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Category: Photography Page 1 of 13

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.

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.

A Photo and Artsy Transfers

There is a pond on the greenbelt behind our house. Periodically, I’ll see ducks or geese swimming on the water. Then I walk out to capture them with my camera, near sunset for these ducks. I like that I gave can give our simple pond an artsy look with a few Artsy Transfers. Below I share how I masked the photo and created the background.

Blend and Mask
  • Duplicate the photo and place on Solid Paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall.
  • Add layer mask to a copy of the photo and stamp with brush 9 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall.
  • Add layer mask to a second copy of the photo and stamp with white on a inverted layer mask with brush 10 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall.
  • In Topaz Studio, apply a watercolor filter to another copy. Reduce the opacity to 50%.
  • Place another copy of the original photo above these layers on Normal blend mode and change the opacity to 50%.

Note: I adjusted the white balance of this .jpeg with the Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop.

Artsy Transfers
  • Place the layers of file 4 from Artsy Transfers Evenfall below the photo layers.
  • Below file 4 place the layers of transfer 2.

Note: I deleted two of the layers and added a layer mask to one to hide part of that layer.

  • Below those layers place transfer 8 from ArtPlay Palette Evenfall and reduce the size to 85%.
Embellish

This is a favorite photo of some ducks swimming in the pond, but I love the artsy look with my new background!

Peonies

Every Memorial Day my Sarah Bernhart Peonies bloom. This year I grabbed my camera and walked out to capture the blooms in the early morning light. Then this afternoon, I went out again to cut some for a bouquet. I love these flowers. I will cut the new blooms each day while I have them, but I wish that they lasted longer than a week. They are spectacular blooms. So when those buds start appearing, I’m out in the yard practicing with my camera, an art medium that I’ve been neglecting recently.

Place Photograph and Template Layers
  • Create a new 24×12 inch document in Photoshop
  • Select a focal photo and size it to fit one side.
  • Drag the layers of template 4 from FotoInspired Template Pack 2J.
  • Reduce the size of all layers to 85%.
Place Paper
  • Place solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rougir on the left side just above the large photo.
  • Add another copy of the paper but flip it so that the flowers are on the left.
  • Add a layer mask to the second copy of the paper.
  • Use an AnnaBlendz Artsy brush to mask out all but the flowers of that paper layer.
  • Add a Color Overlay from the FX panel at the bottom of the layers panel. Select a darker pink from the photo and change the blend mode to Color.
Clip Photographs to Small Masks
  • Clip photos to small masks.
  • Add Adjustment Layers as needed.

Note: I adjusted the white balance on the photos that I shot on my deck in the afternoon light. I clipped Levels Adjustment Layers on Soft Light blend mode to most of the photos.

Add Artsy Transfers
  • Place the layers of Transfer 1 from Artsy Transfers Rougir above the paper layers but under the double frame at the bottom of the template. Delete two transfer layers and dark splatters and art stroke. Adjust position.
  • Place the the layers of Transfer 3 below the masks on the left side of the template. Position and delete layers as desired.

Note: I added a Color Overlay to a stain in Transfer 1 and a transfer in Transfer 3 to coordinate with my photos.

Add a Button
  • Add a button and thread for dimension.
  • Give the button a shadow.

I had wonderful light as it rose above the roofs when I went out with my camera about six o’clock in the morning. There wasn’t even much wind, something we don’t get often in a prairie state like Nebraska. By the afternoon, the wind was blowing again, but I found a protected area with good indirect light on my deck. I placed a piece of white board on the table and used with my small macro lens to capture different arrangements of the blooms that I had cut before putting them in a vase to bring inside.

The hardest part of this page was deciding which photos best told the story about photographing my peonies. Looking through my photographs in Lightroom, I can see some changes that I need to make for better photographs next time. Unfortunately, as I look out the window, my poor peonies are bent to the ground with all the rain and wind we’ve had over the last two days. I could bring some in to photograph, but the time to capture them outdoors is over for this year.

I encourage you to play with your camera and some flowers both outside and indoors. Then create a page using one of Anna’s FotoInspired Templates. I will add this page to the other pages that I’ve created for a book with my flower photography.

