Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Category: Scrapbooking (Page 1 of 13)

Photograph Art

After a wonderful visit with my sister last week, I’m just now beginning to work with some of the photographs that I created while in California. Although my art primarily emanates from my photography, at times, a page is inspired by both the photograph and the designs with which I work. In this case, the greens in Anna’s palette inspired me to use this photograph.

I began by placing artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Heath, but soon switched it out for solid paper 2 in order to eliminate the sky. I placed transfer 1 in the same position as on the artsy paper.

Next, I created a sketch of the photo and clipped it to mask 1 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 11. I changed the color of the mask to white to accommodate a blend mode of linear burn on my sketch.

Above the sketch, I clipped the photo, added an inverted layer mask and revealed the color photo by stamping on the mask with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 8. The photo layer is on normal blend mode at 100%. I added a levels adjustment layer above the photo on overlay blend mode to brighten the photo.

Next, I roughly extracted the pagoda from a second copy of the sketch and placed it above the other photo layers. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 100% but I did not clip it to the mask. That allowed the pagoda to dominate the scene since it wasn’t clipped to the mask. I also place art stroke 1 above the group of photo layers.

With the addition of a title and text from Inspire WordART Mix No. 1, a button and leaf from ArtPlay Palette Heath, a thread 14 from ButtonThreadz No. 1 and some journaling, I finished my page.

Initially I struggled with where to place the journaling, but after I extracted the pagoda so that it rose above the masking, I though it provided enough balance to place the little cluster, text and word art on the right side. I like that the photo still dominates the page.

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On a Flight

On my flight to California, I created this page with Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Lavaliere. I’m in California celebrating a birthday with my twin sister, so you are more likely to see photos rather than pages on my blog this week.

I began this page by placing solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Lavaliere as well as the layers of file 4 from MultiMedia Lock and Key No. 1.

Note: I adjusted the color of the lock by clipping a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer to the group of file 4 layers. I also later added a layer mask to erase a part of the image so that it wouldn’t interfere with my photo.

Below the multimedia file layers, I stamped two copies of brush 4 in Lock and Key N0. 1 in a warm pink and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 100%. I added glow 2 from LoveGlows No. 2 and changed the blend mode to color at 100%.

I then placed a photo of my granddaughter between the lock and the brush layers and blended the photo into the background paper. I duplicated the photo and I extracted her with the Magic Wand tool before giving her image a custom drop shadow.

Next, I placed the layers of file 4 from Artsy Transfers Lavaliere. I adjusted the color of the transfer layer with a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer. I placed glow 1 from ArtPlay Palette Sun Fun on color burn at 100% to brighten the right corner.

Note: I added a Levels adjustment layer to the solid paper at 50% on screen blend mode. I also went back to adjust the blending of photo layers.

Finally, I added a title and journaling to finish my layout.

While working on this layout, I thought about what Anna shared in her AnnaNews email this week regarding changes she’s making in order to make more progress on the things she wants to accomplish. I think my art play was a great use of my time on the flight to Los Angeles even if I forgot to put on my AirPods so I could listen to some of my unfinished coursework while I played. That’s what I intended to do. Maybe on the flight home I will.

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Winter Walk

Hundreds of geese strutted in the fresh snow coverng the ground as we walked around Lakeside Park. There were even a few ducks. And my granddaughter, Kate, did everything a girl normally does in the snow: footprints, snowballs, snow angels and chased the geese. I’m going to make a two page spread with some of the other photos that I captured Thursday afternoon, but in the meantime, a new brush set by Anna Aspnes inspired my artplay this morning.

I began this page by stamping brush 6 from Trees No. 3 in a dark green in normal blend mode at 100%.

Next, I extracted Kate with the Quick Selection Tool. I added a black and white adjustment layer to erase the photo’s blue tones in her shadow across the snow. I gave her body a custom shadow and created two sketches of the photo to reconstruct her shadow from the original photo. I then added a levels adjustment layer and changed the blend mode to soft light at 50%.

To bring in the geese that Kate chased, I placed a photo below, resized it and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 100%. I added an inverted layer mask and brought back in just the geese with a brush.

Note: With linear burn blend mode, the white background disappeared, making it easy to bring back in only the geese, but it necessitated the use of two adjustment layers to lighten the geese.

To create the snow effect, I stamped several brushes from SnowSpray No. 4 in black. I then used an old Gesso style that I had. That turned the brushes white and added  dimension to the snow.

Next I placed the layers of psd file 5 from Artsy Transfers Brumal. I deleted two layers and recolored the stains a pink to match Kate’s jacket. I also stamped stain 6 from ArtsyStains No. 5 in the same pink on the left side of the page. I changed the blend mode to hard light just as the stain in the artsy transfer was.

