Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

A Photo and a Transfer

One of the things that Kate and Corbin like to do when they spend the night is to explore the wooded area just beyond the pond. On our way back from our walk, they plopped down on the grass and posed for me. I didn’t hesitate to capture some shots in the fading light.

Last fall while on sabbatical, I bought ArtPlay Palette Verdure hoping to have the opportunity after finishing my book project to use the beautiful leaf transfer that was included in the palette. That’s how I began this page.

Place Transfer and FotoBlendz Mask

Note: I masked out a portion of a copy of the mask in order to change the color of my grandson’s shirt.

Add Overlays and Artsy Transfers
Place Splatters, Word Art and Journaling
  • Stamp black splatters on new blank layers just below the photo.
  • Place the components of title from Verdure WordART Mix No. 1.
  • Add journaling.

Magnolias

My week in California was wonderful, definitely an inspiration for my photography. I captured these magnolia blooms on a large old tree in a friend’s backyard; what an absolutely stunning display they presented. I wanted to showcase one photo with a sun flare.

Clip Photo to a Frame
  • Open file 2 from FramedMasks No. 5.
  • Edit the photo in Lightroom before exporting it to Photoshop. Reduce the photo size and clip it to the mask.
  • Clip a larger copy of the same photo to the mask layer of the psd file and line up with the small photo.
Create Background for Framed Photo
  • Export a second photo of magnolias to Photoshop, something with a different perspective.
  • Add an inverted mask to the photo. Using brushes from ArtPlay Palette Magoa bring back in the right side of the photo. Using white as the foreground color reveals on a black mask.
  • Duplicate the photo and angle on the left side to create the effect of the tree. Add another inverted mask. Set the foreground color to white and use brushes from ArtPlay Palette Magoa to bring back in part of the branches.
Experiment

I spent most of my time working with this photo on a white background, but it wasn’t working. I experimented.

A change in the background color made all the difference for this photo.

January’s Color

It’s cold outside here; in fact about three or four inches of snow cover the ground. Our driveway hasn’t even been cleared yet. When the weather is snowy outside, a good place to make photographs is my favorite garden nursery, Mulhall’s. Outside, snow covered the ground, but inside the area that is covered with annuals in the spring, today was filled with hundreds of houseplants.

Aside from my favorite ferns, Maidenhair and Boston ferns, I found something new to me: Tillandsia or airplants, their more common name. This is a perennial flowering plant in the family Bromeliaceae.

The green species live mostly more in the shade. In contrast, most gray species live in precipitation-poor areas with high humidity. They prefer the full sun and can therefore be found growing on trees, rocks and even telephone poles.

I thought about taking home some Tillandsia. They looked so pretty in the white tear drop shaped vases. It didn’t look like I’d have to pamper them. But then I remembered how many house plants I’ve lost. So I just came home with some photographs and the feeling of how much I enjoyed myself.

Below is the template that I used to display the photos I captured. It is part of a set available in Anna’s store MonthReview Template Album No. 4. I did turn off the labels on my page. I especially like that they are laid out as two page spreads.

I can see a lot of uses for this series of templates besides just displaying photos taken during the month. Evaluating and deciding which photos to use on a template like this supported my learning about making photographs and how I use my camera. It’s always good when I spend time focusing on my photography.

Painting with Brushes and Transfers

Lauritzen Gardens is one of my favorite places to go at Christmas. The displays are always so creative. This year, along with gingerbread houses, large enough for kids to go inside, big red mushrooms were nestled among the poinsettias.

I began this page with solid paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Tinselry. At the top of the layout I placed the layers from transfer 4 of Artsy Transfers Tinselry. Then I framed one of the photos I captured in the garden with a file from Distressed Frames No. 5.

In this post, I am going to share how I painted two photo sketches with brushes and transfers.

