Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: Californa

A Rainy View

In a prior post, A Day with a Friend, I shared some photos from my trip early in February to San Francisco for lunch with Adryane. Yes, I am behind on creating pages due to computer problems, but I have decided to begin with the photos from my day with Adryane. I won’t be sharing every page on the blog or in the gallery, but I will include them in my next book. It was a fantastic rainy day!

In California, the winter rains make everything a beautiful, lush green. It really is better to visit during the winter or spring rather than summer. So if the photos appear vivid, they were. The grounds of the museum were really beautiful from my view out the windows.

To create this page, I began by adding a layer mask to the focal photo in the background. This is one of my favorite photos; I love the perspective as my friends walked together under an umbrella with their reflection trailing behind on the wet pavement. No I didn’t have to add a reflection as it was part of the photo. The bottom layer is on blend mode multiply at 100%, the second layer is on hard light at 100% and the third layer on screen at 30%.

Next, I extended this vertical photo across the page with transfers, overlays and paper from ArtPlay Palette Moorlands. The gray tone of solid paper 1 and artsy paper 1 is perfect for a rainy day. I placed two copies of transfer 1, one on normal at 80% and the second on soft light at 30%, above solid paper 1. Above that, I placed artsy paper 1 at 65% and masked out a part that was too dark. Above these layers I placed overlays 2 and 3 as wells as copies of brush 19 on color burn at 30 % (note the texture ties the photo with the paper’s texture).

Next, I placed the frames and text boxes from Artsy Layered Template No. 246 on my document and adjusted their placement. I clipped photos to three of the frames and copies of artsy paper 1 to the other two frames.

Finally, I added file 5 from MultiMedia Leaves No. 6. I moved the position of the thread, leaf and shadow up in the layers panel in order to sandwich it in between the frames. This allowed the fern to overlay a photo of ferns. I added wood word art 3 from Scenic WordART No. 1 above the frames and adjusted the frame masks below with layer masks.

I must be getting faster at scrapbooking as creating this page and writing a post explaining my process took about two hours. That’s fast for me!

Texture Supports a Story

At the beginning of August, I shared some photographs of the Anne Frank exhibit at the Museum of Intolerance in Los Angeles. I have asked myself how so much cruelty could have been allowed to occur to so many during this period of modern history. A statement, part of one recording, stayed with me as we walked through the exhibits: if you repeat the lies often enough people begin to believe them.

For this page, I wanted to contrast the photo of sisters Anne and Margo Frank as little girls with the time in which Jewish families were torn apart and murdered during World War II.

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I am really a very traditional scrapbooker by design, often dividing my pages into three parts: framed photo, blended photo and journaling. However, my basic page components alone did not convey my feelings as I viewed the exhibit.


Conveying a feeling or look is one reason that I love different shapes and textures combined on background papers or paper frames, i.e. MultiMedia Frames No. 4, for traditional page designs for my photos.  In Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Cosmopolis, solid paper 5 is a beautiful blend of a simple, more traditional solid with an unusual texture.


For this page, I arranged my traditional page components to fit solid paper 5. I extracted the background photo and placed it so that Anne Frank’s writing hand fit into the space between the torn edges on the paper. I blended some of the layers from set 5 of Artsy Transfers Cosmopolis with two png transfers from the ArtPlay Palette Cosmopolis to fill in the paper background. I could have stopped here, but I didn’t think my page conveyed just what I was feeling yet.


Adding texture changes the feel of a scrapbook page. To create additional texture on my background, I layered brushes from ArtPlay Palette Cosmopolis and ArtPlay Palette Antiquity along with the texture layers from frame 1 in MultiMedia Frames No. 4 and two png textures from Taped Textures No. 6.


Finally, I placed small clusters of elements on my page to create visual triangles that help move the viewer’s eye across the page. I also added a faded words from Art WordART Mix No. 1 just to the right below the frame layers.