To finish my scene, I placed glow 2 from FotoGlow Mix No. 1 and changed the blend mode to luminosity at 100%. I also placed a pink button from ArtPlay Palette Love Story, color adjusted with a hue and saturation layer, to balance my granddaughter and add a little dimension. I tacked it down with thread 5 from ButtonThreadz No. 3.

With a title and journaling, I finished my page.

I enjoyed every minute of my artplay this morning.

One Photo and an Artsy Paper

We were out playing Pokemon Go yesterday when I saw these geese, most sitting on the ice surrounding a few swimming in an unfrozen circle of water. That geese even winter here surprises me considering how long our cold winters are, but they do. Bill stopped the car and I jumped out with my iPhone in hand. The scene was beautiful as the sun was setting, although I don’t think my snapshot did justice to the view.

In this post, I share how I enhanced the color of one iPhone snapshot before clipping it to masks in order to blend it into an artsy paper from Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Brumal.

Enhance Photo

Drag the photo onto a new blank 12×12 document. Resize to fit the page. To enhance the photo, duplicate the original and change the blend mode to Darker Color at 100%. Then reduce the opacity of the original to 75%. Add a Levels adjustment layer, blend mode Linear Light at 30%. Add another Levels adjustment layer, blend mode Linear Burn at 50%. Place a sketch layer above all the photo layers and change the blend mode to Multiply. Mask each layer as needed to emphasize and blend the color in the photo. Note: I created a composite of the layers to clip to a second mask.

Place Masks and Recolor

Place png masks 1 and 5 from Brumal FotoBlendz No. 1 just below the original photo. Note: I recolored the masks white so that I could use darkening blend modes on my photo, i.e. Color Burn, Multiply, Linear Burn.

Clip Layers to Masks

Clip the layers of photo to mask 1 and the composite to mask 5.

Place Artsy Paper

Place artsy paper 1 on Normal blend mode below the the photo layers. To intensify the color add a duplicate copy above on Multiply blend mode at 50%. Note: The design of the artsy paper creates a natural ending transition for the masks.

Add Glows

Above the photo layers, add the FotoGlow from file 7 of MultiMedia Branches No. 7 and glow 3 of WarmGlows No. 7 to enhance the setting sun in the photo.

Journaling, Button and Threadz

Add word art from Winter WordART Mix No 2, button from ArtPlay Palette Brumal, thread 5 from ButtonThreadz No. 2, thread 4 from HandStitchez No. 1. Complete journaling.

Not every page needs to be complicated to be effective. Sometimes one photo, a couple of glows and an artsy paper are enough.

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Christmas Colors?


It’s a tradition for me to hand my camera off and to sit with grandchildren on the fireplace for a quick snapshot at Christmas. This is my present to myself. Our Christmas isn’t fancy, just a meal together and watching the kids open gifts. From my perspective nothing more is needed to celebrate the birth of Christ than everyone being together again.

Having both Jeff and Jen together for Christmas this year brought back sweet memories of them as little kids. Hard to believe the black and white photo on the layout above was taken forty years ago. I miss those moments; maybe that’s why this Christmas with them both was so precious.

However, I struggled with this layout, specifically the colors. To begin, I moved two templates from Project Template Album No. 3 on to a new blank 24×12 document, I had already selected the photos I wanted to include on the page. I switched out the frames on the bottom left to accommodate the orientation of those photos.

Then I clipped my photos to the masks and frames. I wondered how I would create a Christmas page with the intense colors in our clothes. I tried changing the photos to black and white to help calm the page, but that didn’t look right either.

I finally settled on desaturating the color in each photo to soften the look a little. However, I was frustrated and walked away from this page for two days.

Returning to my page, I began experimenting with brushes to try to bring in more Christmas colors in an effort to tie the page together. I stamped a brush from Christmas Trees No. 1 on a new layer in a muted green in the gutter of the layout.

However, it wasn’t until a friend sent me a wreath that I knew how to solve my color problem. A bow from ArtPlay Palette Gentle Morning had been recolored a rusty red. That helped pull in the salmon pink of Kate’s outfit.

I sampled that color with the color picker and stamped brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 8 to fill in the background behind the photos. I adjusted the opacity and blend modes. I also added a button from ArtPlay Palette Merry Tree (color adjusted with hue and saturation layer) and ArtPlay Palette Joyeux and tacked them down with two threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2.

As much as I love these snapshots, the color scheme proved especially difficult for creating a Christmas layout. I have to admit that part of me wondered whether I should have reminded them to wear Christmas colors when I saw what I uploaded to Lightroom. I mean, it would have made for a prettier page if the colors were more harmonious. In the end, I can tell the snapshots on this layout were taken at Christmas. That’s enough for the individuals in my family!

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Christmas Memory

I captured this shot of Kate putting her letter to Santa in his mailbox when we went to see him recently. She had written a series of letters and signed her name on her letter to Santa. While Santa has her first letter now, I thought she might like to know how she was thinking about letters Santa, so I asked her to dictate to me a letter to Santa. I created a brush with her signature.