Roses

Artsy Paper #1 from ArtPlay Palette Narcissus by Anna Aspnes is a stunning piece of art without any photos. I can only hope that the roses I bought yesterday specifically for this paper do it justice.

I created this page with an Artsy Paper, photos of three different roses and a tag. Below are the steps.

Place Artsy Paper
Extract Roses
  • Place photos of three different roses above Artsy Paper #1
  • Using the Quick Selection Tool, find the edges of each rose.
  • Click the Select and Mask tab at the top of the screen.
  • Adjust the Smooth, Feather and Shift Edge levers.
  • Select Output to Layer Mask.
  • Repeat process for each rose.
  • Resize and arrange as desired.
Custom Drop Shadows
  • From the Styles Panel select a shadow for each rose. 
  • Click the FX symbol on the right of the photo layer and choose Create Layer option to place the drop shadow on a separate layer.
  • Press Command+V to access the Warp Tool. Drag the shadow a little to create more variability on your shadow layer.
  • Repeat for each photo layer.
  • To each photo layer clip a Hue and Saturation Layer. Select the Sepia Preset from the drop down menu. Change the opacity to 30% on Normal blend mode.
Add Tag and Quote
  • Place the .psd file of the tag included in ArtPlay Palette Narcissus.
  • Drag another copy of Artsy Paper #1 and reduce the size so that it just covers the tag. Clip it to the tag.
  • Add a Layer Mask to the paper layer. With a small hard round brush reveal the threads and staples.
  • Duplicate the layer. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn and invert the Layer Mask by pressing Command+I to darken the staples.
  • Add a quote if desired.

Extractions add dimension to layouts.  I encourage you to practice with the Quick Selection Tool as an alternative to using the Pen Tool for extractions.

Poetry

There is still snow here, piles of snow, so much that I haven’t seen the lawn in weeks. Thus I found the color in Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Melic very appealing as I long for spring and the tulips that will bloom in April. Below I explain my process for creating this page.

First, place solid paper 3 on a new blank 12×12 inch document.

Extract three tulip blooms with the Quick Selection Tool, arrange and give each a shadow.

Note: I adjusted the color a little by applying a Hue and Saturation Adjustment to each bloom.

Place transfer 3 and transfer 1 from ArtPlay Palette Melic above the paper. Change the blend mode of both transfers to Linear Burn. Attach a layer mask to transfer 1 to hide parts of the transfer.

Stamp brush 7 and 4 from ArtPlay Palette Melic in a red orange on Normal blend mode on new blank layers just above the transfers. Tilt as needed to create the effect of stems extending from blooms.

Arrange three of the stitching .png files from MultiMedia Melic No. 1 below the blooms as well as a splatter and piece of lace. Roughly align the stitching with the brush lines

Drag one .psd leaf file from ArtPlay Palette Melic and place above the stitching. Adjust the position of the shadow included with the leaves. Place a second leaf file, rotate and reduce its size.

Finish the page with beaded word art from Melic WordART Mix No. 1 and a thread from ArtPlay Mini Palette Breeze. On the left, place a button and splatter from MultiMedia Melic No. 1.

That’s it, so simple!

A Quiet Place

The Pope-Baldwin Estates at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe offer a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of wealthy society people who summered at Lake Tahoe at the turn of the 20th Century. After years of neglect, the estate buildings were beginning to deteriorate and restoration work was started in the early 1980s when the government purchased the property. The dock in this photo replaced the original boat dock and pier.

I began this layout working with just the photo. I duplicated the original three times. I gave the second copy a watercolor effect in Topaz Studio. Above that I placed a copy of the original photo on Soft Light blend mode at 100%.

To each copy I attached an inverted layer mask. I brought back the photo with an AnnaBlendz Artsy Brush as well as brush 11 and 13 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu.

Next, I placed artsy paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu below the photo layers. Above the photo layers, I placed another copy of paper 5 and changed the blend mode to Linear Burn at 75% opacity. Above the boats on the right, I placed transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu. Finally, I created a composite of the original photo layers.

I then grouped my original photo layers and turned off that group. Using just my composite, I reduced it’s size to about 90% and clipped it to mask 3 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 14.

