October 27, 2011
Categories: Photoshop, PSE, Shoot and Edit Tags:
Shoot and Edit: Week 42 – Memories…EDIT (Guest Tutorial)
DSC_2862Welcome to the 42nd 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 “Memories” SOOC shot (this was just a suggestion, you can show us any SOOC shot). Hopefully you linked up with Jill’s blog earlier this week.

This week, I’ve asked Michelle, who blogs over at Snapshots by Michelle, to share a creative lesson with us. She’ll be using Photoshop Elements 8, but this lesson will easily translate into any version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Please give Michelle a warm welcome!

I have recently discovered a new love for finding ways to display my pictures creatively. Lately I’ve been using collages (which I collect free ones like crazy!) but have been intrigued by the ones I’ve found where words were used to display the pictures (like the first picture shown here). However all the templates I found didn’t really go with the pics I was wanting to display, and despite google-ing for some instructions to make my own, I just didn’t find any I liked/understood. I decided that I would use the knowledge from a collage making e-class I took last year and figure out how to make my own! Hopefully after reading this tutorial, you too will be able to make your own templates that will fit your pics. It really is a lot simpler than what you’d expect!

Open a new blank file and enter the size dimensions and resolution desired (for my blog, I usually stick to images around 750 pixels wide/tall and keep the resolution low at 72. If you were wanting to print this, you can enter whatever size you plan on printing (8x10in, 4x6in, etc) and 300 for the resolution)
Then you want to add a new layer and select the Text tool (T on the left tool bar). Pick a font that has kinda blocky/wide letters and make sure you bold it to make it even thicker. Adjust the font size to fit across the picture (if you click and hold on the text tool, you can select a vertical type tool to write words vertically — very cool!).
Click on the Rectangle shape tool on the tool bar (again, clicking and holding will bring up other shape options) and draw a rectangle on the page, making sure the edges of the rectangle just touch the top edges of the words.
Then over in the layers panel, select the text layer and the shape layer. Right click and select “Merge Layers” to put the words and rectangle into one layer. This is our clipping mask!
Then, to help make our image stand out just a bit from the background, make sure the mask layer (merged word and shape layer) is selected, then under the Effects panel, click on the Layer Styles button (second button from left) and select Drop Shadows from the drop down menu. Double click on “Soft Edge” to add a shadow.
Next, you’ll want to open the picture you want to use, in my case, I selected the river picture I used this week for our memories prompt. I then clicked on it in the project bin, held it and dragged it on top of my clipping mask layer (see how it’s on top of the clipping mask in the layers panel on the right?). I had already sized the picture for the web, so it fit perfectly. Had I not re-sized it, after dragging the picture onto the template, I would have clicked CTRL-T to transform the size (adjust the size to make it smaller) and then CTRL-0 (the number zero, not the letter o) to make the whole image fit in the screen to make it easier to adjust. After adjusting it so it fit better, I could have either zoomed back in or clicked CTRL-0 again to make the image fit the screen again.
Now, we just need to clip our picture to the mask! Look at the Layers panel and move your mouse over the line between the picture layer and the mask layer (where the red box is in the image below). Hold down the ALT key on the keyboard and click once. This will make the picture only appear though the black part of the mask below it (you could also press CTRL-G on the keyboard)!

Yeah! Looking pretty good! You could stop here and flatten to save as a jpg, but I thought that it was still missing something for this image. So I double clicked on the little “fx” icon on the clipping mask layer (this showed up after we put the drop shadow on it). This allows me to add a few extra effects (which you can adjust the size, transparency and color to fit your image/tastes). I checked both Glow and Bevel (I believe I left them at the default settings, but I may have adjusted them to be a bit more smaller!) and was impressed with the little extra touch it gave my image. Don’t be afraid to check any one of them and see what it does! You can always uncheck or un-do if you decide it’s too much.
I chose to leave my background layer white, but at any time in this process you can select a color and fill the background layer. Sometimes it’s a nice addition, other times, I think it’s too much. Once you’re happy with it, right-click on the bottom layer and select “Flatten Image”. Then you can add your watermark and save for web or you can save it for printing.
Here’s my final image: 
Week 42 Good to Wow editing Memories
Now, armed with this information, you now have the tools needed to create and imagine on your own! Here’s some others that I’ve made:

(my fur-kid Storm at the river)


DreamsBokeh - w/ words
(a more abstract one, but with a quote added)
Now, if you’re still just too intimidated to make your own collage, I asked Ashley if she’s be willing to share a few templates I made up: CLICK HERE. Hope you enjoy them! Please be sure to add your edits to the Flickr group (especially if you used one of the templates) – I’d love to see them! Next week’s theme is “Costumes” Have a great Thursday!

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Good to WOW

By the way, don’t forget to add your edited photo to our good to WOW {EDIT} Flickr Group (for those of you that prefer to upload and visit that way). When adding your photos to the group pool, be sure to include the Week #, the Theme and EDIT in the description section. You may upload one photo per week. I also want to point out that we are all here to improve our editing skills. When offering constructive criticism (either on Flickr or within blog comment sections), be sure to point out at least one thing you really like about the edit before offering any advice for improvement.