Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tulip Garden

The tulips weren’t blooming at Lauritzen Gardens in April, but they were simply stunning at my photography class Wednesday evening. With optimal light on these tulips for about forty-five minutes, I worked the angles with my little camera. My instructor suggested that I capture more of the stems with the tulip flowers. I’m so glad I did because those shots work perfectly with Anna’s new postage stamp frames. Below, I share the steps for working with one photo for the background combined with some detail shots.

Place photo and resize to fit the boundaries of a 12×12 document. Add inverted layer masks and bring back in the photo with AnnaBlendz Artsy brushes. The bottom layer is on color burn blend mode at 100%, the second layer on normal at 75% and the extraction at the top is on normal at 100%. Create a custom shadow for the tulip extraction by putting it on a separate layer, then warping and erasing as desired.

Note: I processed all the photos on this page in Lightroom before adding them to my page. I also added a levels adjustment layer on soft light at 100% just above the masked copy on normal blend mode. I used solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Amaranthine as a foundation for this page.

Below the masked photo and extraction, place transfers 4, 6 and 8 as well as the lace from ArtPlay Palette Amaranthine. Change the blend mode of transfer 4 to linear burn at 75%.

Add transfer 5; mask as needed and change blend mode to liner burn at 75%. At the top of the transfer group, place transfer 3 on normal blend mode at 100%.

Place psd frames 2 and 8 from Postage Frames No. 1. Clip photos to masks. Tilt frames to angle on the page.

Add thread 6 from UrbanStitchez No 12 as an edge for the extraction. Add stitch 11 to tack down the frames. Add button from ArtPlay Palette Hello Autumn and button thread 2 from ButtonThreadz No. 2. Finally, add a title and journaling.

Note: I adjusted the color of the button with two levels adjustment layers, one on overlay at 100% and the other on screen at 50%.

After all the browns, grays and whites of winter, I’m more than ready for some color.

Waiting on Spring

I fully intended to capture the tulips while I was at my evening photography class at Lauritzen Gardens a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately the weather was so cold during April that they had hardly sprouted the day I was there. Frost killed my bowl of pansies in April, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the large pots along the brick wall in the Victorial Garden were empty. There were a some daffodils and few struggling panies in the beds, but the tulips were just emerging from the ground. What a shame, I love a good tulip display. I’m going to my class again next week and hope to see a few left.

Even without any flowers, I decided that the photos that I made of the ornaments, urn and door with all the brick deserved a page.

For this page, place two copies of overlay 3 from ArtPlay Palette Ariose (free with a $20 purchase of Anna products during the NSD sale at Oscaps. Both layers are on normal blend mode.

Note: This might be an odd place to begin, but I love this overlay.

Place the layers of template 3 from WaterColor Template Album No. 6 on the page. Add two copies of the gold paint and change the blend mode to color burn at 50%.

Note: The overlay layers are just below the fotoblendz mask from the template. Initially, I turned off all the template layers except the fotoblendz mask. I also applied a painted treatment to the photo with Topaz Studio.

Recolor some stains and/or clip copies of the photo to others.

Turn on three of the small frames. Clip photos to two of the small frames. To the third, clip artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Ariose and adjust the position within the framed mask.

Place overlay 4 and art stroke 1 from ArtPlay Palette Ariose just below the small frames, both on normal blend mode. Complete journaling.

Turn on the template’s urban thread layer. For additional interest, add the flower, bird and thread from ArtPlay Palette Ariose. Add title.

Note: As I finished up, I decided that solid paper 2 with a levels adjustment layer on screen provided a better background than white.

Now I can’t wait to see what’s in the Victorian Garden next week.

Brush Play

Sometimes, I just play with brushes. While the end product may not be my favorite layout, I think that simply experimenting with blend modes and brushes is valuable. On this layout, I painted with digital brushes in Photoshop. Below, I explain my steps.

Stamp brush 6 from ArchiTextures No. 10 on a new blank document. Below the brush layer, place solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Home.

Note: The brush is partially transparent which allows the texture to bleed through on normal blend mode.

Paint the house with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14 and ArtsyStains No. 6 on separate layers.

Note: Using separate layers allows you to rotate or duplicate a brush. I practice using the Brush Panel to rotate brushes, but sometimes it’s faster to move it after stamping.

Place a photo below the stamped painted house with added paint. Click command and the brush layer from ArchiTextures No. 10. Marching ants appear. Go to the photo layer and click the add layer mask icon. An inverted mask will appear linked to the photo. Then stamp with white as the foreground color on the black mask with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14, ArtsyPaint No. 8 and AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 10 to fill in a scene around the house.

