Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: Topaz Studio

Waiting on Spring

I fully intended to capture the tulips while I was at my evening photography class at Lauritzen Gardens a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately the weather was so cold during April that they had hardly sprouted the day I was there. Frost killed my bowl of pansies in April, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that the large pots along the brick wall in the Victorial Garden were empty. There were a some daffodils and few struggling panies in the beds, but the tulips were just emerging from the ground. What a shame, I love a good tulip display. I’m going to my class again next week and hope to see a few left.

Even without any flowers, I decided that the photos that I made of the ornaments, urn and door with all the brick deserved a page.

For this page, place two copies of overlay 3 from ArtPlay Palette Ariose (free with a $20 purchase of Anna products during the NSD sale at Oscaps. Both layers are on normal blend mode.

Note: This might be an odd place to begin, but I love this overlay.

Place the layers of template 3 from WaterColor Template Album No. 6 on the page. Add two copies of the gold paint and change the blend mode to color burn at 50%.

Note: The overlay layers are just below the fotoblendz mask from the template. Initially, I turned off all the template layers except the fotoblendz mask. I also applied a painted treatment to the photo with Topaz Studio.

Recolor some stains and/or clip copies of the photo to others.

Turn on three of the small frames. Clip photos to two of the small frames. To the third, clip artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Ariose and adjust the position within the framed mask.

Place overlay 4 and art stroke 1 from ArtPlay Palette Ariose just below the small frames, both on normal blend mode. Complete journaling.

Turn on the template’s urban thread layer. For additional interest, add the flower, bird and thread from ArtPlay Palette Ariose. Add title.

Note: As I finished up, I decided that solid paper 2 with a levels adjustment layer on screen provided a better background than white.

Now I can’t wait to see what’s in the Victorian Garden next week.

Sayaka Ganz

At my photography class on Wednesday, suspended from the ceiling of the conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens hung a dolphin by Sayaka Ganz. She uses common household plastic objects to create animals with a sense of motion.  and assembles them to create the effect of a Van Gogh painting. She states, “I believe the best way for artists to help reduce waste is to show how beautiful these materials can be and what can be done with the mundane…When we think of these things as beautiful, we value them. If we value our resources, we will waste less.”

As I looked up, I struggled to get the angle of the dolphin amid the palms. I liked the shapes of the fronds, but in a way, they compete with the dolphin. With my 18-70 mm, f/3.4-5.6 zoom, standing below, I was too far away to blur the background in the late afternoon light. However, with photoshop, I can change the emphasis. Below, I share my steps.

Extract the dolphin. Duplicate twice; create a sketch with one and apply an effect to lighten in the second copy. Clip the sketch, 100% color burn, to the copy with the effect. Link the two copies and rotate clockwise so that the dolphin is headed down more. Add a standard shadow to the top dolphin from the style menu and a custom shadow to the original dolphin copy. To do that put the standard shadow on a separate layer and warp it.

Note: I learn a lot about my photography creating these pages. In this case, in an effort to get all the fins, I placed the dolphin in the center and chose a safe angle.

Below the extraction, place another linked copy of the photo. Clip the copy to mask 3 from WaterColor FotoBlendz No. 8. Duplicate the photo twice and apply effects. Above the photo copies position artsy paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Evanish. Add a layer mask and bring back in just part of the paper with a soft round brush. Change the blend mode to linear burn at 80%.

Note: For this page, I experimented with a watercolor look and a painterly effect in Topaz Studio.

Place artsy paper 3 from ArtPlay Palette Evanish at the bottom of the layers panel.

Note: I chose this paper because the shape fit my photo so well.

To fill in the background, place art strokes 1 and 2 as well as the gold paint 2 from ArtPlay Palette Evanish. Above the gold paint layer, place file 4 from SeaSprinkles No. 2.

Add glows from CoolGlows No. 1 and CoolGlows No. 4, one on linear light at 60% and the other on soft light at 100%. Place blue buttons and tack down with thread 2 from ButtonThreadz No. 3 and thread 10 from ButtonThreadz No. 1.

Note: The buttons are from ArtPlay Palette Socialize and ArtPlay Mini Gelid.

Finally, add a title and journaling.

This is quite a change from my original photo.

Christmas Colors?


