from one frame edge. I tacked down one frame with file 4 from UrbanThreadz No. 7.

I then began turning back on some of the template layers that were above the fotoblendz mask that I had deleted. I clipped the same transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer or recolored the stains. I added a few splatters.

Finally, I rearranged the position of the stains that were below the fotoblendz mask and again clipped a copy of the coneflower photo or the same transfer from ArtPlay Palette Vintage Summer, moving them around to ensure nothing looked the same.

Not only did I love the course content for creating my own artsy flower, but I used one idea from the course for reshaping stains on the template to better fit with my needs. I will be using the course content again. In fact, I think I’m going to rework what I did with some pansies first. ArtsyFlowers is definitely worth the time to explore if you are into photographing flowers.

Eight Years and Two Days

Born eight years and two days apart, it’s hard to imagine that Owen, my oldest grandson, and Kate, my youngest grandchild, will be close. Yet, every once in a while I capture a photo of the two of them together that tells me that with time they will have a closer relationship. Since they had a shared family birthday party this year, I decided to create one page for the event.

I began this 24×12 inch page by extracting Kate from the photo and giving her a custom shadow. I then clipped copies of photo to the psd layers of mask 1 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 7. I also extracted my grandson Owen so that I could replace the background in that photo with solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul and overlay 1 from ArtPlay Palette Whizzo when I clipped it to png mask 3 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 7. I positioned the two photos so that they were facing in opposite directions to support my journaling. Once I had the two focal photos positioned, I went back to Lightroom to find that one photo I remembered of the two of them together.

Note: The dot overlay over the solid paper from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul was easier to manipulate so it matched the dot spacing on solid paper 6 from ArtPlay Palette Whizzo. Owen’s shirt was actually green, so I gave him a gray blue shirt instead with a hue and saturation adjustment layer.

I dragged the layers of template 16 in Travel Template Album No. 3 on to my document. I extracted my grandson and granddaughter, substituting another copy of the gray paper with overlay 1 for the background below the photo and clipped all three layers to the fotoblendz mask. I again added a hue and saturation adjustment layer to the photo to change the color of my grandson’s shirt.

Next, I deleted the frames from template 16 because there were too many of them in the arrangement for balance on my two page spread. I kept the template’s stains and text boxes. I replaced the frames with a frame set from template 7 in Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1. I dragged the frames over to my page and clipped my photos to the masks. Rather than change the color of my grandson’s shirt, I converted the photo to black and white with an adjustment layer. That also created a rest stop on the right side of the page.

Note: Once I knew the shape of the frame arrangement I needed, it was easy to look for a replacement that would work below the fotoblendz mask and have the correct photo orientation.

I moved one text box to the left and adjusted it’s size to fit the space for balance. I repeated the pink and gray in the stains before adding file 7 from UrbanStitchez No. 2 to ground my granddaughter.

For a little birthday fun, I stamped three line drawing brushes from eA Birthday No. 1. I added color to the brushes with some of the balloon stains from WaterColorBalloons No. 1 and ArtsyStains No. 2. I added my title and their ages. With a sticker, button and thread from ButtonThreadz No. 3, I finished my layout.

I, of course, captured a lot more photos of the party, but I don’t think I needed them all to tell this story. Despite the difference in age between my grandchildren, I hope that one day they will enjoy this memory of their shared birthday party.

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