Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: Lauritzen Gardens

Topaz Labs

A reader asked how I used Topaz Labs Plug-ins to give my photos a painted look. Basically, these are external plug-ins that apply filters to photos. Two of my favorite plug-ins are Impression and Simplify. After placing the photo on a new blank 12×12 document, I duplicated the photo twice. Then I opened the filter panel, scrolled down the menu and chose Topaz Impression.

When the plug-in opened, I browsed the effects. I chose to work with Over Painting 1. The panel on the right allowed me to make adjustments to the filter effect. Once I was finished, I clicked the save button and was taken back to Photoshop. Note: These extensions also work in Photoshop Elements.

On the second copy of the photo, I chose a line and ink preset in Simplify. Adjustments were made on the right. I learned to work with this panel from a tutorial on the Topaz blog.

I turned off the original and reduced the opacity of the top (over painting) layer to 40%. I then dragged the layers of Artsy Layered Template No. 242 on to my document. I linked the photo layers and duplicated them so that I could clip them to some template masks and stains. I also clipped linked photo copies to the masks for the small frames. I moved those frames lightly to the left.

I began turning off the template layers that didn’t work. To finish my background, I placed solid paper 5 from ArtPlay Palette Jollification as well as transfer 3 and 5. I attached masks to both transfers to blend out parts. I added a recolored button (from the palette) and tacked it down with a thread.

I hope this gives you an idea of what’s possible with some of the Topaz Labs plug-ins.

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Heart Art

Sometimes, I make photographs without any thought about creating a scrapbook page. 2016-02-21 131136I captured these glass figures in February at an exhibit of 32 glass sculptures by Craig Mitchell Smith in the conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. I don’t always initially see the possibility in a photograph for creating a piece of art. However, I remembered this photo when I opened Anna’s new palette, ArtPlay Palette Plumeria. A friend suggested that the figures looked like ghosts. I think wraiths might be more apropos for this page since they appear to be dancing above the water. The artist called this sculpture “Gravity Landscape”, but I don’t quite understand that title. I also wonder what the artist intended by placing a heart inside each figure. At any rate, this is one of those artsy photo pages created without a story in mind, but simply for the joy of experimenting.

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I began by placing solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Plumera on a new blank document. I rotated it clockwise in anticipation that by using a fotoblendz mask the texture above it the paper would show through my photo.

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Next, I placed mask 2 from FotoBlendz Overlays No. 9 and clipped a copy of my photo to the mask. I added a levels adjustment layer on color burn at 20% above the photo. I love that the transparency of the mask reveals part of the paper below.

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In order to get the figures to show more on my page, I extracted them from another copy of the photo using an inverted mask. I added a vibrance adjustment layer at 45% and a levels adjustment on soft light at 50%. I gave my extraction a small drop shadow. In this case, the extractions also created depth by making the figures pop from the background.

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I placed one transfer and an art stroke from the new palette above the original photo. I masked out a part of the art stroke. To recreate the look of water, I added stains from Artsy Layered Template No. 233, two additional transfers from ArtPlay Palette Plumera and an overlay from ArtPlay Palette Heart No. 1. I changed the blend modes of three, one stain to darken, one transfer to multiply at 40% and the heart transfer just above the paper to overlay.

(Note: templates are a great source for not only stains, but journaling boxes and frames as well.)

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Finally, I placed artstroke 2 below the extractions to balance the black on the other side. With two more hearts, word art from Art WordArt Mix No. 1, a button (recolored slightly), a thread from ButtonThreadz No. 1 and journaling, my page was finished.

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Sometimes, I surprise myself with what I can create with a photo, an artplay palette and a little experimenting with blend modes in Photoshop. I will print this one just so my family will know that on occasion I deviate from my normal style simply for the sake of experimenting with art.

Inspired by a Photograph

One reason I continue to work on my photography is because what I learn about photography inspires me as I create artsy scrapbook pages. I don’t know if you read the post about my fascination with using aperture and compression to create blurred backgrounds, but the photograph on the left in which the ivy is in focus and the brick background blurred inspired the photo layering on this artsy page.

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To create my background, I placed solid paper 6 above solid paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Portiere and changed the blend mode to multiply at 100%. At the top right, I blended another photo of bricks that I shot into the paper with a layer mask. There is also a brush stamped on a new layer above all the paper layers.

 

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Next, I blended the photo into the background with a layer mask. I stamped a brush from ArtPlay Palette Portiere on the lower right corner. Along the edge of the blended background photo, I stamped one of the images from New Orleans No. 1 in a  colored to match the bricks. I changed the blend mode, reduced the opacity and gave it a slight gaussian blur.

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Below the the focal photo, I brought in all of the layers of Artsy Transfers Portiere 3. I turned off two art strokes, recolored the green stain and added a layer mask to the tape.

 

 

 

At this point, to create more interest and 2016-03-22_TuckedLeaves_4depth, I brought in the photo of the ivy. I duplicated the photo. To extract, I began with the magic wand tool, eliminating as much of the background as possible. Once I had eliminated what I could with that tool, I used that copy to create a layer mask for the original photo. With a small round brush, I refined my mask. Then I gave the leaves a shadow.

