Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: adjustment layers

Play With Me Grandma!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








Just Five Things

Tuesday morning Kate and I played at the park, digging in the sand to make a dandelion cake. I had my iPhone with me, so I practiced holding the camera so that I didn’t distort my granddaughter’s face or limbs. That’s one thing I don’t like about my phone camera, how easily the focal length distorts a body or face. That distortion is most visible in the photograph of her on the swing.

Kate loves sand play and doesn’t seem to mind getting dirty. I really began this page experimenting with a possible photo treatment that would emphasize her messy look. I used the new ArtPlay MiniPalette High 5 by Anna Aspnes to create this page. It is available beginning September 2 for free with a $15 purchase during Anna’s sale.


Experimenting with a watercolor action and some filters available in Photoshop can change the look of photos. I wanted to emphasize just how messy Kate got playing in the sand. I prefer clipping a new adjustment layer to a photo rather than going up to the image menu because I like the flexibility of being able to change the settings. For this photo, the composite created with the watercolor action is on normal at 75% opacity. The threshold adjustment is normal at 35%, the photo filter on normal at 100% and the levels adjustment layer on screen at 35%. I placed another copy or the original above the adjustment layers on color burn at 25%.


For the rest of the page, I simply added layers. Below the photo layers, I placed solid paper 3, an overlay with tape and a transfer. I changed the blend mode of the transfer to multiply at 100%.


Above the photo layers, I placed a sand transfer from ArtPlay Palette Salty Living, two copies of transfer 2 from MiniPalette High Five and an art stroke. The bottom copy of the transfer is on color burn at 100%. The top copy on normal at 50%.


Next, I created a title using two elements from the free mini palette along with a charm from ArtPlay Palette Swell. I recolored the “things” word art by giving it a color overlay in the styles panel. I used the psd version of Jazzed Up LoopdaLoops No. 3 and switched out the button. Adding a list of ingredients and journaling finished my page. I love the grunge look on this page; Kate was a mess with her hair curling wildly and her clothes covered in sand by the time we finished making a dandelion cake.


Anna Aspnes’ High Five Event celebrating her five years at Oscraps begins September 2. Mini Palette High Five is free with a $15 purchase.

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