July 14, 2011
Shoot and Edit: Week 27 – Skies the Limit…EDIT
Welcome to the 27th week of Shoot and Edit: Part 2. Click HERE for all the details and upcoming prompts/themes (also including previous editing tutorials). This week’s theme or prompt was to show us one “Skies the Limit” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). I clearly did not follow the rules, but hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

Each Thursday, I will take my SOOC shot and provide a simple/basic or advanced Photoshop/Photoshop Elements tutorial. You can then try my tutorial on your own photos and link up here – linky will now open EARLY on Thursdays and be open THROUGH SUNDAY. If you’d prefer, can simply share your own edit and show us what you did to achieve the look. We want this challenge to be a learning experience, so feel free to teach us something new too! Also, it does not matter what editing program you use. Although I tend to work within Adobe CS5 (Photoshop), Photoshop Elements and Adobe Camera Raw…it does not mean that you have to use the exact same program. I hope you’ll be able to take the concepts and apply them in the program you feel most comfortable using.

This week, I thought we’d try something different and talk framing and clipping masks. At this point in our tutorials, I’ve shared most of what I know with regard to basic Photoshop/Photoshop Elements tools. You should be able to take everything I’ve taught you thus far and put it to work….just mix n’ match!

Actually, I might have hit a tutorial slump. So, I’m thinking for the next few weeks (until I pull out of this slump/write a syllabus/get re-inspired, etc), that I would edit a photo from the FLICKR pool each week. Is this a good idea? Any suggestions for how to spice up the editing tutorial side of things? Guest tutorial writers? I’d love to hear your feedback.

One more thing before we get into it. I recently “met” Lauren over at Outside Voice. We clearly hit it off because she emailed me last night and said I was being featured today. Be sure to click over and check out her blog…you’ll love it. Anyways, here’s my SOOC shots from earlier this week:
Mushroom SOOC shots
You’ll often see me using frames to display my photographs. My absolute favorite frames were purchased using a gift card from The Album Cafe that I won in a Paper Mama challenge. However, there are a number of FREE frames ready for download at The Coffeeshop Blog. The one used below is a set of four Vintage frames. For those of you who have not used clipping masks, Rita’s made it a little easier: 
“These frames are simple .png files with transparent backgrounds.  You add your image by dragging it under the frame.  Then free transform (Ctrl-T) the image to fit.  If the image is too big and some of it is hanging out on the sides of the frame, just click on the image layer and then select the areas of the images outside the frame with the rectangular Marquee tool (M) and hit delete.”
Once you’ve placed your image, you’ll just want to flatten your image, resize, sharpen for the web and save as a JPG file (if you’re using a white background). 
Mushroom 1 Framed
More often than not, if you’re working with frames, you’ll see what is called a clipping mask. This particular video does a pretty good job of explaining how to use clipping masks for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements – it was originally recorded during the Christmas holidays, so you might say it’s “Christmas in July.” If you’re looking for a slightly more advanced tutorial, CLICK HERE.

Keeping it simple, here’s a few things you’ll want to remember:
  • Copy/Paste or Drag/Drop your photo on top of your clipping mask layer
  • Re-size to fit specific clipping mask dimensions (CTRL+T for free transform, hold the shift key to hold original ratio)
  • Click CTRL+ALT+G to link your photo to the clipping mask

With that in mind, I decided to use Katie Lloyd’s new Vintage Polaroid effect on my second photo. For those of us that don’t own an i-phone, this effect makes me feel like one of the cool kids. If you haven’t already downloaded it, don’t wait any longer. She’s even included adjustable layers and a little instruction guide within the download. Isn’t she great? I heart her.
Mushroom 2 Polaroid RS
Katie’s Vintage Polaroid effect is pretty awesome, but if you want to create old-school Polaroid-like images, let me introduce Poladroid. I think I actually introduced this application last year, but I haven’t used it at all until the other night.

Once you’ve downloaded the application, you simply drag and drop your image into the Polaroid maker (I recommend a clean edit before using this application). You’ll literally hear it “snap,” and if you need the feeling of shaking your photo until it’s completely developed…you can do that too (although not necessary). The only disadvantage of using Poladroid is that you have zero control of the outcome of the image…each photo will have a completely different look – much like an actual Polaroid photo. If you have children, this is a great little activity to pass the time.
Mushroom 1 Clean-pola Mushroom 2 Clean-pola
So, to recap our lesson, today we discussed frames and clipping masks. For your edit, I would love to see you continuing using the lessons we’ve covered in the past 26 weeks as well as apply today’s lesson or share something you’ve learned recently. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to seeing your edits. Next week’s theme is “Summer.”