Paint a Sketch with Transfers and Brushes.
  • Create a sketch from a photo using the photocopy filter in Photoshop.
  • Stamp with Distress ToolSet No. 1 and AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes on new blank layers above the mushrooms in red to fill in the mushroom shapes. Change the blend mode of the red layers to Linear Burn.
  • Press E to access the Erase Tool. Use a hard round brush to stamp the round spots directly on the red painted layers. Adjust the shape as needed in the Brush Panel while stamping to fit the sketch dots.
Continue Painting with Brushes and Transfers
  • Duplicate the red transfer layer from file 4 of Artsy Transfers Tinselry. Reduce the size and warp as needed to fit the mushroom stems.
  • Arrange pieces of the holly and pine from Evergreen FotoBlendz No. 3 to fill in the area around the mushrooms. Recolor each layer a green to blend with the Artsy Transfer at the top of the layout.
  • Place stains from the Artsy Transfers below the holly.
  • Stamp splatters in black on new blank layers.
Repeat the Process
  • Repeat the process on the right side: stamping brushes on new blank layers and coloring stains, evergreens and mushrooms.
  • Reduce the size of the poinsettia from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2. Duplicate and arrange on the left.
  • Create a brush from the dimensional flower from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2. Stamp with your new brush on a new blank layer below the dimensional poinsettias

I enjoyed using a photo from a delightful display at Lauritzen Gardens to create this page. Painting with brushes and transfers was definitely a fun project.

Christmas Magic

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope you find some time to create a little art with your holiday photos. After publishing two photo story books while on sabbatical the last three months, I am looking forward to simply creating some artsy pages with my photos and sharing them with you on this blog.

Do you have any photo traditions? I call this particular photo my favorite. I have handed off my camera for the last six years just to get this shot. Aren’t those pajamas adorable, I loved their matching outfits. Mom’s pajamas said “Mama Elf” and Dad’s “Papa Elf.” If you look at the small photo on the left, taken in 2013, there is a lot more space for everyone to sit. The two older ones were perched on the outer edges of the fireplace this year.

There really isn’t a lot of space in this room to photograph even a small group. That meant there wasn’t a lot of edge space around us in the photo for masking on a layout. In this post, I’m going to share what I did to solve that problem.

Use an Inverted Mask
  • Attach an inverted mask to the photo.
  • With AnnaBlendz Artsy Brushes, stamp on the black mask with white to reveal the photo.
Ground the Photo
  • Place paper texture 9 from PaperTextures No. 10 below the masked photo.
  • Place photo of carpet above the paper texture, add an inverted layer mask and reveal enough to cover the texture shape.
  • Place stains from Evergreen FotoBlendz No. 3 and recolor green.
Build Background

I rarely hand off my camera, but for this bit of magic, I am more than willing.

Sabbatical

I am on a three month sabbatical at the moment, focusing on my 50th Anniversary Project. I have finally finished the last story page for the book. I still need to edit the text on each page, add my wedding photos and create a cover. Below are some details about the editing process I use for publishing a book. Once all the pages are edited and exported from Lightroom, I will upload them to Picaboo for publishing.

Editing
  • Highlight the text, one text box at a time in Photoshop.
  • Copy text.
  • Open Pages (or another word processing program)
  • Paste into a blank document.
  • Edit content.
  • Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Copy and paste back into the document inside Photoshop.
  • Save document back to Lightroom.
  • Return to folder with book pages inside Lightroom.
  • Export full size. 300 dpi, 24×12 inch print to a folder.

I will follow the same process with each page, editing and saving the pages to the folder labeled Picaboo. Once I have all the pages ready, I will upload them to Picaboo web site for printing.

In the End

There are times when a photo reminds me of something; I make a connection to something else. For example, I captured this photo in February while at the Japanese Tea House at the Huntington Library with my sister. The lack of clutter brings a feeling of calm. On this annual visit, I always resolve to find something else to throw out when I get home. This year we talked about two different authors on the idea of organization and decluttering.

I’m not sure which method for organization I like better: Marie Kondo’s idea to keep only what brings one joy or Margareta Magnusson’s Swedish death cleaning. I have rolled my t-shirts, socks and underwear per the Kondo method. My drawers do look nice that way; I guess that is a form of joy.

However, at my age, I think I might find more joy in Magnusson’s concept of death cleaning: getting rid of the abundance rather than leaving a mess for family to deal with after my death. I resized my birth stone ring for my daughter last Christmas. Her joy was priceless; the ring valuable to her. Yes, I am the type that finds joy in the process of decluttering, remembering what’s valuable and letting go of the rest.

