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Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: inverted layer mask (Page 1 of 3)

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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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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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.

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.

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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Adventure Trails

It’s hard to get back to scrapbooking after nearly three weeks of the non stop activity involved in moving. So I was glad to see a new template album set, Travel Template Album No. 3, this week. I simply chose photos from one of the collections that I had created in Lightroom to create another page for my book. That proved to be just enough of a project to rekindle my creativity this weekend.

On the left, I placed the layers of template 6 and the layers from template 7 on the right. I deleted the stains in the middle, the postage and some of the word art and script. Note: I made a few adjustments to the fotoblendz masks to accommodate my photos after I clipped them to the masks.

Next, I clipped my photos to the fotoblendz and framed masks. I added adjustment layers to improve the look of my photos. I considered color when I placed the photos, i.e. Owen’s red shirt, to help move the eye across the page.

To fill in the gutter of my page, I first, repositioned a copy of the large photo on the left and used an inverted mask to bring back in just my youngest grandson rolling on the grass by stamping with white on the black mask. He was actually on the left side of that photo, but didn’t show in the fotoblendz mask. Next, I duplicated the original photo clipped to the mask but did not change it’s position as I had with the part of my youngest grandson. Instead, I linked it to the original, attached an inverted layer mask and stamped brush 8 from ArtsyPaint No. 9 directly on the mask to extend the scene. Finally, I extracted my grandson’s leg by placing a copy of the photo above the frame and revealing just his leg with a round brush on an inverted mask. I gave the extraction a custom shadow and erased as needed.

I placed my title in basically the same position as the word art included with the template set. I also added file 5 from MultiMedia Suns No. 1. I placed the layers to emphasize the direction of the light in the photos on the left and on the right. It’s not perfect, but gives the feel of the sun’s direction in most of the photos. I also placed two word art labels from ArtPlay Palette Traveler for a little more interest.

This page came together so easily; it was a perfect project when you are pressed for time but still want to make progress on a book or to create something. To be honest, I was disappointed with these photos when I imported them from my camera to Lightroom. Yet, I think the template helped me crop and arrange them to tell the story of our visit to a new exhibit at the zoo on a very hot summer morning in July. So I’ve decided that the photos were better than I thought!

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Playing to My Strengths

I think this is the last water play page for my book. While there are common elements to all the pages that I am incorporating into my book this year, I am adding something unique to each page. On this page, there are actually four extractions: the large family photo, part of my granddaughter Kate in the foreground, my grandson Owen in the middle and Logan’s fun goggles in the title. As I work on this book project, I am playing to my scrapbooking strengths, blending and extractions. I try new things, but I also use skills I know well.

For this page, I went back to Anna’s Project Template Album No. 2. I began by clipping photos to the fotoblendz masks included in templates 22 and 23 before I rearranged the small photo masks by moving one and duplicating another. On the large fotoblendz on the left, I duplicated the photo, extracted the heads, gave them a custom shadow to create more depth in the photo and blended both layers back into the base photo.

Next, I placed an overlay and transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette H2O. I struggled with a hue and saturation adjustment before finally deciding to simply clip a photo of the water to the overlay on the right. I followed the same process on the left but I reduced the opacity to 80% and kept the photo at 100%. That was enough to fix the color tone on the both sides. In the middle, I placed another photo and stamped brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 9 and ArtsyPaint No. 10 on an inverted mask to reveal enough on the mask to tie the two large photos together across the page gutter.

I then clipped additional photos to the small frames and added adjustment layers to correct exposure and contrast.

I placed two photos across the page gutter, extracted parts and blended them together. I gave the photo of my grandson a custom shadow and added a partial shadow to the photo of my granddaughter. Below the frames, I placed some of the same paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 that I used on the previous water play page.

I had already adjusted the position of  threads included with the template to create a little dimension. I added brush 7 from Scribble Sun No. 1 and placed an extract of the rims of some goggles.

I may create one more page about our family trip, but not until after I return from a trip to California next week. I have at least twelve other collections of photos for which I would like to create additional pages for this book. Each time I work with Anna’s templates, my process is faster and easier. I am playing to my strengths by combining blending with a few extractions on my pages when I work on my artsy pages. That helps speed my process too!

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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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