Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: stories (Page 1 of 2)

Pokemon Go

As part of my birthday celebration in February, I flew up to San Francisco to play Pokemon Go on Pier 39 with Adryane and Don. Besides finding enough Wailmer candies to evolve a Wailord, I captured the Dragonite in the screenshot and fought level 5 raids. We played, stopping only for photographs, lunch and dark chocolate, until I had to catch my flight back late that afternoon.

When I caught the screenshot of the Ferry Arch from inside the app and the photo of the Ferry Arch with my FujiX-T2, I was already thinking about making a page remembering the day. This was one of the easiest pages I’ve ever created. It involved combining two photos and some iPhone screenshots using artsy brushes on inverted masks. Directions for creating this page follow.

Create a sketch of the photo, change the blend mode to linear burn and duplicate. Add an inverted mask and use brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14 and AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 10 to bring back the sketch.

Note: I used Topaz Simplify to create my sketch. You can also create a sketch with Photocopy in the Filter gallery.

Use the same brush sets on inverted masks to add color from the photo copies to the sketch. Place the top color layer on color burn at 100% and the layer below on linear burn at 100%. Use the same technique on the extension of the track.

Place textures 2 and 3 from PaperTextures No. 6 above the photo layers.

Stamp brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 14 on new blank layers in a light blue below the photo.

Place iPhone screenshots on the page, resize and give each a custom shadow. Add thread 9 from UrbanThreadz No. 15 above the cards. Add a Poke ball above the screenshots and give it a shadow.

Note: I found the Poke ball on the internet.

Place photo just below the Pokemon screen shots. Extract and give it a shadow.

Add title and journaling to finish the page.

I want to thank Adryane and her husband, Don for a fabulous day: talking, walking and playing Pokemon Go.






Variety of Greens

There is usually a story behind every photo made. In this case after walking in the warm sunshine my sister, Glenda, and I enjoyed a salmon salad at the Farmhouse, a lovely open air bistro on the grounds of Roger’s Gardens. I suppose a photo of the salad might have marked our day better than these fake succulents, but this trip was filled with work days helping my daughter move. Once we found a little shade, I helped my sister photograph these with her new camera. Sometimes, I simply take what I get and fill in the details of the story in order to document an event. Sometimes, I just want to remember a time together.

This was a very simple layout to put together using Anna’s new release. I actually chose this photo to document our lunch based on the color scheme of the new ArtPlay Palette Notabilia. I placed transfer 1 from the new artplay palette on a new blank document and blended my photo into the transfer using an inverted layer mask.

Note: I adjusted the color in my photo with a hue and saturation adjustment layer, but I learned a valuable lesson on color as I worked with this page.

Next, I placed the layers of psd file 2 from MultiMedia Documents No. 2 to create a frame effect around my photo. I switched out the flower with one from the artplay palette and added word art from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I clipped an extracted copy of the same photo I had clipped to the transfer to the paper layer for the document multimedia file.

While I liked the photo on the multimedia document, I did not think there was enough interest on my page. I then opened Artsy Layered Template No. 255 and dragged the layers below my multimedia layers and turned them off. First, I moved the frames, text boxes, splatter and art stroke above the document layers but below the succulent element, thread and word art. I reduced the size of the frames slightly and recolored them an off white. The white frames appeared too stark with the color scheme. I wrote my journaling and added a subtitle from Notabilia WordART Mix No. 1. I could have left my page as below, but it appeared incomplete to me.

I began turning on the template layers that I had grouped below the multimedia layers. I recolored some stains, adjusted the blend mode and deleted some layers until I though I had created a soft background for the document file. I especially liked the look of the textured paper on the left with the paper in the document file.

I though I was finished with this page, until I looked again at the lack of variation in color on my page. So I reopened the file, adjusted my framed photos a little more, recolored some of the template stains and reduced the opacity.

I like the more natural variety in greens on this page much better now. Too much matching of color is not always a good thing.

Feed the Goats If You Dare

You wouldn’t think that goats would be more agressive than deer to feed. However, they were. It looked so easy when Corbin held the seeds in his hand for the goats. They tried to eat Logan’s cup and seeds. Both Logan and Corbin just laughed at their antics.

Unfortunately, when Kate held up her cup of seeds, the goats knocked it to the ground. Poor Kate cried while mommy picked up the cup and gathered a few seeds to put back in Kate’s cup. Then Owen lectured the goats on their behavior.

After Corbin showed Kate how to line up some seeds on the railing, she started placing some on the wooden railing while the rest of the family kept the goats busy. Once she had placed some seeds, she waited for the goats to come over to eat them. Kate laughed when three goats battled for the seeds she had left on the railing.