Below are the details for how I created this page.

Clip Photo to Mask

Vertical photos don’t alway fit masks. Sometimes, I adjust the mask, but at other times I adjust the photo.

  • Place the layers of .psd file 4 from UrbanThreadz FotoBlendz No. 3 on a new blank document.
  • Clip a copy of the photo to the FotoBlendz mask.
  • Duplicate the photo and place above the original photo. Adjust the position so that it covers the left edge of the mask that wasn’t quite covered.
  • Attach an inverted mask and bring back in just enough of the color to fill the mask.
Place Transfer
  • Turn on the layers of the frame set.
  • Place Transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette Ochre below the photo and frame layers.
Build Background
  • Place Transfer 4 on the left side.
  • Place Overlay 1 on the right side.
  • Above the Overlay, place Artstroke 2.
Embellish
Add Journaling and Title
  • Place word art from Onward WordART Mix No. 1 on the right side.
  • Place At Once word art from Onward WordART Mix No. 1 below the title and reduce the opacity to
  • Create two text boxes for journaling, placing one above and one below the title.
  • Add subtitle “Inspiration”.

If your photo doesn’t quite fit a mask, there are multiple ways to fix the problem. Shifting the position and masking a second photo is one way.

Little Lime Hydrangeas

Three years ago, I was looking for some hydrangeas that would live through the cold winters in Nebraska better than the Endless Summer variety I had grown in my yard until all but two died. I found this variety: Little Lime. The plants are no longer little but this green bloom changes to a beautiful rose color in the fall. And they live through long cold winters.

My hydrangeas are in full bloom right now, so I went out with my Fuji XT-3 and 60mm f/2.4 macro lens. In order to deal with a mild breeze, I set my shutter speed to 1000, put the ISO on 800 and placed the aperture at 2.4 so that I could blur the background. With my arms tucked close into my sides and patience, I captured some fairly sharp photos even with the large aperture.

As much as I love my little camera, including a very sharp LCD display, I went inside to upload the photos for viewing on my computer screen. I reviewed and then went back outside to photograph again and again, changing my angle and waiting for the still moments.

Template

Initially, I had already chosen a different template from FotoInspired Template Pack No. 2L to print and display my photos. I changed my mind. I decided to use template 8 from FotoInspired Template Pack No. 2L.

  • Open template 8 and place on a new blank layout.
  • Reduce the size to 85%.
  • Enlarge the mask on on the top left by dragging to the right.
  • Delete the mask to the right.

Note: At some point I will publish a book of flowers, all using the format of FotoInspired Templates. I have already completed nine pages.

Photos
  • Adjust Clarity and Saturation on photos in Lightroom to sharpen just a little. No other adjustments were made.
  • Clip the photos to masks, adjusting size and focusing on details.
  • Below the text, clip a blurred portion of a photo and place Transfer 5 from ArtPlay Palette Summer Days above it.

Note: I captured the photo on the right side of this 24×12 page on a white board on my deck where the lighting was different.

Add Color with Transfers
  • Place Transfer 4 from ArtPlay Palette Summer Breeze on the right.
  • Use the warp tool to arrange.
  • Duplicate the transfer, flip horizontally and place on the left side of the template.
  • Warp again.
Adapt MultiMedia
  • Open .psd file 2 of MultiMedia Spring No. 3. Place below the template layers on the right side.
  • Delete the flowers.
  • Recolor paint layers to blend with leaves in photos.
  • Erase lines as needed.
  • Above the template layers, place three copies of the brown art strokes and angle as desired.
  • Duplicate layers, placing set on the left.
Place Splatters
  • Place a copy of the splatter from ArtPlay Mountain High on the right below the leaf but above the green transfer.
  • On the left, rotate a copy of the splatter and arrange it on the left so that it looks different from the right side.
Embellish

I’m definitely going to have to create another page in the fall when the color of these hydrangeas changes.

