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.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen ... 30 October 2012

The Texture Tuesdays with Kim Klassen have resumed. This is to do a free & easy edition, meaning we can do anything we want to do.

Recently, in the Photography Challenge Gallery on Jessica Sprague's site, many people have been posting a part photo part sketch layout. I like the technique very much. I thought about combining part photo part sketch and textures. So that is what I have done. If you want to see how the part photo part sketch technique is done, you can see how at oscraps.com.

Here is what my final layout looked at the end.

A brief summary of what I did:

•  Opened new 12 x 12-inch page, 300 ppi, RGB and white background.

•  Added in for the next layer my EKD-Soft-01 watercolor to give some color for a background. You can find a lot of my watercolor papers here on my blog for free download. Just scroll down the blog or look in the Blog Archive on the right side of the screen.

•  Then I brought in my photo and did the part photo part sketch technique on it.

•  Next I brought in Kim's texture kk_trust. I thought the name was appropriate for the photo. I set the layer blend mode to Darken and reduced the layer Opacity to 50%. This added in the nice brown tones around the outside of the image. 

•  Then I used the Oil Medium Brush Wet Edges with a brown sampled from the image and then darkened the tone to create the border around the image.

•  Added the text. I used Century Gothic Bold.

And that's all for this Texture Tuesday.

Live life to the fullest and enjoy what you do.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's a Frame-up...EKD_Template_11 FREEBIE

I recently came across an excellent tutorial on how to create a wooden picture frame. It was by Eren Goksel on psd.tutsplus. If you want to see how he does it, click HERE. I won't go through how they are created, but I will use the ones I created to make a template that you can download.

This is what EKD Template 11 looks like.

The template is a fully layered psd document that is 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB, with a white background. You can see what I have done by looking at the individual layers on the template. I made frames that are vertical, horizontal, and square. In the download, I have included the template psd file, and all three frames both in psd and png files. 

If you want to use the frames by themselves, remember that you can resize them, recolor them, rotate them, etc. If you rotate them, I suggest that you put your photo in the frame first and then do the rotation. Link the photo, mask and frame together so that they rotate together. You can do that by selecting all the layers that go together and clicking on the little chain link symbol at the bottom of the layers panel.

If you would like to have this FREEBIE template and frames, click HERE to download the zip file. You will have to unZip the file to get to the individuals files inside the zip file.

I hope that you find a use for this template.

Live fully.....enjoy!


Monday, October 15, 2012

A Framed Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen October 16, 2012

It's time for another Texture Tuesday with Kim Klassen. These are so much fun. If you are not already participating in these challenges, you might want to check Kim's blog for details. And, you can also sign up for her Texture Lovin' List and start getting her free textures.

This week's guideline is

How 'bout the theme.... 'look up'? So many possiblities....
Share any photo processed with at least one layer of any of my textures....centered around the theme 'look up'.

I thought about this for a while and then remembered one of my favorite ways to look at trees. I like to stand at the bottom with my back to the trunk of the tree and .... look up. I had taken a series of photos of the tree in front of my home with the leaves all gone. It was a bright but partly cloudy day. I selected one of my photos for this Texture Tuesday.

This is my original photo....

And this is what I ended up with for a 12 x 12-inch page layout ....

This is how I went about doing this. I'll take you through what I was thinking as this was being constructed.

Step 1.  I opened my photo in a new document. The image becomes my bottom layer. My camera gives me a photo that is 1704 pixels x 2272 pixels at 240 pixels per inch. When I change it to a 300 ppi image, my photo size is 5.68 x 7.573-inch. So, this is the size of my photo. You can see these dimensions at the bottom left of the Photoshop screen. You can set it to different parameters by clicking on the toggle arrow and selecting what you want displayed there.

Step 2.  I duplicated the bottom layer for another copy of the image ( Command / Control - J ). It looks the same since it is the same.

Step 3.  I decided that I wanted to add my textures to a black and white image instead of the color photo. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the layers panel and selected a Gradient Map adjustment layer. I left it at the black to white gradient that opens.

Then closed the adjustment panel.

Step 4.  Next I brought in Kim Klassen's texture kk_iAm. This is the texture at Normal Mode and 100% Opacity. I thought that the blue in the texture might add some blue to the sky in the B & W image.

Then I changed the layer blend mode to soft Light and kept the Opacity 100%. I also got an added bonus. The texture also brought out more of the detail in the tree trunk.

Step 5.  I duplicated the layer and changed the layer blend mode to Multiply and Opacity 50%.

The browns and blues are making the image look more like a color photo.

Step 6.  Next I brought in Kim's texture kk_stainedLinen. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

I changed the blend mode to Darken with Opacity 20%. This adds a nice subtle bit of the linen texture.

Step 7.  Next I brought in Kim's texture 
kk_providence. I liked the dark edges and the bluish color of the texture and thought it would darken the edges of my image nicely. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

Then I changed the layer blend mode to Darken and kept Opacity 100%.