I duplicated my composite and clipped it to mask 2 from Coastline FotoBlendz No. 1. I reduced the size of mask 1 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 14 vertically to 60% and increased the horizontal size to 115%. I duplicated my composite one more time and clipped it to mask 1.

Note: Above the composite copies clipped to masks, I added two adjustment layers: one on Screen blend mode at 30% and another on Soft Light at 100%.

Just above solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Milieu, I placed transfer 5. Above the transfer I added an adjustment layer on Soft Light at 100%. I also adjusted the color of the rounded area on the left with a Hue and Saturation layer and an inverted mask so that the changes would only affect that part.

To embellish my page, I placed all the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Milieu No. 1. I turned off the grass frame and its shadow. Instead, I placed the branch from MultiMedia Branches No. 10 and its shadow as well as the thread. I adjusted the color of the branch with a color overlay.

With word art from WordART Mix Milieu No. 1 and brush 6 and some splatter brushes stamped on new blank layers, my page was finished.

Blooming Marvelous

I am finally experiencing some California sunshine. It’s mostly been a cold and rainy week so I haven’t been out with my camera as much as I would have liked. My sister and I did stop at Roger’s Gardens yesterday; I’m helping her learn how to use her camera, especially how to blur the background in her photos. I captured some beautiful blue hydrangeas, a favorite flower of mine.

I began this page by placing a photo on a new blank 12×12 document in Photoshop. I duplicated the photo twice. The bottom layer is the original on Normal blend mode at 100%. The second layer I took into Topaz Studio and gave it a sketchy look. I changed the blend mode to Hard Light at 100%. The top photo layer I also took into Topaz Studio and gave it a graphic look and changed the blend mode to Normal at 40%. I linked all the layers.

Next, I placed fotoblendz 1 from Sirenic FotoBlendz No. 1 on my page. I clipped the three photo layers to the fotoblendz mask.

I turned on solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic.

Note: I had already decided that I was going to use this paper from the ArtPlay Palette.

Just above the paper but below the photo layers, I placed transfer 2 from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic on Normal blend mode at 100% opacity. Above the photo layers, I placed the same transfer, rotated it and changed the blend mode to Multiply at 100%. I added a layer mask to hide part of the transfer. I also placed the gold paint from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic.

Finally, I stamped a brush from ArtPlay Palette Sirenic on the left, placed the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Sirenic No. 1 on the right and added the word art file from Love WordART Mix No. 2.

It’s a simple page, but a good reminder of some of the beauty I saw during my week in California. Now I’ve got to get back to helping my sister organize her photos.

Fifty Years Later

It seems like yesterday, not fifty years ago, that we honeymooned in San Francisco. We didn’t stay at the same hotel, the American Motor Lodge, but instead chose Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf this time, with its ultra modern decor. I hoped we would be able to replicate some of the photos from 1968 on this trip as we remembered our honeymoon.

We searched for the Fisherman’s Wharf sign and finally found a man who recognized it in copy of the photo where I sat. He told us it had been removed a long time ago. Even though we couldn’t access the balcony at the top of Ghiradelli Square, we found the sign at the top of the building. We posed on Pier 39, a tourist trap or a Pokemon player’s dream, depending on your perspective.

For the focal photo, I used frame set 3 from UrbanThreadz FotoBlendz Frames No. 2 in order to tie the two pages together. The photo I clipped to the mask is actually a blended composite so that I could have the entire heart behind us.

I chose the frames, threads and text box from template 10 in Travel Album No. 2 to accommodate the photos I wanted to include on my page. I reduced the size to 85%, before clipping my photos to the masks and adding adjustment layers.

Note: Because I am reducing the size of frames, masks and shadows from different templates, I am deleting the frames and giving each mask a stroke style of 20px so that all frames are consistent throughout my book.

I placed transfer 3 from ArtPlay Palete Riant just above the paper as well as layers from files 3 and 4 of Artsy Transfers Riant.

Note: I added a Hue and Saturation Layer to adjust the color of two layers.

Finally, I tucked a button from ArtPlay MiniPalette Blithe under the threads above the frames.

I want to thank my friend Adryane and her husband for helping us replicate some old photos for this page. It was Adryane’s idea to capture some shots holding our wedding photo. What a wonderful day searching for landmarks and remembering!

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