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Tag: layer mask (Page 1 of 4)

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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Lightroom Mobile

Have you ever tried to capture a photo of a group of kids with a great expression in one moment of time? I am bound to have someone with closed eyes or a bad expression.  To solve that problem, I use a technique that I learned from Jana Morton. In this case, I opened one Christmas photo in Photoshop and then layered three more photos above in order to replace heads, i.e. Logan’s on the left, and Corbin’s, the one sitting on the floor. After positioning the photo layers, I added inverted layer masks and used a soft round brush to reveal just the part I needed. I then created a composite of the layers and saved it back to Lightroom as a psd edit.

With my time during the Christmas break, rather than creating pages, I am working on learning how the new Lightroom CC and the mobile app integrate with Lightroom Classic, the new name for the original program. I have been viewing videos from two courses available at Creative Live. They were on sale for 60% off sale the day after Christmas.

As an example of how the sync works, I added my modified photo to my favorites collection under the Lr Mobile collection set within Lightroom Classic.

That photo synced to the same folder in the mobile app on my iPhone.  All these photos and pages aren’t really on my 68g iPhone. My phone accesses smart previews of the photos stored in the 20gig of cloud storage available with my Adobe photography plan. So the disk space used on my phone is minimal. The originals are all on my computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After viewing the videos, I have begun to add other collections to Lightroom Classic. I began by adding my December photos as a collection for syncing to the mobile app as well as the new Lightroom CC which I installed on my computer.

I am going to continue working backwards by date until I have several years worth of photo smart previews in both the mobile app and Lightroom CC on my computer. The photos don’t take much cloud space because I chose to use smart previews in the cloud as well as on my iPhone. I can edit the smart previews in a mobile app and any changes that I make will sync back to Lightroom Classic. Adobe has definitely improved the mobile editing features, enough so that I think I am going to save for an iPad just so that I have a larger screen for editing and reading.

From my perspective, this is also a wonderful solution for keeping my daughter-in-law’s computer up to date so that she can have access to all the photos I capture. I’ve been manually uploading my photos to her computer in Lightroom 5 as a backup, something I don’t do as often as I should because it is so time consuming. Although I am allowed to install Lightroom Classic on two computers, I don’t think I need to install it on her computer in order to give her access to all the family photos that I capture. Syncing will be so much faster and easier.

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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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Embrace the Change

The Red Sunset Maple we planted in our yard in 2012 isn’t quite so little anymore. I’ve been taking photos of it every year when the leaves change. This year, it’s just now in full color. I keep trying different angles. I’m waiting for some sunshine before capturing some photos this year.

Anna Aspnes has a knack for creating shadowed overlays and transfers in her artplay palettes, but overlay 2 has got to be one of my all time favorites. I dragged just the overlay from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja onto a new blank document with solid paper 1 below and started thinking.

Although I don’t have the skills to create the kind of shadows that Anna creates, I decided to import a photo of just a branch from my Red Sunset Maple tree and try creating something similar. I extracted the branch and created custom shadow by duplicating the extraction, filling it with a dark brown, tweaking the shape with the warp transform tool and changing the blend mode to linear burn. I added a layer mask to the shadow, reduced the opacity in order to try to get it to look more realistic.

To fill the background, I placed artsy paper 2 below my extraction. That helped give my branch more dimension.

I then placed transfer 3, transfer 5 and art stroke 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rudeneja. I adjusted the position of overlay 2 so that it was directly above the overlay on solid paper 2 and changed the blend mode of overlay 2 to multiply to add depth to the paper. Note: That overlay is part of solid paper 2.

With a title from Change WordART Mix No. 1, a mix of two psd files from MultiMedia Branches No. 9 and a sentence of journaling, I decided my page was finished.

Now, what I really want to learn is how to shadow the way Anna does!

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ArtPlay Homework

I have gotten a little behind with the lessons from A Year of ArtPlay 2017, but I found some time over the holiday weekend to tackle the June class that Anna released a week ago. I like to call my pages following classes my homework assignments, as I have found that when I apply the concepts soon after watching the class videos, I am much more likely to consistently incorporate Anna’s techniques into my own artily.

As a retired teacher, I also know the value of applying new information in my own unique way. I literally practice applying what is presented in a class, but I try to change or adapt the lesson content to my own prior learning. Simply put, practice the skills taught and then try to use them in a different way.

After viewing June’s lesson, which entails three videos each just over 20 minutes long, I went in search of a photo that I could use. Although Anna provided her layout and photo, I chose not to use those tools because I prefer to practice with my own photos. So my layout does not look like Anna’s. Using a different photo pushes me to adapt and apply what I viewed in class videos.