To finish my layout, I duplicated the ivy, rotated that copy and placed part of it on the right with a button to tack it down, title, date and place. I could have blurred the background photo more, but I didn’t want to lose the detail of the statue; instead I wanted the ivy to emphasize the depth in the corner where I found the statue and to add to the interest of my page. The idea of the ivy hanging in front of the came from a photo. How does your own photography inspire your art?

 

 

 

 

Influence of Design Principles

I don’t often know how I want a page to look until I begin to play in Photoshop. I know it’s far more efficient to draw a sketch of a page before beginning to create. I don’t. That’s probably because I generally think about the photograph first, it’s orientation and perspective, when I begin to create a scrapbook page. However, just as often, the inspiration for choosing a photo comes from an ArtPlay Palette or .abr brush. That is the case for this page, Perfect Now.

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When I opened up Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Portiére late yesterday, I knew I wanted to use the transfer with brick and green paint as well as a brush from ArchiTextures No.5. Sometimes, it’s like that, I see a design element and it triggers an idea. That’s when I remembered a photograph of a brick wall surrounding some yellow glass pansies at a Craig M. Smith exhibit in a conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens.

Since my photo had a vertical orientation, I decided that would guide my page design. However, first, I tested out that transfer I wanted to use by placing it in the top left corner and then turned off it’s visibility. Next, I placed the photo on the left and reduced the size to better fit my 12×12 page. With a layer mask, I blended the photo into a solid paper from the ArtPlay Palette before stamping the iron gate brush on a new layer above the photo layers. I think of this brush as a second door suggesting an unknown and/or unconventional meaning to finding art behind doors.

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I turned back on the visibility of the transfer and brought more light into my scene by adding FotoGlow Mix No. 2.

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As I’m working, I think about design principles. In this case I needed to balance the weight of the transfer in the upper left corner. To do that, I added the frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 224 to my layout and adjusted their position to fit my vertical design. I clipped photos to the masks. The textbox is also a part of the template.

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Another design principle I consider when scrapbooking is repetition. By adding a splash of yellow with an artsy stain stamped just above the transfer in the upper left corner, I repeated the color and created a diagonal line of yellow leading the eye across my page. By adding more yellow with a photo below the slide viewer as well as stamping a green stain on a new layer and placing an overlay in the lower right corner, I strengthened that diagonal line of yellow and balanced the weight of the transfer even more.

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Over the foundation that I created for the framed photo with an overlay, brush, texture and slide viewer in the lower right corner, I added a cluster of small elements. Finally, I placed the word art and a beaded thread to finish off my page. I switched out the beaded letters in order to spell “now”.

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So maybe it’s okay that I don’t draw a sketch of my page before beginning to create. While I may not have begun with a clear vision of my final page, what I know about design principles influenced my thinking as I worked on this scrapbook page.

 

Floral Fusion

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Once a month, I walk with a photography group at Lauritzen Gardens. I enjoy this time to learn from Michael, a professional photographer who leads the group, and to practice with my camera. This month there is a beautiful display of glass sculptures by Craig Mitchell Smith inside the conservatory. One of the sculptures is titled Flock of Cardinals. Some of the birds are hanging from a tree. Others are suspended from the metal structure supporting the glass ceiling, giving the appearance that they are in flight. When I uploaded my photos from my camera card into Lightroom and began to go through them, I noticed that the artist had actually etched his signature on a cardinal. Before this exhibit closes, I’m going to return and look more carefully just to see if the artist signed all of his glass sculptures in the exhibit.

Not only do I enjoy learning to use my camera, but I also enjoy using the photos that I make to create artsy scrapbook pages. I actually used four different photos to create this page, the background shot above, the close up of one cardinal and two other shots of cardinals hanging from the ceiling.

After importing the close up photo 2016-02-26_ExtractionCompositeof the cardinal from Lightroom into Photoshop and placing it on a new 12×12 inch document, I resized the photo to fit the dimensions of my page. I began extracting the cardinal with the magic wand tool, added a layer mask to the photo and then used brushes to finish. I pressed option and clicked on the mask to open the refine edges panel to fine tune my extraction.

Next, to give2016-02-26_ExtractionMaskBackground the cardinal a place to hang, I placed the photo with the view of the entire scene. I applied a painting filter from Topaz Impression to the photo to give it the look of a Monet painting. I clipped the copy to mask 2 from FramedMasks No. 2. Below that is another copy of the photo blended with a layer mask and brushes.

 

I also clipped copies of the background 2016-02-26_AllExtractionsandPaintedBackgroundpainting to some of the stains in the template I used, Artsy Layered Template No. 223. By the time I added the stains with copies of the background painting and some additional cardinals, my layout looked like this. I used the same extraction process I describe above on the other cardinals on my page. I gave each a custom shadow.

To finish my page, I added additional transfers and elements from ArtPlay Palette Sojourn and word art from Sojourn WordArt No. 1. I love creating art with my photographs!

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