Below are some of the pages that I’ve already finished. The book I am working on this year may not have as many pages as previous years. I’m not worried about the number of pages that I complete; I just want to document some of our stories.

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I am using a similar format for each page: a template, a light background, blending in the background, hand written font for the title. Today’s page is no different.

I placed template 2 from Hipster Plume Template Album No. 1 on the left with out making any changes other than stamping directly on the fotoblendz mask to darken areas to accommodate my photo. On the right, I placed template 8 but substituted the frames from template 4 to better fit my photos. On this side, I enlarged the fotoblendz mask and layers below about 15% so that it extended across the page gutter. I clipped my focal photos to the masks and stains below.

Next, I clipped additional photos to the small frames and attached a levels adjustment layer to each on soft light at 50%. I adjusted the exposure of some of the photos with the camera raw filter.

I created the sky by blending together two transfers from ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and pieces from Artsy Transfers Coastline. I used the same background paper, solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Paraiso that I used for the photos that I captured the same day at Deer Park.

I switched out two urban threads for two included with the template, wrote my journaling and added a title. Finally, I added an arrow from eA Arrows No. 1 to connect the the title with photos and the story.

Combining photos and stories with a template make my process for creating the pages for my book simple and fast, just the way I like it.







Happy Place

Now that the weather is warming up, Kate and I often walk to the park. With spring in full force here, this is where she wants to be: playing, climbing, sliding, swinging and jumping on the equipment. The park is Kate’s happy place and if there are other kids there, even more so because that gives her someone else with whom she can pretend and play besides me. That’s when I focus on making more photos.

There is no way that I can scrap all the photos that I capture while we are playing at the park, but I want Kate to remember how much she loved playing there. With Anna’s artsy templates, I can combine photos from several different trips to the park to create an artsy page for this year’s book telling the story of how much she loves this place. Yes, this story page will be part of another book.

After reading Ulla-May’s tutorial, Artsy Sketch Effect, I wondered if the instructions of the tutorial might work with some playground photos since I don’t have many cityscapes as recommended for this effect. However, the photos that I capture of my granddaughter Kate on the colorful playground equipment she loves so much are often bright and bold with strong lines.

Following Ulla-May’s directions to create a sketch, the screen below shows what I got with my first photo. I adjusted the opacity on a couple of layers and changed the blend mode of the color layer to hard light. Otherwise, I simply followed the directions. I created a composite of all the layers to use with the template’s mask and stains rather than drag all the layers over to a new document.

First, I dragged all the layers of template 6 from WaterColor Album Template No. 4 to the left side of a new 24×12 inch document. I replaced the fotoblendz mask with a mask from template 9 but clipped copies of the photo to stains from both template 6 and template 9 to better accommodate my photo.

I followed the same process to create an artsy sketch with two additional photos and clipped those to the fotoblendz masks of template 7 on the right side of my page.

I clipped other photos to the framed masks as provided in the templates, adjusting as needed with adjustment layers. I did not apply the sketch effect to those photos.

Finally, I added a title, a glow from MultiMedia Suns No. 2 and a scribble from ScribbleSun No. 1 to finish my page. This page is bright and cheerful, just like Kate at the park. The artsy sketches add to the fun. I’ll definitely repeat the sketch effect on another page in this year’s book.


Fall Play

We had some beautiful warm days last week to rake leaves. Today, it didn’t get beyond 45° at mid afternoon. So I played inside this afternoon with last week’s photos, some of which are a little blurry because my granddaughter, Kate, moves quickly when playing in the leaves. Grandpa had three nice piles by the time she arrived to help. She didn’t ask him whether she could mess up his work, but loudly said as she wagged her finger for emphasis, “Grandma, you said I could play in one pile of leaves.”


Since Grandpa is part of the story, I wanted to include him on this page for our book. However, I didn’t think the photos with a big trash worked. So I placed one of the photos of Grandpa and Kate cleaning up leaves above the fotoblendz mask of template 6 from Project Template Album No. 2 and roughly extracted grandpa.


I worked with the fotoblendz masks from templates 5 and 6 visible. I didn’t need to extract more because the grass would cover his feet. I lowered the opacity of the photo.


To extend the grass I used another fotoblendz mask from a template in the set, clipped a photo to it and adjusted the position. I then filled in the background by clipping photos to stains and hipster plumes, placing transfers 4, 5 and 6 from ArtPlay Palette Festal, and adding textures from Spackle Textures No. 5.