I created a sketch first and than applied a photo treatment to a copy of the original with Topaz Simplify. The sketch is on linear burn blend mode at 100%. The original below is at 5%. The first layer clipped to the sketch is on normal at 25%. The other layers clipped to the sketch layer are on soft light, screen and overlay at 100%. There is one more sketch layer above those clipped to the first sketch. That layer is on multiply at 50%. I gave that layer a custom shadow for depth.

Next, above the photo group, I placed transfer 5 from ArtPlay Palette Kitschmas and adjusted the red with a hue and saturation adjustment layer. Below the group of photo layers, I placed an art stroke and color overlay from the art play palette. Below that I stamped brush 1 from Kitschmas No. 1.

Solid paper 2A in ArtPlay Palette Kitschmas has little red Santas embedded in the pink background. I wanted those Santas but on a white background. To remove the pink but keep the red Santas, I used replace color under adjustments in the image menu. There are two copies on linear burn at 100%.

I also used the content aware tool to copy and move one little Santa to repeat the color motif under Kate’s signature.

That completed a simple layout about a Christmas memory.

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One Thing Led to Another

I went off by myself to Lauritzen Gardens on Friday. The staff creates a beautiful display each December with miniature trains, Christmas trees and Poinsettias. This year native little bluestem, goldenrod and Western meadowlark adorned the trees. The bird ornaments were cleverly made from paper plates. You would think that after nearly a five hundred shots, I would have captured everything. Unfortunately, it’s often not until I get home that I realize I should have tried a different perspective on a photo. There is always something new to learn in photography.

I would also like to be able to say that I purposefully created this page based on a preconceived design for the final product. I can’t. It was more a series of experiments that followed an initial idea to simply clip a photo to a mask and then extract the paper meadowlark for dimension.

Unfortunately, the page just wasn’t working in my mind. Rather than waste the extraction, I reduced the meadowlarks’ size and gave it a custom shadow. I placed some berries from MultiMedia Christmas Trees No. 2 just above his beak.

That first extraction led me back to Lightroom to find the tree decorated with paper meadowlarks in order to provide a context for the extraction. I clipped the tree to mask 5 in MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 6. I made some adjustments directly on the mask with blending brushes and attached a layer mask to eliminate a part of the mask.

Next, I extracted three more paper birds, gave them each a shadow and hung them on the tree.

To build the background, I stamped brushes 2 and 3 from WaterColor Trees No. 2. I clipped copies of the first photo I placed on this page and moved it around for variety in the trees’ color.

Below the trees, I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palette Joyeux on normal blend mode and hid parts using a brush on a layer mask.

Above the stamped trees, I placed the layers of psd file 3 from MultiMedia Holiday No. 4.

I could have left the page asymmetrical in design but chose to recreate the horizontal design of artsy paper 3, I placed the layers of transfer 4 from Artsy Transfers Joyeux as well as pieces from transfers 1 and 3 on the left and below the focal tree.

Finally, I placed the title from Holiday WordART Mix No. 7 in the space on the upper left to balance the journaling. This page is busier than I normally like, but when I turned off parts, it didn’t look right to me.

I usually find it helpful to try turning off and on parts in the layers panel if a page isn’t working or looks cluttered. I did that several times during the process of creating this page. Rather than labor on this any more, I’m going to let it go and move on to working with some of the other photos that I captured on Friday at Lauritzen Gardens.

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Santa Got a Hug

As I shared Saturday afternoon, Kate, Corbin, Jeff and I set off to see Santa at Mulhall’s Nursery. It really was a lovely display, complete with a big chair for Santa and his guests, a Christmas tree and letters periodically dropping through a mail slot on the wall right into Santa’s burlap bag. Kate and Corbin had a thoughtful conversation with Santa before posing for some individual photos per Kate’s request.

The light for photos was perfect. I thought I had captured everything and began to lower my camera. I smiled as I watched Corbin switch from giving Santa a high five to giving him a hug instead. By that time, I realized I had missed those shots as I fumbled with my camera. However. next to me stood my son, to whom I had given my iPhone. His first words were, “you know this video is only a little over two minutes,” but two very precious minutes that told a sweet story in my mind.

All of the photos on the right side of this two page layout are from that iPhone video. Those on the left, I captured with my Fuji X-T2. You may be wondering how I got stills from a video. I found the easiest way to do that was to open the video full screen on my computer and make screen shots of the clips that I wanted to include on my layout. On my Mac, the keyboard command is command + shift + 4 and drag the crosshairs over what you want copied.

Note: I blended out a head or arm on some screenshots by adding inverted layer mask to a second screenshot that I clipping to the original.