A Simple Story

I’ve been vacationing with family, remembering old memories and making some new ones. Five years is a long time in the life of a little boy. Corbin began asking about returning to Wisconsin Dells just after Christmas this year. It’s a simple story that he remembered, feeding and petting the deer. Corbin added to his stories about Wisconsin Dells this year, a new memory of riding on a big tube behind a boat, something he wasn’t big enough to do five years ago. I’ll have to add that new story to another book.

On this page, I used the things I love: the clean look of a white background, photos clipped to FotoBlendz masks and simple designs.

Clip Photo to Mask
Build Background
  • Below the mask, place the Silver Paint from ArtPlay Palette Axiom.
  • Next stamp brush 9 in black and position on the top right. Change the blend mode to Linear Blend at 75%.
  • Stamp brush 6 on the top left and change the blend mode to Linear Burn at 100% opacity.
  • Stamp brush 9 in a larger size on the lower left. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn and reduce the opacity to 75%.
  • Below brush layers, place Transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Axiom.
Add Overlays
  • Positon Splatter Overlay 1 below the photo layers.
  • On the left, place Overlay 1. Duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to Overlay so that it will show up better on the light background.
Use Brush to Create Second Focal Area
  • Drag the .png version of brush 5 from NoteBook No. 4. Reduce the size and position just above the photo layers.
  • Place FotoBlendz 8, available in the AnnaRelease 26 July 2019. Reduce the size to fit the notebook page.
  • Clip older photo to the mask.

Note: I used the warp tool to adjust the mask to fit my photo.

Add Journaling, Button, Thread and Dates
  • Write journaling. Tilt to follow the angle of the notebook brush.
  • Place “story” file from Axiom WordART Mix No. 1.
  • Below that, place “beautifully simple” file.
  • Then place the word transfer Axiom file. Change the blend mode to Darken at 50% opacity.
  • Place the Dark Blue Button from ArtPlay Palette Axiom.
  • Tack it down with thread 9 from Knotted UrbanThreadz No. 1.

Simple pages that tell a story are my favorites.

Up Not Down

Every Wednesday, I have a play date with Kate. She takes the lead on these afternoons. First she decides where we are going to lunch, often Chick-fil-A or McDonalds. Sometimes we paint, build with Legos, go to the park or read. Today we walked up to the school playground. If you have the strength, climbing up poles is just as easy as sliding down. I captured these shots with my iPhone as I sat under the equipment in the shade.

Choose a Template

Since all of the shots were vertical, I chose vertical template 7 from FotoInspired Template Pack No. 2K to help me get started. Then I made some adjustments.

  • Reduce the size of all template layers to 85%.
  • Lengthen three masks and eliminated the others.
  • Move the frame, staples and shadow on the right.
  • Adjust the size of the tags on both frames to accommodate photos.
Create Background
  • Reduce the size of paper 7 from ArtPlay Palette Playout to 85%
  • Duplicate paper twice.
  • Clip a copy to each mask and adjust position.

Note: This paper is from a retired ArtPlay Palette, but any other blue will work to mimic the sky.

Extract Subject
  • Use the Quick Selection Tool to extract the little pole climber.
  • Place one extraction over each mask.
  • Give each extraction a custom shadow.

Note: I changed the size of the second and third extractions to accommodate not only the third photo but also the photo I wanted in the frame on the right. I adjusted photos in Lightroom before exporting to Photoshop CC 2019. Inside Photoshop, I added Levels Adjustment Layers as needed.

Use Brushes
  • Load Park Play No. 1 into the Brush Panel.
  • Create three new blank layers.
  • Stamp brushes 2, 6 and 9 each on a separate layer in a dark gray.
  • Change the blend mode of each to Linear Light at 100%.
  • Adjust position and mask any parts necessary to recreate the look of playground equipment.
Add Splatters and Stitching
  • Load Splatters No. 6 into the Brush Panel.
  • Stamp in a dark gray brushes 3, 4, 5 and 13 on separate layers.
  • Place stitch 3 from UrbanStitchez No. 9 above the splatters to ground extracted foot.

My little climber is going to love these photos; I know I enjoyed capturing her climb on our play date. I’m still not sure how she held on long enough with one foot on the pole and the other against the equipment for me to capture that shot on the lower left.

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