To finish my page, I placed the psd layers from MultiMedia Branches No. 8 and MultiMedia Leaves No. 5 at the top of the layers panel. I moved some of the layers under the frames but left the leaves, shadows and stitching above the frames. I substituted a button from the art play palette for the buttons included with the multimedia files. On the right side I placed sprinkle 1 from LeafSprinkle No. 1.


The title is an experiment with color and blend modes. I sampled a color from the leaf pile below and changed the blend mode to multiply. I adjusted the color with a hue and saturation layer to get the color more pink to match the transfers.

My balance seems a little heavier on the right side, but I think the large photo of my granddaughter and the background photo on the left both help to balance the two pages. I will call it a bit of tension and consider this page finished!!!

Anne Frank

When my sister suggested that we see the Anne Frank exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance while I am here in California, I thought that was an excellent idea. I had read the book years ago, but I enjoy museums and history.

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Anne was so young when her family had to go in hiding. She didn’t get to finish school, but she loved writing.

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There were a number of family photos in circle frames along the walls.

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The exhibit contains a beautiful, detailed replica of Anne’s original diary. Miep Geis, the woman who protected the family during the Nazi occupation, found the diary on the floor of the secret room after the Nazi soldiers found and arrested the family.  The Nazi soldiers had dumped the journal out of the family’s bag and replaced it with what they considered valuables.

Miep wasn’t taken only because an arresting solider from Austria recognized her Austrian accent as she spoke German. I would hope I had the courage Miep Geis did, bicycling 8 miles to fields outside the city in search of food not only for herself but also for those living in the secret room hidden by a bookcase built to conceal the entrance to the attic.

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Only Anne’s father, Otto, survived the Holocaust. Anne and her sister died of Typhus only weeks before they would have been liberated. There were walls of rolled fabric throughout the display. They changed from the gray and stripes to all black as a tribute to the darkness of the atrocities and to Anne’s death. Her journal is displayed in the circular container.

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However, in the next room, where a collection of published copies of Anne’s journal were displayed, the walls are covered in bright colored fabric from the clothing of the children. It marks hope, I was told by a guide. Upon Otto Franks’s return to Holland, Miep gave Otto the diary. It wasn’t long before he was encouraged to publish his daughter’s writing. Otto said that while he thought he knew his child, upon reading the diary, he was struck by how self-critical and reflective she was, revealing just how little he knew of her.

When I asked whether the diary had been edited, the woman said that Otto did edit the version that I read. Anne didn’t like some of the people with whom she lived, so she changed their names. There were also parts that described Anne’s difficult relationship with her mother. Those parts were taken out of the original book. In the last few years, an unedited version has been published. I’d love to find that edition.

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The photographer in me saw these mirrored walls as I walked behind my sister on the way out of the exhibit. I asked her to turn around before handing off my camera so that she could take my photo.

We stayed to listen to a Holocaust survivor share her poignant story of first losing her grandmother and then her mother as they were taken from Romania as a seven year old child. When she was finally liberated by Americans, she was sent to an orphanage in Sweden. Two years later, her father found her through the Red Cross. However, as a young college student in Budapest protesting the communists, she decided to immigrate to the United States.

One wonders how so much cruelty could have been allowed to occur. A statement, part of one recording, stayed with me as we walked through the rest of the exhibits: If you repeat the lies often enough people begin to believe them.

If you’re going to see the exhibit and want a nice salad, there is a Tender Greens not 5 miles away. However, I don’t recommend Google Maps. My navigator had difficulty getting us there until she made a telephone call. In addition, Google Maps provided a convoluted route on the way home. I thought we were going to take surface streets all the way from Culver City back to Fullerton before we finished all the right turn then left turn, right turn then left turn instructions.

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Organizing with Lightroom

In the future, my family will look at these photos from our trip and want to know the what, when, where and why of their pictures. My grandchildren are young; they will forget much about the memories we made together.

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One morning we bought containers of corn and seeds to feed the deer as we walked along paths with open fences allowing deer to freely roam among people walking the paths.

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Owen and Logan shook their closed containers of seeds to attract the deer and fed them just a few seeds at a time. Owen, almost twelve, placed seeds on the backs of the deer trying to get them to eat off one another. He and Logan weren’t afraid they would lose a finger by feeding the deer one piece at a time.

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However, Corbin and Kate had a little more trouble keeping a secure grasp on their containers. We had some tears as the deer gobbled up the corn spilled on the ground.

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2016-06-14 091803Kate wanted to feed the deer, but she wasn’t sure that she really liked them licking seeds off her hand. Kate smiled when her mom put some in Kate’s lap. Yet, she did not like that her dress got wet when the deer lapped up the corn and seeds!