Note: I “undo” a brush stroke if it doesn’t look the way I want. Once it looks right to me, then I duplicate the mask and clip it to other layers of the photo. The top layer is a sketch on linear burn at 70%. The second photo layer is linear light at 50%. The bottom photo layer is multiply at 50% with a screen adjustment layer attached.

Above the photo layers but below ArchiTexture brush 6 layer, place layers of file 3 from Artsy Transfers Evanish, a glow from ArtPlay Palette Glance, overlays from ArtPlay Palette Evanish and splatters from ArtPlay Palette Home.

Add word art 8 from ARTWord ART Mix No. 1, a red button from ArtPlay Palette Merry Tree and thread 7 from ButtonThreadz No. 1.

I’m not going to say that this is my favorite layout, but while playing, I enjoyed myself practicing.

Sayaka Ganz

At my photography class on Wednesday, suspended from the ceiling of the conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens hung a dolphin by Sayaka Ganz. She uses common household plastic objects to create animals with a sense of motion.  and assembles them to create the effect of a Van Gogh painting. She states, “I believe the best way for artists to help reduce waste is to show how beautiful these materials can be and what can be done with the mundane…When we think of these things as beautiful, we value them. If we value our resources, we will waste less.”

As I looked up, I struggled to get the angle of the dolphin amid the palms. I liked the shapes of the fronds, but in a way, they compete with the dolphin. With my 18-70 mm, f/3.4-5.6 zoom, standing below, I was too far away to blur the background in the late afternoon light. However, with photoshop, I can change the emphasis. Below, I share my steps.

Extract the dolphin. Duplicate twice; create a sketch with one and apply an effect to lighten in the second copy. Clip the sketch, 100% color burn, to the copy with the effect. Link the two copies and rotate clockwise so that the dolphin is headed down more. Add a standard shadow to the top dolphin from the style menu and a custom shadow to the original dolphin copy. To do that put the standard shadow on a separate layer and warp it.

Note: I learn a lot about my photography creating these pages. In this case, in an effort to get all the fins, I placed the dolphin in the center and chose a safe angle.

Below the extraction, place another linked copy of the photo. Clip the copy to mask 3 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 8. Duplicate the photo twice and apply effects. Above the photo copies position artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Evanish. Add a layer mask and bring back in just part of the paper with a soft round brush. Change the blend mode to linear burn at 80%.

Note: For this page, I experimented with a watercolor look and a painterly effect in Topaz Studio.

Place artsy paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Evanish at the bottom of the layers panel.

Note: I chose this paper because the shape fit my photo so well.

To fill in the background, place art strokes 1 and 2 as well as the gold paint 2 from ArtPlay Palette Evanish. Above the gold paint layer, place file 4 from SeaSprinkles No. 2.

Add glows from CoolGlows No. 1 and CoolGlows No. 4, one on linear light at 60% and the other on soft light at 100%. Place blue buttons and tack down with thread 2 from ButtonThreadz No. 3 and thread 10 from ButtonThreadz No. 1.

Note: The buttons are from ArtPlay Palette Socialize and ArtPlay Mini Gelid.

Finally, add a title and journaling.

This is quite a change from my original photo.

Anywhere, Everywhere

We stopped at the park last Thursday for a short time before picking up her brothers from school. I captured her moves when she jumped up on the bench at the park with my iPhone. Actually, Kate is always moving, sometimes to music and at other time just imitating what she has seen, for example these gymnastic moves. She doesn’t mind my taking pictures as long as I slide, swing, climb and dance right along with her. In fact, she will often tell me what I should photograph.

Extractions are one of my scrapbooking strengths. I use them often, so they are fairly quick now. On this page I did use my tablet to control the Quick Selection Tool and masking. Often, I just use the trackpad on my computer. Below, I detail the steps for creating this page.

To create an extraction, trace the image to extract with the Quick Selection Tool, choose refine mask and then output to a mask. With a small, hard round brush, clean up any unwanted pixels. Add a custom shadow.

Complete the other extractions and add shadows. Reduce the size to about 50%. Place psd layers of file 3 from MultiMedia Accordion No. 2. Delete the gold elements and adjust the position of the thread. Rotate the frame 90°. Clip copies of artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Infatuated to each mask. Add file 1 from UrbanStitchez No. 2 to ground large extraction. Add thread 10 from ButtonThreadz No. 2 to the right side of the frame.