It’s a tradition for me to hand my camera off and to sit with grandchildren on the fireplace for a quick snapshot at Christmas. This is my present to myself. Our Christmas isn’t fancy, just a meal together and watching the kids open gifts. From my perspective nothing more is needed to celebrate the birth of Christ than everyone being together again.

Having both Jeff and Jen together for Christmas this year brought back sweet memories of them as little kids. Hard to believe the black and white photo on the layout above was taken forty years ago. I miss those moments; maybe that’s why this Christmas with them both was so precious.

However, I struggled with this layout, specifically the colors. To begin, I moved two templates from Project Template Album No. 3 on to a new blank 24×12 document, I had already selected the photos I wanted to include on the page. I switched out the frames on the bottom left to accommodate the orientation of those photos.

Then I clipped my photos to the masks and frames. I wondered how I would create a Christmas page with the intense colors in our clothes. I tried changing the photos to black and white to help calm the page, but that didn’t look right either.

I finally settled on desaturating the color in each photo to soften the look a little. However, I was frustrated and walked away from this page for two days.

Returning to my page, I began experimenting with brushes to try to bring in more Christmas colors in an effort to tie the page together. I stamped a brush from Christmas Trees No. 1 on a new layer in a muted green in the gutter of the layout.

However, it wasn’t until a friend sent me a wreath that I knew how to solve my color problem. A bow from ArtPlay Palette Gentle Morning had been recolored a rusty red. That helped pull in the salmon pink of Kate’s outfit.

I sampled that color with the color picker and stamped brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 7 and ArtsyPaint No. 8 to fill in the background behind the photos. I adjusted the opacity and blend modes. I also added a button from ArtPlay Palette Merry Tree (color adjusted with hue and saturation layer) and ArtPlay Palette Joyeux and tacked them down with two threads from ButtonThreadz No. 2.

As much as I love these snapshots, the color scheme proved especially difficult for creating a Christmas layout. I have to admit that part of me wondered whether I should have reminded them to wear Christmas colors when I saw what I uploaded to Lightroom. I mean, it would have made for a prettier page if the colors were more harmonious. In the end, I can tell the snapshots on this layout were taken at Christmas. That’s enough for the individuals in my family!

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An iPhone and a Template

 

When Corbin and Kate spent the night a couple of weeks ago, we walked down to the trees beyond the pond. All I had with me was my iPhone 6 to capture my grandson’s gallantry towards his sister as he helped her mimic whatever he did, including leaping over a little stream. I did warn them about getting wet if they fell into the water below. As you can tell by the photos, Kate was hesitant at first, but soon enough began directing her brother exactly where she wanted him to stand in order to help her. It was getting dark so I had to increase the exposure later in Lightroom. Some of the photos were a little blurry, something I accepted as part of making photos of active children with an iPhone, or any camera for that matter, as the sun was setting.

For this two page spread, I used two templates from Anna’s new album, Project Template Album No. 3. Note: I put a title in the place of a textbox on the template and deleted the numbers as well as the tape and hipster plumes.

First, I clipped photos to the large fotoblendz masks and stains below, adjusting the exposure with adjustment layers.

Next, I clipped photos to the small frames, again making adjustments to the photos with adjustment layers. Note: I changed two of the photos to black and white with Topaz Studio.

I then placed copies of three small photos above their respective frames, extracted my granddaughter and grandson with the Quick Selection tool and cleaned up the framing with a small hard brush on the layer mask created with the extraction.

I stamped stains from ArtsyStains No. 3 and ArtsyStains No. 5 below both templates for additional color.

For the gutter, I placed another photo and changed it to black and white with an adjustment layer. I then added an inverted layer mask to the photo and stamped with brushes from ArtsyPaint No. 8 and ArtsyStains No. 3 to reveal just parts of the photo.

Finally, I added paper textures from PaperTextures No. 4 and PaperTextures No. 5 to finish my page.

My layout was quick and easy to complete with the snapshots I captured that evening with my old iPhone. Digital scrapbooking can’t get much easier!!

However, technology changes quickly, definitely on phone cameras. Like my grandchildren, I made a leap too and bought a new iPhone X last week. I haven’t gotten to take many photos with it yet, but what I captured of Kate last weekend, see examples below, with the new portrait mode definitely show the technical improvements over my older iPhone. I don’t think the blur is as good as my Fuji X-T2, but if you look closely, you will see that the background is indeed blurred, much like you would get with a DSLR. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my new iPhone.

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