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Tag: adjustment layer

An iPhone and a Template

 

When Corbin and Kate spent the night a couple of weeks ago, we walked down to the trees beyond the pond. All I had with me was my iPhone 6 to capture my grandson’s gallantry towards his sister as he helped her mimic whatever he did, including leaping over a little stream. I did warn them about getting wet if they fell into the water below. As you can tell by the photos, Kate was hesitant at first, but soon enough began directing her brother exactly where she wanted him to stand in order to help her. It was getting dark so I had to increase the exposure later in Lightroom. Some of the photos were a little blurry, something I accepted as part of making photos of active children with an iPhone, or any camera for that matter, as the sun was setting.

For this two page spread, I used two templates from Anna’s new album, Project Template Album No. 3. Note: I put a title in the place of a textbox on the template and deleted the numbers as well as the tape and hipster plumes.

First, I clipped photos to the large fotoblendz masks and stains below, adjusting the exposure with adjustment layers.

Next, I clipped photos to the small frames, again making adjustments to the photos with adjustment layers. Note: I changed two of the photos to black and white with Topaz Studio.

I then placed copies of three small photos above their respective frames, extracted my granddaughter and grandson with the Quick Selection tool and cleaned up the framing with a small hard brush on the layer mask created with the extraction.

I stamped stains from ArtsyStains No. 3 and ArtsyStains No. 5 below both templates for additional color.

For the gutter, I placed another photo and changed it to black and white with an adjustment layer. I then added an inverted layer mask to the photo and stamped with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 8 and ArtsyStains No. 3 to reveal just parts of the photo.

Finally, I added paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 and PaperTextures No. 5 to finish my page.

My layout was quick and easy to complete with the snapshots I captured that evening with my old iPhone. Digital scrapbooking can’t get much easier!!

However, technology changes quickly, definitely on phone cameras. Like my grandchildren, I made a leap too and bought a new iPhone X last week. I haven’t gotten to take many photos with it yet, but what I captured of Kate last weekend, see examples below, with the new portrait mode definitely show the technical improvements over my older iPhone. I don’t think the blur is as good as my Fuji X-T2, but if you look closely, you will see that the background is indeed blurred, much like you would get with a DSLR. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my new iPhone.

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Carving Pumpkins

One of my goals for this year’s book has been to look back in time on some pages, something I did on this one. The earliest photos were taken in 2008, a time when only Owen, my oldest grandson, was old enough to carve a pumpkin. By 2010, Logan carved a pumpkin and by 2012, Corbin, my youngest grandson, was old enough to get involved. I captured the photos of Kate yesterday.

Have you ever started a page but had to wait to fill in the remaining photos until you could make them? That’s what happened with this page, I had everything finished, I just needed to place photos of Kate carving her pumpkin on the layout. I actually could have created an entire two page spread with just photos of Kate with all the photos I made yesterday. However, I want the boys to have pumpkin carving photos to remind them of they’ve also had this experience.

I began this page in Lightroom, searching for photos of my grandchildren carving pumpkins. I made some adjustments in the develop module and then exported them to Photoshop. Note: Lightroom is especially convenient for searches when you want to combine photos that deal with a common theme from different years.

After placing all the layers of templates 15 and 16 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2, I turned off most of the layers. I deleted a text box and put my title there. I also deleted the hipster plumes because I didn’t think they worked with my topic.

The background of the focal photo on the left was green, so I extracted my grandson and recolored the mask a soft brown. It was simpler than finding a paper that worked.

Then I turned on the small frames on the left and clipped my photos to the frames. I added adjustment layers to the photos to create a more consistent look to the page. I added some splatters.

Next, I opened the layers of psd file 1 from ArtsyHalloween No. 1 on a new blank psd page. I wanted to add the eyes and nose from file 3, but I was finding it difficult to work with all the layers on my original document. So I stacked the layers from the two psd files on a new file and deleted most of the file 3 layers until I got the playful look I wanted.

I then dragged the layers to my original document and created a group. On the far left, I reduced the size and flipped the layers horizontally as a group. On the other side, I moved the eyes but resized the group larger than on the left.

For the page gutter, I masked a photo of just carved pumpkins. The bottom layer is on linear blend mode at 20% opacity. The copy above is on overlay at 30%.

Next, I began turning back on the layers of the template on the right. I clipped three more photos to the small frames, adding adjustment layers as needed.

I added another group of the artsy pumpkin on the far right, resizing and flipping the orientation of the eyes. At this point, I had to stop until I had some photos of Kate to add to the page.

To the large mask on the right, I clipped Kate’s photos. I added a stain from ArtsyStains No. 5 to the right of my granddaughter to fill the space that one of the plumes that I had deleted. I clipped another copy of the photo to that stain. As I’ve explained in previous posts, I often clip copies of the focal photo to stains below a fotoblendz mask.

I turned on the last two small frames, clipped photos and adjusted the exposure with adjustment layers.

Kate wanted a turn to use my camera and take my picture. I handed it off so that she could hold the camera and push the little button. I stamped a brush from ArtsyPaint No. 13 and placed that in the background, softening the edges with a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 9. I changed the blend mode to linear burn at 30% and clipped my photo to it after giving the photo a black and white filter from Topaz Studio.

I finished my page with textures from PaperTextures No. 5 and ArtsyPaint No. 13.