Helping my grandchildren remember our time together is the reason why I make photos and take the time to create scrapbook pages as well as add metadata to my photos with Lightroom. With five years experience using Lightroom, I have found which options work for me and are worth my time.

One of the most important options in Lightroom is the ability to add keywords and captions to the metadata of my photos. My keyword list includes words clarifying who, what and where. I have categories for family and friends, foods, garden words, holidays, indoor activities, outdoor activities, places, weather and technology.

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As I went through my vacation photos, I first deleted those photos that I knew I wouldn’t use, photos with blurry faces and sharp backgrounds, photos obscured when someone walked into the view just as I was snapping the shot, photos that were poorly cropped. At the same time, I picked my favorites by pressing the “p” key which attaches a white flag. That indicates the photo is a keeper, a photo that speaks to me, a photo that I want to use on a page. I have given up attaching a numeric rating to photos. I found it wasn’t worth my time since I don’t choose photos based on a rating.

As I shared in a previous post, I also add captions to photos so that my thoughts about the photos become part of the metadata. Once I had those “picked” photos, I created a collection for them so that they are easily available for creating scrapbook pages.

Taking the time to organize photos by adding keywords and a few thoughts about the morning together before creating a collection of my favorites in Lightroom makes it much easier when I begin to create scrapbook pages for this year’s book.

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Blurry Photos Tell Stories

While I had my computer with me on vacation and fully intended to post photos on my blog, it just didn’t happen. I didn’t even get any photos uploaded to Lightroom until I returned home. However, as I review them now, I am going to add a number of stories to the caption space in Lightroom so that the stories are embedded as metadata in each photo. Then if I don’t get to creating the scrapbook pages immediately, I will have something to help me remember the stories that I want to tell. As I upload the photos from my camera into Lightroom, I also pick my favorites, add keywords and file favorites in collections which makes searching for photos I want to use to create a page much easier.

One afternoon, I repeatedly climbed several flights of stairs with Kate in order to reach one of several different slides. I stood behind her, waiting for the guard’s signal to slip down behind her. I don’t have many photos of our time playing together. I didn’t want to ruin my iPhone or camera under all the spraying water.

Yes, this shot of Kate as she’s approaching the stairs appears a bit blurry. She was moving fast. I soon learned that if I didn’t keep up she would disappear from view, which definitely provided a few scary moments as I searched for her. However, sometimes blurry photos help tell the story. In this instance, the blurriness emphasizes just how fast she was going, way too fast for my camera in the dim light, let alone a grandmother standing in a foot of water trying to keep her camera dry.

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Kate would slide down first and then wait for me at the bottom of each slide, laughing. No, there are no photos of me sliding down. However, I did manage to get one photo of Kate at the bottom of one slide. Try to visualize a three story structure and a grandmother racing to keep up with a little girl flying through sprays of water as she led the way to one of the slides. I slept very well that night!!

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Sometimes I find it hard to get back into scrapbooking after a vacation. I have learned that just spending time reviewing photos, adding keywords, and thinking about the stories the photos tell helps me plan pages. I’m not sure yet what kind of scrapbook pages I’m going to create with all the photos I made, but this is a story that I want Kate to remember. I’ve already added this story to the metadata in Lightroom, I just need to think through a page design.


Inspiration for a story doesn’t always occur when I make a photograph. For example, I made some photographs of my grandchildren on Mother’s Day, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write. I could have written about the little gnome and grass covered rabbit that my grandchildren brought me for my garden, gifts my son thought were hilarious. 2016-05-08 170133-2I know because he smiled the way I remembered him smiling when he’d done something as a boy, something he thought I’d find very entertaining. I could also have written about my grandchildren’s antics while being coaxed to sit together on the little bridge in the wooded area behind our house so that I could make this photograph. However, it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that I found just the story I really wanted to write. Unfortunately, there was simply no time to make any photos Wednesday morning. I was much too busy. So I used a photo I made on Sunday, a photo filled with memories, to write a different story for a scrapbook page.

One morning a week, I am in charge of getting my four grandchildren out of bed and off to school. For some reason, my skills as a young mother and a classroom teacher haven’t transferred to my current grandma status. This morning, I re-entered the kitchen to hear Corbin ask if he could have a cookie. ThisMorningICan'tRemember_lkdavis_600I didn’t immediately notice that he already had most of it in his mouth when I said, “not until you finish your pancakes, so put it back.” I looked up to observe Owen across the kitchen putting two of those cookies in a baggie. He said they were for snack. I questioned, “5th graders have snack time?” “No,” responded Logan as he helped himself to what was left. Then Kate started crying because there were no cookies left for her. Was it like this when my two kids were little? Surely not, but I can’t remember now!!!

