Welcome to EarlK Design!

The EarlK Design blog consists mainly of entries that show how to do things using Adobe Photoshop that I hope you will find helpful and give your creative mind more tools to work with.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes Adobe Illustrator CS5, Lightroom 5, and Corel Painter X. However, I believe that much of what I show can be done using Photoshop Elements.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen January 19, 2012

Just Enough

Kim's thought was ... Just Enough ...

Today's Challenge:

I encourage you to be simplistic with your composition... this can be any subject. Try using simple objects from your home... or perhaps even a photo of you, just your hand, your hair, your eyes..... maybe your hand holding a simple object.. You get the idea... Keep it simple... Did I mention simple?
If you are setting up a still, think.... less is more.... allow for some lovely negative space in the shot .....
I took a photo of a ceramic mug that I had made with a Ty Beanie Baby Hedgehog next to it. I used my Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. The shot was made using incandescent lighting, spot focus, f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400. I used a backdrop of a batik fabric that I have. I left the creases in the fabric. The set up is on a drafting table that is in a horizontal position. I used a copy paper carton to hold the fabric up in the back.

Here is what I did with my photo in Photoshop CS5.

Layer 0.  I opened a new document that was 8.5 x 11-inch, portrait, 300 ppi, RGB, white background. I won't show his since it is just a white background layer.

Layer 1.  I brought in the photo and using Free Transform I sized the photo to my layout page.

Layer 2.  Then I brought in Kim Klassen's texture kk_awaken. I used the Free Transform to size the texture to fit my layout. Here is what kk_awaken looks like at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity.

I changed the Mode to Soft Light and kept the Opacity 100%. It lightens up the whole image.

Layer 3.  I want to darken the edges of the layout. I will do this by using a layer filled with 50% gray and set to Soft Light Blend Mode. I created a new layer, Layer 3. I used Shift - Delete / Backspace to open the Fill dialog. 

I selected 50% Gray, Normal Mode, Opacity 100%, and left Preserve Transparency unchecked. This is what it looks like at this point.

Then I set the Layer Blend Mode to Soft Light.

It looks just the same as it did before.

With this 50% gray Soft Light layer being selected as the active layer, I selected the Burn Tool.

In the Option Bar I selected a fairly large round soft brush, used Midtones Range, an Exposure of 55%, and checked Protect Tones.

Then I clicked in the upper left corner, held down the shift key, click in the upper right corner, still holding down the shift key, clicked in the lower right corner, shift key is till down, clicked in the lower left corner, and shift still down, clicked in the upper cleft corner where I began doing this. I now have a darker border all around the image. I did this twice to get the result I wanted. Here it is.

I could have stopped here and been happy with this. But, I thought that I would like a distressed border around the layout.

The method I am going to use to create the distressed edge requires that you have Photoshop CS5, I least I think you do, I am not sure what is in Elements. It requires that you have the new Refine Edge when using the Rectangular Marquee Tool.

Layer 4.  While Layer 3 is the active layer, I used Command / Control - Option / Alt - Shift - E to create a composite of all the visible layers. This composite layer becomes Layer 4. The image looks just like it did previously. I turned off the visibility of the layers below, except for the Layer 0 background.  Using the Rectangular MarqueeTool, I placed a selection that was about 3/8-inch in from all the outside edges.

Then, in the Option Bar, I clicked on the Refine Edge button to open up the Refine Edge dialog. Feather is set to 0 px, Style Normal.

In the View Mode drop down menu, I selected On White.

In Edge Detection, I checked Smart Radius, and set the Radius to 60 px. You can play around with the sliders in the Adjust Edge area, but I left them all at 0. In Output To I selected Layer Mask. This uses a layer mask and keeps all my pixels untouched. I clicked OK.

This is what I now have.

Layers 5 and 6.  These are my signature layer and date layer.

And, I now have my competed layout.

This is what my Layers Panel looks like at the end.

Just this one texture was just enough to turn this image into something that was better with less.

I hope you enjoyed my tour.

Enjoy life!



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