I love the older photos combined with the new on this page. It won’t be long before they all outgrow pumpkin carving. Only three dressed up to go trick or treating this year; it’s a little sad to me how quickly the time has passed. Every moment with them is precious.

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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.

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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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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Mixing Masks and Templates

Photos often tell the stories on my pages, but journaling fills in details to help my family remember our time together. On this trip, the wave pool was a favorite place to play for everyone. Even Kate, wearing a life vest, walked out into the water to jump the waves. If the boys weren’t jumping the waves, they were wrestling with one another in the water. Yes, I put my camera down to get in the water to play with them.

I created a special collection in Lightroom to make it easier to find and organize my favorite photos from our recent trip to Wisconsin Dells before I started creating pages with them for my book this year.  This book isn’t just about this trip; I anticipate that I will create only seven or eight pages with photos from this collection. I created this page by mixing masks with frame arrangements from three different templates. I think mixing and matching this way actually makes it easier to ensure that the pages uniquely work with my photos whether portrait or landscape orientation.

After creating a new 24×12 inch document, I first imported a family photo that I wanted to highlight by masking. I clipped it to mask 4 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No. 7. I chose it based on the shape created by my family photo. Once I had that blended, I went back to Lightroom to choose some small photos to tell the story.

I chose the small frame arrangement from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 based on those photos. I clipped the photos to the small frames and added adjustment layers to adjust exposure and contrast. Note: I make adjustments in Lightroom before importing but often find that I need to adjust more when the photos are all together on a page.

I placed the frames and then extracted my son with the Quick Selection Tool from a second copy of the large masked family photo and placed that layer above the smaller frames. In other words, that family photo is clipped to a mask below the small frames and the extraction is above the frames.

After clipping the small photos to the frames, I imported another photo and blended it into mask 1 from MultiLayered FotoBlendz No 5 that I placed on the right side of my page. This mask allowed me to hide the young woman assisting everyone out of the boat. Then I added hue and saturation adjustment layers to ensure that the color tone was the same over the entire page.

I again selected a frame template arrangement based on my photos. In this case, I combined photo frames from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 3 and Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1.

To fill in the background, I blended in another photo with a different perspective of the tubing slide by stamping with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes on an inverted layer mask. I added two textures from Paper Textures No. 4 below two frame edges. I also placed an overlay and transfer from ArtPlay Palette H2O just above the paper and adjusted their color with hue and saturation adjustment layers.

To finish off my page, I added a title, some bubbles from Magic Bubble Overlays No. 1, a blue fish to help balance and create a visual triangle color, threads and a few splatters.

I finished my page journaling on the other side with another story that day about Kate sadly watched her brother and daddy ride down a tube slide. She wanted a turn. So I put my camera inside a helper’s jacket so it wouldn’t get wet and went down with her, Corbin and Daddy. She seemed to like it. However, by the look on her face after a second ride, I don’t think she really liked it all that much.

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Tulips and a Simple Template

 

Photography is important to me, especially capturing family and flowers. I enjoy working on improving my camera skills. In fact, my photographs are the reason I create scrapbook pages. Without them, I don’t think I would create any pages. There are lots of other reasons for creating scrapbook pages, but for me, I primarily create pages so that I can share my photos whether just as they come out of the camera or altered as a piece of art.

I know that I prefer simple designs that showcase most of my photos. So if this page looks similar to others I have completed, it is because I am collating them to create a book that I hope to eventually publish.

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Although this post is a review of my process using Anna’s FotoInspired Templates, I would like to share a few things that I am experimenting with as I work with the templates.

For this two page spread I began with template 9 from Anna’s new release FotoInspired Template Pack No. 2F. After dragging the template’s layers to a new 24×12 inch document, I reduced the size of all the layers to about 85%.

Next, I placed solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul. Below the paper, I tucked a photo on the left and adjusted it’s position to fill a 12×12 space. Note: I have selected 3-4 solid whites that I am alternating in this book.

Then I clipped photos to the smaller masks, trying to balance the different photo perspectives. Note: I photograph in both jpeg and raw. For this book, I am processing the raw files. However, even after clipping them to the masks, I often add a levels adjustment layer on blending mode soft light and adjust the opacity.

To create a background for the textbox, I clipped solid paper 3 and two transfers from ArtPlay Palette Spring Due to the mask. Above that, I placed file 3 from MultiMedia Spring No. 1 and file 4 from MultiMedia Spring No. 4. I used the psd files so that I could recolor the flowers. I adjusted the text box and wrote a little journaling. Note: I created a video using this process which you can view here.

I have been experimenting with different products for the background behind the template’s small frames. On this page, I placed the same psd layers of file 4 from MultiMedia Spring No. 4 on the right edge. I recolored the flower, the leaves and an artstroke.

Previously, I’ve used lace, fotoinspired edge templates and stains below the template. For this page, I stamped on new layers with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 10 in a green to match the tulip leaves.

I finished my page with a button from ArtPlay Palette Whimsy, thread 11 from ButtonThreadz No. 2, a title and the date. Note: So far I have used the same font, Molly Script for the page titles.

I’m enjoying creating these pages, the consistency of template format and the experimentation they allow. Now I need to get out again with my camera to see if I can find some more flowers to capture.

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