I don’t think my family will care that I didn’t capture any photos of what happened on Wednesday morning. I anticipate that they will remember sitting on the bridge and may even laugh at grandma’s story, at least the two older boys will laugh. I can already hear my son laughing.

2016-05-13_WithoutExtractionFor those of you who read my last post, I shared a tip for adding dimension to a layout by extracting part of a picture. Take a look at my page without the extractions. Do you see the difference in depth? Without the extraction, I also do not have the flexibility to place color and texture below their legs. Extracting is a simple process.


After adding some adjustment layers to the photo, I duplicated both the photo and adjustment layers. Next, I extracted my grandchildren’s legs from the copy using the Pen Tool before placing the selection on a layer mask. That allowed me to refine my extraction. Finally, I gave my extraction layer a drop shadow to add even more depth.

Before concluding this post, I want to thank Adryane for sharing her ideas for using the Line Tool at Anna’s latest live event on Saturday, ArtPlay Unedited 2. If you look carefully, you will see the lines I drew on the faded frame of mask 2 from Camera FotoBlendz No. 1 in order to balance my framing lines on the left and bottom of my page. Click on the screenshot below to see the products I used to create this page.




Changing Focus and a Tip for Extractions

As I go through Anna’s gallery, I often think about the different purposes for engaging in scrapbooking, knowing that for many digital scrapbook artists the time with small children lies in the past or future. Family has been a major theme for many of my pages. However, it won’t be long before my last grandchild heads off to school in 2018 and my focus will change.

I am thinking now about what stories I might write and photographs I will make when Kate does begin school. I know there are stories that I haven’t told about photos still quietly residing on my hard drive. I imagine that I will compile some of those stories on scrapbook pages. I imagine that I will create more art with my photos, try new techniques and experiment with upcoming trends. Maybe I will find some better approaches for working with those 1970-80s photos of my own children. I am sure that I will continue to develop my skills and style. As a grandmother I know that change will come whether I want it or not. This is part of the reason that I am grappling with creative balance this year, something between artsy pages for the sake of art and pages with family stories for a 2016 book.

Despite my changing focus, I think extractions will remain a characteristic of my style. I love the dimension created with extractions. With all this practice, they are certainly getting much easier and faster for me. So using a two page spread that I’ve just finished, I would like to share another tip for using extractions, specifically an extraction of just part of a photo so that it extends beyond a mask and/or frame.

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I love the look of part of a photo Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.43.12 PMextending beyond a frame as on this page using Anna’s Artsy Layered Template No. 125 and Artsy Layered Template Duopack No. 10. After resizing and clipping a photo to a mask, I duplicated that photo and moved the copy up above the frame. I often extract what I want to keep with the Quick Selection Tool and then click the add layer mask icon to place the selection on a mask. Sometimes, I use the Pen Tool, however for this photo, I simply attached an inverted layer mask to the photo copy and then used a hard round brush to bring back just the part of the photo that I wanted to extend out of the frame. The screen shot of my layer’s panel shows the original photo that I clipped to mask 3 and the duplicated photo (with the word extraction added to the layer name). I placed the duplicate above not only frame 3 but also frame 5 so that Kate’s feet would drop over the frame onto the black and white photo below.

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After I finished extracting her feet using a hard round brush on inverted layer masks, I added a drop shadow to the layers to make the extractions appear more realistic.


I actually extracted just part of a photo on both sides of my two page spread. On the left, I created a custom mask for the original photo and then duplicated the photo, placing it above the original masked photo. From the photo copy, I extracted using the Quick Selection Tool just enough from the photo to allow my granddaughter’s feet to dangle over the bridge. I gave the extraction a drop shadow. On the right, I extracted her legs and feet again so that they extended out of the frames. I also gave those extractions a drop shadow. While I used the Quick Selection Tool on the left side, I used an inverted mask and the Brush Tool on the right side.

Whether you use the Pen Tool, Quick Selection Tool or Brush Tool to extract doesn’t really matter as all three are simple techniques when combined with a layer mask for creating partial extractions to extend from a mask or frame. I hope this provides an idea for working with extractions on whatever type of scrapbook pages you create. The full layout screenshot links to this page in Anna’s gallery with a complete list of products used.


Below are two additional examples of placing a partial extraction above a frame and applying a drop shadow to the extraction. For information on the supplies used on the layout on the left click this link. More information on the layout on the right is available here.

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