Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: template (Page 1 of 5)

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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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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Artsy Paper Play

I missed getting out in the yard to capture some photos of my hydrangeas along the northeast wall. There was way too much happening this past summer. However, in some ways, I prefer the intensity of color that comes with the seasonal change. The greens turn rosy pink and the pinks darken to burgundy. I hate to cut them back for fall before they’ve dried out entirely. As soon as all the rain is over, I will go out to capture some more photos so that I can create a page for my flower book.

I often play with Anna’s papers by mimicking and rearranging her designs using the transfers included in each ArtPlay Palette. It’s simple way to learn about design from an expert. I started this page by placing artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Cider on a new blank document.

Note: ArtPlay Palette Cider is available for free with a $20 purchase during the sale.

Just above the artsy paper, I placed solid paper 2.

Above the solid paper, I placed two copies of transfer 1 on normal blend mode.

Then I turned off the solid paper and lined up the transfers with their placement on the artsy paper.

After turning back on the solid paper layer, I placed overlay 3, two copies of the gold paint (the top one on color burn to intensify the color), and two copies of art stroke 1. In essence, I used the basic design of Anna’s paper to create something different. I might add something more once the artsy transfers are available, but for the moment, this is enough.

Then I extracted a hydrangea, changed the blend mode to multiply and applied a filter. Next, I another copy of the photo on normal blend mode at 50%. I linked the two together and adjusted their position above transfer 1.

Above the extraction, I placed stains, the frames, text boxes, and thread from template 4 of Hipster Plume Template Album No. 2.

I clipped additional photo to the small frames.

To create more dimension, I duplicated the two copies and moved them above the frames. I extracted just enough of the flower and leaf to overlap on the frames. With a title from the artplay palette, I was finished with my quick and easy page.

I encourage you to experiment with Anna’s transfers to create your own version of artsy papers.

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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.

Artsy Flowers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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