For this page, I think that a special paper in combination with brushes and textures contributed to the poignant feel of the story that I was trying to convey with these photos. Artistic pages are more than page design; they are also a feel or a look that support the photos and tell the story.

Art with a Mask, an Artsy Transfer and Word Art


The wind churned the water on the beach, making the waves pile high against the rocks. I set my camera to f/22 on aperture priority in the late afternoon sunlight and waited until just the right moment to capture the spray as the waves crashed against the rocks.

There are times I really like my photos just as they come out of the camera without any special photo treatments. I loved this capture of the spray of the waves against a rock formation at Little Corona Del Mar and wanted to use it on a page. However, I wanted to ground the waves with some of the other rock formations on that beach using another photo that I captured when I zoomed back to get more of the scene.

To create this page I used the two photos above and two masks from Coastline FotoBlendz No. 1. This page came together quickly. I sized the photos to fit my page and blended them together after clipping the two photos to mask 2. I added adjustment layers to each photo copy to increase the contrast just a little.


I duplicated mask 2, moved it toward the right and then clipped and blended two more copies of the photos. Then I duplicated the mask a third time, moved it further toward the right and clipped two more photos.


To finish the photo blended scene, I placed mask 4 from Coastline FotoBlendz No. 1 below the other photo layers, clipped one more copy of the photo with the spray and blended it with a layer mask.


I placed one more copy of the photo with the rocks in the foreground at the top of the photo layers and blended back in just the foreground rocks using a inverted layer mask to make them appear heavier and darker in order to balance the the rock formation in the distance.


Next, I added sand transfers from ArtPlay Palette Beach.


Then I placed the layers from Artsy Transfer Coastline 5. Two layers of the psd transfer file are above the photo layers and the rest are below the photo and sand layers.


Finally, I added two elements from Beach WordArt Mix No. 1. I placed them between the layers of the MultiMedia Shells No. 1. In addition, I added a few splatters and two additional transfers from ArtPlay Palette Coastline.


There are times when I like the simplicity of creating a page for my photos without a feeling that I need to add a special photo treatment, times when I think that my photos are strong enough to stand on their own. At those times, combining a few masks, an artsy psd transfer and word art, allow me to easily create a blended piece of art. In some ways, these are the pages I like best!





Simple Template Changes

Experimenting with Anna’s products can be as simple as switching out one mask for another. Or it can mean giving all the background photos on a double page spread a different photo treatment so that they contrast with smaller framed photos. I’ve been playing with a new watercolor action which I described in a previous post and wondered how it might change a template’s look for a garden page.

After playing with a photo of me and my sister in front of a rose trellis, I decided that I didn’t like the effect on us, but I did like it on the climbing roses. So I selected a photo with more of the flowers visible for the background. I adjusted the size of mask 4 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 3 with the warp tool in Photoshop so that the mask covered only the roses in the photo. I duplicated the original mask and changed the layer name of the copy to “brush” as required for the action to work. Below is a screen shot of the photo and mask before I adjusted it with the warp tool and filled in parts with a soft round brush.


I ran the action a couple of times and chose the one that I liked best before adjusting the settings for the background color and other layers created by the action. I used this action on all the photos on the background for this two page spread. Then I followed these steps.

After running the action on a photo, create a 24×12 document. Drag the photo with the watercolor treatment on to the new document and resize to fit the right page edge. Change the blend mode to multiply. Open template 6 from WaterColor Template Album No. 3 and drag the layers to the left side of the two page spread above the watercolor photo.


Replace the fotoblendz mask included with the template with mask 4 from WaterColor Fotoblendz No. 6. Flip it horizontally. Clip another photo with the watercolor treatment to the mask. Duplicate the photo, link copies and clip to each of the stain layers.


Run the watercolor action on the third photo for the background. Clip the photo to the mask. Duplicate it, link copies and clip to the stains.


Clip photos to small frames.