I’m not going to explain in depth specifically what I did on this page as Anna does a far better job in the three videos. Rather I hope these screen shots will encourage you to take a look at A Year of ArtPlay 2017.

First I blended a photo and sketch together.

Second, I worked with an artsy paper and transfers. I tried at least a half dozen papers before making my decision to blend an artsy paper with a solid from ArtPlay Palette Parasio and transfers from Artsy Transfers Parasio. Note: the idea for the glow in the background was taken from a completely different ArtPlay artsy paper.

The last steps involved something Anna calls “puzzle blending”, working with several brush techniques, embellishing and creating a title.

I am always pleased after finishing one of Anna’s lessons from A Year of ArtPlay 2017, pleased with my art homework and pleased with the new ideas I learn from class.

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Two Pages At a Time

I don’t usually work on more than one two page spread at a time, but I decided that creating two double page spreads for the photos from Deer Park for the book that I’m creating this year might help me pare down more than two hundred photos of family playing with the deer, not an easy task in my mind. I also wanted to coordinate the look of two pages about our trip to Deer Park.

To make it easy on myself, I selected four templates from Anna’s new Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 and placed them on two 24×12 inch blank pages. As I worked with my photos, I made some adjustments in the position of the frames to accommodate them, turned off a few layers, including text boxes, and used a brush to fill in places on the fotoblendz masks.

Next, I selected from my favorites, the photos that I wanted to clip to the larger masks. On each page, I selected one family group photo for one of the masks. I duplicated those photos to clip to the stains included in the templates.

Once I had the larger photos placed, I clipped additional photos to the small frames, trying to balance color across the page and include everyone. I also clipped a levels layer on soft light blend mode at about 50% opacity to each photo and adjusted the opacity.

I could have left my pages as above, but I like to place something across the gutter of my pages so that they look more connected. On the top page, I masked a photo. On the bottom page, I placed mask 5 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7 and clipped a photo to that mask. I lightened the opacity of both masks across the page gutter.

Finally, to coordinate the two pages, I filled in the background, stamping stains and splatters on new blank layers as well as adding transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and another transfer from ArtPlay Palette Heartland.

Was it more work to do two pages at one time? No, in fact, I think I’ll use the strategy again. Doing two pages at the same time made it easier for me to coordinate the pages by selecting templates from the same album set. I also think that determining how many pages I was going to include for this event in my book helped me to decided which photos to include. Finally, working on the two pages at the same time helped me to coordinate the color scheme and page look with transfers on both pages. I’m definitely going to try this strategy again for the pages at some waterparks that I still need to complete.

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Play With Me Grandma!

I just finished sorting about 3000 photos from our trip last week down to more than eight hundred with which I might create pages for my annual book. Yesterday, while I was sorting, my daughter shared with me some of her memories as a child. Without even opening an old album, I remembered what she was describing. I also knew that despite not having many photos from when she was a child, the photos I had captured helped her remember things we did together as a family.

After my daughter called, I thought about my granddaughter Kate and how much I want her to remember our time playing together. In my last post, I wrote that I don’t often hand my camera off to anyone else. That’s the reason I’m not often in the family photos. I just don’t like having my picture taken. As I’ve gotten older the dislike has only gotten worse. However, on this trip, I handed my camera to my son twice and asked him to take a few pictures of me and Kate playing together. Since photos of me are rare, I decided to begin creating pages about our trip with these photos of the two of us.

If I can get beyond the dilemma of too many photos, creating pages with templates is the easy part of my process. I began this 24×12 inch page with mask 5 from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7 placed over solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso. To each layer of the psd mask, I clipped linked copies of my photo.

I did not know exactly which template I would use. Sometimes, I switch out the masks included in templates just for the variety. Sometimes, I just like the look of a mask and then search for small frames from a template that fit the shape of the mask.

Since I wanted to combine photos from both days on one two page spread, I looked for a template that would accommodate a vertical photo of me and Kate standing in the water. I loved Kate’s wave to her daddy in this photo. I clipped it to the mask included with template 3 from WaterColor Template Album No. 4 as well as some of the template stains.

However, rather than use the supplied small frames, I chose two from template 11 from the same album. I had already used template 3 once, but by switching out the small frames with those from template 11, I changed the look and better accommodated two more vertical photos. I added brush 7,overlay 2 and a little boat (recolored with a color overlay from the style menu) from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso.

Note: I extracted Kate’s foot for an out of bounds look on the left side.