Note: I reduced the size of the paper and linked the copies.

Stamp brush 10 from MiniDots No. 2 vertically and horizontally behind the extraction and frames.

Note: Use the eraser tool to remove overlapping areas.

Place pattern paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Glance. Using the dots as a pattern, stamp randomly with a hard round brush some black and pink dots. Add and journaling.

I’m going to miss this girl when she’s in kindergarten next year. She is so much fun!!

Different Purposes

On Thursday during my week in California, I flew up to San Francisco to spend the day with my friends, Adryane and Don. Last year it rained, but this time, the weather was perfect t-shirt weather and perfect for making photographs.

I use the photos that I make not only to create art, but also to document the things I want to remember or share with family; in order words, I make pages that I will print through Persnickety or add to the my current book project. This two page spread is for my book.

While I have used both focal photos on this two page spread on two previous pages, I wanted to create something for the next book I will publish. Think about it from an efficiency perspective, I’ve already done some of the creative the work, so why not?

Note: I started with the photos that I previously used on layouts. For information on those previous layouts, see Quick and Simple and Pokemon Go.

I explain the process below.

Place layers of photo on left, deleting layers and changing blend modes as needed. Place photo on right, create a sketch, mask another layer to improve color and maintain blue in sky, add track extension.

Note: I used most of the layers of the photo on the left from a previous page. I placed only the photo on the right but repeated some steps, i.e. making a sketch.

Add frames, stains and art strokes from templates 2, 9 and 13 from WaterColor Template Album No. 5. Clip photos to masks and adjust as needed.

Note: I used the fotoblendz mask from template 9 on the right. I also substituted a frame and mask from template 13 to accommodate the screenshot on the right. I used the frames from template 2 on the left.

Below all the frames, place transfer 1 and 2 from ArtPlay Palette Surf’s Up on the right. On the left, place transfer 7. In the page gutter, place two gold transfers, reversing one. Stamp brushes 5 and 10 in blue. Pull layers from psd files 1 and 4 from Artsy Transfers Surf’s Up to fill in background. Stamp brush 5 in red, rotating for variation.

Note: I chose layers from the artsy transfers based on color and texture to fit my vision for this page.

Place additional photo in page gutter and add an inverted mask. Stamp with brushes from ArtsyPaint 7 and ArtsyPaint 8 on the mask in white to reveal the ship. Align photo with line of background brush on left.

Add Pokeball, red button from ArtPlay Palette Weihnachtsbaum and thread from template 15.

I think it’s okay to reuse photos for different pages, especially if you have different purposes, i.e. art or memory keeping. Both are valuable for me at this point in my life.

Quick and Simple Art

My art is what I create with my photos. On this page, I combined a brush from Pier No. 1 and a photo that I captured in February while visiting Adryane in San Francisco. My sister paints from photos; I combine photo treatments, with papers, transfers, threads and small frames to create art. Below are the steps that I followed for this page.

Stamp brush 6 from Pier No. 1 in a dark blue black. Change the blend mode to linear burn at 100%.

Place mask 4 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 6. Duplicate photo 4 times and clip to mask. Create a sketch, normal blend mode at 100%. I lightened the sketch with a levels adjustment layer. Change the blend mode of the second copy to vivid light at 100%. Change the blend mode of the third copy to normal at 70%. Change the blend mode of the fourth copy to lighten at 100%.

Note: While I used Topaz Studio to create a quick sketch, this can be done in the filters menu. I also masked out a part of the fourth copy.

Add a small frame and threads for the photo. Clip photo to frame and adjust as needed.

Note: I pulled a frame and thread from WaterColor Template Album No. 4 for this page.

Place solid paper 1 and pattern paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Sea Life. Add a layer mask and divide space using the dashed brush line as a guide. Above the papers, place transfers 5 and 11 from ArtPlay Palette Sea Life.

Place word art 6 and beaded thread from Art WordART Mix No. 1. Add text to title in a different font.

Note: I erased part of the stamped title and substituted words to fit what I wanted to convey.

When time is short, I am learning that I can still enjoy my art creating something quick and simple with a photo.

Chrysanthemums

I went early for my evening classes at Lauritzen Gardens last fall just for the light at the magic hour. These evening classes are one of the few times that anyone can enter the gardens just as the sun sets. Normally, they close at five. So I’ve decided that this year, I’m going focus on attending the evening photography classes. I’m looking forward to what I find in April’s evening class.

