February 14, 2012
Tutorial Tuesday
Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday! Sarah of Naptime Momtog and I will be bringing you a new challenge every week, to stretch your shooting and editing skills. I want to thank Branson of My Reflection of Something for all her help in getting us started, but she has decided to take a break. I completely support her decision and I’m excited to have Sarah come on board. I should also point out that the thinking behind Tutorial Tuesday was never to be a “Branson and Ashley show,” but more an opportunity share what we’re learning as a community. In fact, I hope to see even more guest tutorials and less of myself (or Sarah) writing brand new ones. 
With that in mind, I’d like to present our first guest tutorial. I spotted Jill Wellington of This is Life…Through My Lens’ work a couple of weeks ago when she linked up with Tutorial Tuesday. In particular, I was rather impressed with her faux wallpaper tutorial and asked if she would mind sharing her steps in more detail with the rest of our community. I thought this might build on the light box tutorial as it basically takes a clean background (bare walls) and jazzes it up. I’m hoping this is something you’ll have fun with regardless of whether or not you do any portrait work. Personally, I’m paying close attention for those future newborn photos I’ll be doing in August. 
Now…without further ado, please give Jill a warm welcome!
I am a portrait photographer in Michigan and always consider myself a work in progress. I learn something new during every photo session. I also gain a ton of knowledge from other wonderful photographers who share tips and tricks on blogs like this.That’s why I was thrilled when Ashley asked me to write up a guest blog post. I have a fun, creative technique for you to try. Recently, I photographed a precious newborn girl named Emma Rose.
No, I didn’t re-wallpaper the wall behind her between shots…HECK NO! It was hard enough getting her to sleep. In fact, there was NO WALLPAPER on that wall. It’s not even a wall…it’s white paper.
This is what it really looked like:
I added the wallpaper in PhotoShop Elements 9. I’m guessing it would be a very similar technique in regular PhotoShop. Start by doing an image search online for wallpaper you love (note from Ashley: try deviantART – I’ve had pretty good luck looking for vintage wallpapers in the past). I looked for free wallpaper backgrounds. Put them all into a folder that you keep for textures. While you’re at it…find some base molding online. Crop out any backgrounds so you only have the strip of molding saved in your folder.

Here’s how to add the wallpaper (note from Ashley – for those of you that frequently work with textures, it applies much the same way):
  • Pull your photo into Elements and click on File as shown by the pink arrow below.
  • Click on Place as seen by the blue arrow.
  • Find your folder where you saved the wallpaper and click on the wallpaper you want to use.
  • You will now see your wallpaper over your photo as seen below. Click on one of the corners as seen by the pink arrow, and drag the wallpaper to the size that will cover the white wall.
You will probably have to tilt it a bit. Be careful to keep your size ratio intact. You don’t want any stretched out flowers on your wallpaper print (to keep the same ratio, just hold down your shift key as you drag the corners).
  • When you have placed the wallpaper where you want it click on the green check mark as seen by the pink arrow below.
  • At the top left of the layers pallet you will see your blending modes, marked Normal as seen by the pink arrow below, click on the drop down menu and find Multiply as seen by the yellow arrow. Click on that and you will see that the wallpaper is now transparent and you can see the baby through it.
Now you’re going to erase the wallpaper off the person or any props.
  • Click on the eraser in the tools pallet as seen by the pink arrow below.
  • Move your cursor anywhere in the photo and click. 
  • A box will pop up and you need to click Okay to simplify the layer as seen by the blue arrow.
Note from Ashley: you may also use layer masks (if you’re comfortable using them) to erase the wallpaper from the person or props. Remember to fill the layer mask black to paint on the wallpaper using a white brush or fill the layer mask white to paint off the wallpaper using a black brush.
  • To really see where you are erasing, lower the wallpaper opacity with the slider in the upper right corner of the layers pallet as seen by the pink arrow below.
  • Bring your eraser opacity up to 100% by using the slider as pointed out by the pink arrow below. Use a soft edged eraser.
  • Erase the wallpaper off most of the baby and bed at 100% opacity, AVOIDING the edges for now.
  • Zoom in closer and lower the eraser opacity to about 60% as seen by the pink arrow. 
  • Now carefully erase around the edges with a smaller eraser size. You can shrink or enlarge your eraser size using the bracket keys { or }.
Once the wallpaper is erased off the main features, you can reset the wallpaper opacity to your liking as seen by the pink arrow below. In this photo, I set it at about 80%, but this varies depending on the photo. Whatever looks good to you is good!
  • Now, use the same technique to add base molding as seen by the pink arrow below.
  • The fun part, is that you can use your brush tool to actually PAINT a different color on the molding. It’s like being an interior decorator without all the manual labor and expense!
I figured out this technique out of necessity. My studio is set up in my basement with a simple white piece of paper hung from the ceiling.
I use the same technique to add bokeh for another background idea.
I have photographed a lot of bokeh to use in my portraits. I share more than 90 of them for free and you can have them by CLICKING HERE.
Check out my blog for more editing ideas or my photography web site to see these techniques in my portraits. I hope these ideas open up a creative new world for YOUR photography!
Wasn’t that awesome? Thanks Jill for providing such detailed steps – I’m really looking forward to giving this a try. Are you ready to join in the fun? Here’s how to do it:
1. Read through today’s tutorial.
2. Choose your favorite shot (or more!) to share with us.
3. Don’t forget to grab the button for your post!
4. Link up between now and next Monday.

Tutorial Tuesday

PS: If you have any photography or editing suggestions, please don’t hesitate to let me or Sarah know!