Extract figures from the focal photo and place on page resizing as necessary. Note: the shadowing technique is from Anna’s last class, Flipping Clipping.


Drag the frames and text box of template 7 from WaterColor Template Album No. 3 to the right side. Adjust the position of the frames to accommodate the extraction. Clip photos to the small frames.


Recolor the texture on the left. Embellish the layout with splatters, buttons and threads. Add a title and write journaling.


Simple changes with photo treatments can create an artistic look for your scrapbook pages with Anna’s templates.



Watercolor Play



It would appear that I can’t get enough of the watercolor action I described in a previous post. For this page, I blended and merged two photos before running the action. To create the brush layer needed for the action, I used several of Anna’s WaterColor Fotoblendz Masks. After I ran the action and made some adjustments, I created a composite.

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Next, I dragged the photo composite and  original photo onto a new blank 12×12 document. I blended it into ArtPlay Palette Coastland solid paper 1. I created another composite.

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Finally, I dragged that composite, original photo and background paper to a new 12×12 document and reduced their size. I wanted my piece of watercolor art to look like I had been painting on a board. I placed mask 3 from 12×12 Fotoblendz No. 2 (retired product) and reduced the mask’s size. Then I clipped my composite, photo and background paper to the mask. I blended out a bit of the watercolor composite to reveal more of the original photo before adding an overlay and a transfer from ArtPlay Palette Coastline.

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To finish my page, I added a thread from UrbanThreadz No. 11, word art from Beach WordArt Mix No. 2 and foliage from ArtPlay Palette Coastline.

One More Beautiful Day

Every time I visit my sister, we have tea at the Huntington Library and Gardens. It’s our biannual tradition. Just as we finished tea and started to take photos of one another in the Rose Garden, a man passing by offered to take a photograph of us together. I handed him my camera and hoped. We don’t get many shots like this, but we agreed that this was a keeper.

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I didn’t make as many photographs as I usually do on our walks in the gardens. We were talking about sad family news my husband had received that morning.

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The Chinese Garden is one of our favorites. My sister found a bench and began sketching that bridge.

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I continued walking the paths, practicing with my camera before returning to the bench where my sister was still sketching.

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The water lilies were blooming.

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On our walk back through the Rose Garden, I wondered how it might have looked in May or June when it was at its peak.

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Time is really a gift from God; for us, one more beautiful day together!


On a Winter Morning

OnaWinterMorning_kdavis_1000Thirty-five years ago I had a Kodak Instamatic camera. To make photographs, I inserted a cartridge into the camera, pressed the shutter button to expose the film and rotated the dial to the next exposure on the strip of negative. Once all the exposures on the roll were taken, a mechanical rolling sound let me know know that I could remove the cartridge and take it to a camera store to get the film developed into three and a half inch prints. After a few days I returned to the store to pick up my prints and negatives. Then I would place the prints chronologically in albums. I have just over 2,475 prints from all the years with that little camera. They fill five albums. Yet in 2015 alone, I have more than 20,000 photographs residing on my hard drive in Lightroom. I cannot even imagine how many albums I would need for 20,000 photos if I printed even half of them.

Nowadays, I photograph with a mirrorless Fuji X-T1. Instead of placing photo prints in albums, I create artsy digital scrapbook pages in Photoshop. I choose the photos that speak to me and write the stories of those photos, the stories that I want my family to remember. Sometimes, I include one of those old photos taken with that old Kodak Instamatic on a digital scrapbook page. I publish these artsy pages in a book, like my book from last year, 2015 Photo Stories. I like to think I’m an artist with both my camera and the scrapbook pages that I create, at least I feel that way when I am making photographs or playing in Photoshop.

For this page, On a Winter Morning, I applied a watercolor filter to the large background photo to give it a watercolor look. Then I adapted a template by merging masks and stains to create a custom mask for the photo. The other photos in the small frames are as they came out of the camera. Thinking back, I know I would have loved all this technology thirty-five years ago.

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