I’ve been trying to catch up on some pages for my flower album. For this page, I used Anna’s new FotoInspired Template Pack 2H. As I have done with the previous pages, I reduced the size of the template base. However, I did not change the size of the small frame. I deleted the framed mask’s shadow. I changed the color of the mask to white and blurred it so that the photos would show behind the journaling. I then gave the frame a custom shadow using the warp tool.

I clipped my photos to the masks and adjusted as needed with levels adjustment layers.

Below the masks, I layered a brush and overlay from ArtPlay Palette Euphoria as well as layers from transfers 3, 5 and 5 in Artsy Transfers Euphoria.

Finally, I added a title consistent with the other pages I have created for this book. Showcasing my photos couldn’t be easier.

Walk in the Fog

Early one morning on a walk for hot chocolate with my sister, Glenda, I captured this photograph with my iPhone as she approached the lights illuminating the sidewalk. This is probably one of the best shots I’ve ever made with my iPhone. I did not change the blue in the photo while creating this page, instead, I made changes in the color of the palette that I used.

I thought the background paper in the Mini ArtPlay Palette Conserve, currently available free with the purchase of Anna’s products during the sale at Oscraps this week, gave the appearance of the fog in my photo. I knew that I could adjust the color. With that in mind, I started my page by clipping the photo to three layers of file 3 from Scenic FotoBlendz No. 1. I also clipped a levels adjustment layer to the photo and changed the blend mode to soft light at 100%.

Next, I place brush 4, brush 5, the gold paint and overlay 3 from Mini ArtPlay Palette Conserve.

Then I placed solid paper 1 and adjusted the color based on the hue of the masked photo by reducing the saturation and adjusting the hue. I duplicated of the paper, desaturated it and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 75%. I placed that above the original paper layer.

I created a cluster along the bottom of the photo, layering the word strip and paper leaf from the mini artplay palette with a button from ArtPlay Palette Savor and thread 6 from ButtonThreadz No. 3. To darken the yellow button I clipped a levels adjustment layer to it and changed the blend mode to linear burn at 70%.

Finally, I added a title from Scenic WordART Mix No. 2 and journaling.

Perfect Birthday

I’ve finally finished the layout with the photos I captured on our birthday. Glenda and I have had a birthday tradition for more than 20 years, having tea at the Huntington Library. This year instead of tea, we had salads under a lovely canopy at a new place on the library grounds.

We spent some time during our walk making photographs. Glenda has a new camera, but not a lot of experience using it. Personally, I’m glad that she has taken up this hobby that I love so much. Photography is a wonderful complement to her painting.

For the first time that I remember, there were geese floating in the waters of the Chinese Garden. We see them all year here at a large pond at Lakeside Park, huddling together on the frozen ice during the winter. I’m wondering if the garden staff will let them stay.

One thing that I appreciate about Anna’s templates as I create pages is how easy it is to switch masks and frames to create a new look. For this layout,I used only the frames, textboxes, stitching and a few stains from templates templates 5 and 12 of WaterColor Template Album No. 5. Below, I explain my process.

Place file 3 and the psd version of file 4 from Scenic FotoBlendz No. 1 on a new blank 24×12 document. Open the templates, drag over only the textboxes, stitching, frames and stains below the frames. Place above the large fotoblendz masks. Note: I adjusted the position of one frame on the left side to accommodate a photo.

Clip photos to fotoblendz masks. Clip a levels adjustment layer to each photo and change the blend mode to overlay at 50%. Duplicate the photo on the right and clip it to the psd layers. Note: I deleted the splatter and tape layers.

Clip photos to small masks and add adjustment layers as needed. Stamp brush 6 from ArtsyCameras No. 1 below one frame on the right. Note: I often clip photos to the stains below the frames so that I can extend the framed photo. I clipped another photo to the camera brush on the right and clipped a photo to it (lowered saturation) just to repeat the pink on the left side.

To expand or intensify the sky, place transfer 6 from ArtPlay Palette Scenic on the right below the fotoblendz mask layers. Add a layer mask to hide any part bleeding through the focal photo. On the left, place transfer 3 from Sky Transfers No. 1 below the mask. Place transfer 5 from ArtPlay Palette Scenic and png file 3 from Sky Transfers No. 1 across the gutter of the page and mask as needed. Note: I lined it up with the bridge on the right.

To finish, add the camera charm from ArtPlay Palette Traveler; add a mask to place part of the charm under the threads and create a title. In this case I combined two fonts to say what I wanted but in a format similar to a file in Scenic WordART Mix No. 2.

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