To simplify my process, I placed template 17 on the left and template 18 on the right. Both are from Project Template Album No. 3. I deleted the numbers and rotated and adjusted the position of a couple of frames and masks. I also cut and pasted the threads to accommodate the changes I made on the template.

Next I clipped a focal photo to each fotoblendz mask as well as some stains and hipster plumes. I recolored some plumes and stains a blue to work with the color of my grandson’s shirt.

Note: there are copies of a screen shot labeled Floor Mask in the layers panel. I used those to mask out everything but a part of the floor I needed to be visible above the part I didn’t want.

I then clipped photos or video clips to the smaller framed masks. On one photo on the right, I added an extraction of my granddaughter above the frame and masked out parts of the white frame and shadow below.

To fill in the gutter for a page that will be part of a lay flat book, I placed a sketch of a photo of Kate dropping her letter for Santa into the mail slot. Because the photo only shows the top of her, I stamped brush 1 from Christmas Trees No. 2 in a green. I also added brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 6 and ArtsyPaint No. 8 below the frames in red. There are also two textures from PaperTextures No. 4 below the frames.

For dimension, I added a png version of MultiMedia Holiday No 2, file 2, as well as two more red buttons from the psd version, a pine from ArtPlay Palette Pine, a Santa from ArtPlay Palette Shabby Christmas and another from ArtPlay Palette Christmas Nostalgia.

On the upper left side, I dragged the layers of psd file 1 from MultiMedia Holiday No 2. I placed the title below the dimensional layers but above the stain, art stroke and splatter. I moved the greenery and resized the bow to accommodate placing my title inside the wreath.

Side by side, I really can’t tell any difference in the quality of the photos from the video and those with my camera. There is a little difference in the color balance, but I may be able to increase the saturation on my raw photos to decrease that. You can see it only in my grandson’s blue shirt. So I’m encouraged to use more clips from iPhone videos on future layouts.

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Forever Together

Anna’s latest release reminded me that next September will mark our 50th anniversary, yes 50 years living life together. Geese generally mate for life. In fact, if one mate dies, the other goes off in seclusion to mourn, often never mating again. I think Bill and I are a lot like these geese. We’ve been together for nearly fifty years. If he dies, I’m not going to choose another man. It would simply be too much work in my mind, not that our marriage hasn’t been good because it has. I just think that after 50 years, I’m too old for a second go around. I know that I’d never find a better man!!

I began this page by clipping a photo of a pair of geese to png mask 1 from Flock FotoBlendz No. 1. I added adjustment layers to improve the color and contrast of my photo.

Below the masked photo, I placed transfers 2, 3 and 5 from ArtPlay Palette Flock as well as overlay 1, 2 and the gold overlay to create a variation on an artsy paper as I explained in another post, Artsy Paper Play. In addition, I also placed artsy paper 2 just above solid paper 1. With an artsy brush on an inverted mask, I revealed part of the right side of the paper.

In the screenshot above, part of the tail of the goose on the right fades away into the mask. To solve that problem, I extracted both geese with the Quick Selection tool, gave them a shadow and placed both above the original photo. The extractions also add depth to the page.

Above the geese, I placed transfer 1 along the same line as the grass on transfer 3 which is hidden by the mask and photo.

I added the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Birds No. 2 just as they are provided in the set.

I created the title by erasing part of word art from Gather WordART Mix No. 2 and added a word that better fit my journaling.

Finally, I used three pieces of the grass, resized, a word label and a flower to create a small cluster to border the journaling.

This page came together quickly which was a good thing this weekend. I’ve been out playing Pokemon Go for the special Thanksgiving event in our beautiful weather and finally made level 37.

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A Colorful Sketch

This evening, I played with a mini palette, ArtPlay MiniPalette Jocund, that Anna will release free with a $20 purchase on Black Friday as part of Oscraps’ sales. I thought the gold and white would create a beautiful contrast for a colorful photo.

In Lightroom, I chose the sketch version of a Christmas tree photo. I altered the original photo on the right using a technique that Ulla-May shared. On my layout below, I had simplified the technique.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write down my exact steps at that time, so I hope viewing the video helps you create the effect on a photo of your own. Remember, you don’t have to use smart objects to get this effect so this technique works in Photoshop and Elements.

This was a quick layout because I had already given my photo an artsy sketch effect based on the video. I placed the layers of my altered photo below the frame on solid paper 2. I changed the blend mode of the grouped layers to multiply at 100%.

I placed lace 1 and 2, gold paint 2 and two copies of transfer 3 below the photo and frame.

I created a cluster with elements from the artplay palette and a piece of pine from ArtPlay Palette Pinery. However, my layout appeared unfinished to me.

So I placed a copy of tree sketch composite between the gold paint and two copies of transfer 3. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 50% and used a brush on a mask to conceal parts.

I hope you will play with Ulla-May’s technique to create a colorful sketch of your own. It really is easy.

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