For color balance on my page, I decided to mix the photos across both sides rather than separate them by date. I chose just the frames, text boxes and urban thread from Simple FotoBlendz Template Album No. 2. However, I tilted the small frames a little so that they looked more like the style on the left. I clipped my photos to the small frames and adjusted the exposure and color of the water with adjustment layers. Because the included frames were a little larger, I deleted those and added a stroke style in white to the masks to simulate frames.

To add interest on the page gutter and to tie the two pages together, I placed another mask from Hipster Plume FotoBlendz No. 7, png file 4.

My page style is consistent with the other pages I’ve already finished for my book this year: a light background, journaling, clear page edges, something across the page gutter, an informal font title, urban threadz, minimal elements, masks and blending. However, this page is extra special in that I am now pictured in my book; I’m not just the author and photographer. The next time Kate says, “Grandma, play with me,” I will remember this page of memories playing together: holding hands while floating on our backs, jumping in the waves, riding a boat and climbing ladders to slip down slides.

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Bleeding Hearts

If you had asked me ten years ago the name of these flowers, Dicentra ‘Bleeding Hearts’, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. I have tried to grow them, but they don’t seem to like my gardening style. I have a gardening philosophy that if a plant is too picky in my yard, it is promptly replaced. I am actually more familiar with the phrase “bleeding heart” in reference to labeling someone, i.e. myself. However, that idea didn’t come to me until I was ready to write the journaling for this page. I do think the flowers are beautiful. I captured these bleeding hearts in April while walking Lauritzen Gardens.

There is nothing quite like a template to simplify my process for creating a page. For this one, I used Artsy Layered Template No. 237. Sometimes, I turn off all the background layers and use just the frames for a page. In fact, I store most templates with only the frames, stains, and artstrokes visible on my hard drive. In this case, I turned off the frames to get a better idea of the background layers and how I might use them.

To each of the stains I clipped a copy of one photo to which I had first applied a basic filter in Topaz Studio in order to brighten it. I linked all the duplicated photo copies after I applied the filter to the original. I deleted a few of the template layers and added layer masks to blend out some edges. I placed solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Across the Miles at the bottom of the layers panel. I chose the green background because I thought the photo blended better into the background than it did on white. I do love white backgrounds, but sometimes the contrast in color makes the edges too harsh.

I clipped three photos showing details of the bleeding hearts to each of the small frames.

Finally, I added some stitched hearts from UrbanStitched Hearts No. 3 to balance the black in my title and journaling.

As I mentioned above, the content of my journaling didn’t come to me until I had finished the page. I don’t think I am excessive in the way that some might use the words “bleeding heart”, although I do hope to leave the world a better place for my grandchildren. Yes, I am a bleeding heart in the sense that I think it would be a shame not to be a good steward of all we’ve been given.

Inspiration: a Brush and a Memory

I’ve photographed this door at Lauritzen Gardens both open and closed and from both the back and front. I once photographed my oldest grandson, Owen, looking through that door in just about the same position as that large ceramic pot. Owen, about 5 at the time, had his hands on the door frame as he looked through the open door at the flowers beyond. This door from Anna’s new brush set, Doors No. 2, is the impetus for this page about a memory. While much of my inspiration is based on photographs, sometimes, all it takes is a sketch like brush to inspire me to create a page.

I placed this brush on my new blank document first, changed the blend mode to multiply and recolored it to match the bricks in my photograph.

I then placed my photograph above brush 2. I used Topaz Simplify to give the photograph a more painterly look. After resizing the photo to roughly match the brush, I added an inverted mask and used several AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes to bring back in just the part of the door that I wanted to overlay on the brush. I added another copy of my original photo layer above and applied the find edges filter.

Below the door brush layer, I placed another photograph that I’d taken with my cell phone the same day. I gave it a painterly look with Topaz Simplify. Using an inverted mask, I brought back in just enough to created a garden beyond the door. The first layer is on linear burn and the second on overlay. I applied the find edges filter to a copy of the original iPhone photo and changed the blend mode to darken at 50%. From all the layers in my photo group I created a composite.

Next, I placed file 1 and file 4 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 10. To each, I clipped not only a copy of the composite but also solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul in order to fill in the transparency in my composite so that I could cover any black in the overlays. I added two textures from TapedTextures No. 7 for a little more dimension on the door frame. Both copies are on normal at 100%.

Finally, I added a title, journaling and a dangling thread from ButtonThreadz No. 1 to connect the title and photo.

Every time I capture this door with my camera, in my mind I see my grandson with his arms spread wide touching the door molding, a memory which always makes me smile.

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