At this point, I thought that this image would look really nice if it were put in a frame and hung on a wall. I decided to frame it digitally and put it in a 12 x 12-inch page layout where it would hang on the background wall.

Step 8.  I want to bring this layered image into a new 12 x 12-inch layout. I created a new 12 x 12-inch, 300 ppi, RGB with white background document. Then I went back to my original document with my textured image and selected all layers. 

Then I clicked on one of the layers and dragged the layers onto the new 12 x 12-inch document. I held down the Shift key while dragging so that the image would be centered in the layout. And I now have my image with all its layers in the new document above the white background layer.

While all the image layers were selected, I moved the image upward in the layout to where it was a little over an inch below the top of the layout.

  Step 9.  Next I brought in a vertical wooden frame that I created. I used the Free Transform ( Command / Control - T ) to resize it to fit over my image.

[In a future blog entry I will have a freebie template in which I use wood frames. As part of the download of the template I will have a vertical frame, a horizontal frame, and a square frame. Keep watching.]

I did not like the wood color for the frame. While holding down the Command / Control key, I clicked on the thumbnail of the frame layer. This put a selection around just the frame. I then sampled a color from within the image in the sky area to put that color in the Foreground Color box in the Tools Bar. Then I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer. The adjustment layer has a mask that allows the adjustment to affect only the frame. In the Hue / Saturation dialog, I checked Colorize. Since I have the color I wanted to start with in the Foreground Color, that is what appeared in the Hue. Then I modified the values so that I had Hue 158, Saturation 5, and Lightness +16. This gave me a better color, in my mind, for the frame around the image.

Step 10.  Now the framed image doesn't look too good on a white wall. I need to add something to make the wall look more like a wall. I created a new layer just above the Background layer. I used a distressing brush (I used one that I had made) to add some distressing on its own layer. Here you see it at Normal mode and 100% Opacity. Also since the Gradient Map layer that I used in texturing the photo will now affect all the layers below it, I clipped it to the image layer below it. I do not need to clip the other layers that came in with the photo to that layer as you can see in the thumbnails that they are only affecting the photo.

I know, it looks bad. But then you reduce the Opacity to 10%. And now the wall has a little texture.

Step 11.  Next I wanted to add some color to the wall. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a Solid Color Fill layer. From the color picker that opens I sampled a color from the photo image for the color.

Now I need to tone down the color of the wall to better go along with the image. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and added a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer. I reduced both the Saturation (-45) and Lightness (-19). I thought this went a little better with the framed image.

Step 12.  Since, in my mind, this is now hanging on a wall in a museum, I need a card describing what it is. I created a new blank layer at the top of the layer stack. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, I made a rectangular area below the framed image and filled it with white. Then, while the selection marching ants is still there, I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a solid color fill layer. Since the marching ants were still on, a layer mask came with the solid color fill that allows the color to be applied only on the card. In the color picker, I selected a color from the image. And, I set the opacity to 10% in the layers panel. This way it is only a hint of the color and not stark white.

Next, I want to put a stroke just on the inside of the card's edges. I added a new layer at the top of the layer stack, named it stroke ..... with that layer active, held down the command / control key and clicked on the thumbnail of the card layer to put a selection around the card ..... went to the menu and used Select / Modify / Contract ..... and contracted the selection by 20 pixels.

Then I used Edit / Stroke and gave it an 8 pixel stroke.

Step 13.  Next I added the three text layers giving the title, category, and artist.

Step 14.  Now I want to add a burned border around the outside edge so as to draw the eye into the layout. There are a variety of ways to do this. I will use a method that I frequently use. With the top layer in the layers panel active, I held down the Option / Alt key and click on the button at the bottom of the layers panel to Create a new layer. This opens the New Layer dialog. I entered the name burn 
edge ..... changed the Mode to Soft Light ..... and checked the box for Fill with Soft-Light-neutral color. This puts a 50% gray layer at the top of the layer stack.

Then I selected a soft edge black brush, set the brush Opacity to 30% in the Option Bar. and clicked on one corner of the layout. I held down the Shift key as I was doing this for all four corners. This keeps the lines straight and makes it all one brush stroke so that it is all at 30% opacity. If the burned edge is too dark for you, you can decrease the layer opacity to where you want it. I left mine as is.

So now I have my framed tree textured image hanging on the museum wall. 

This was a long blog entry. I hope your eyes didn't glaze over too much. There are a lot of things that I showed that you may find helpful in your digital scrapbooking.

Enjoy what you do.


Dodge and Burn with Overlay Blend Mode

Have you ever had a photo that needed at little more oomph? Say the sky was a little too washed out without enough contrast.....and maybe another part was too dark and need to be lightened a little. Take this image of mine. It was taken at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico, in summer 2006. The sky is a little blah and some parts of the foreground are a little too dark.

But, with a little magic of using the Overlay Layer Blend Mode, we can change this to this.....all non-destructively. You may have seen me do this in some of my other blog posts, but it may have been buried inside a lot of other things I was doing and you may not have noticed.

Here is how you do it.

Step 1.  I opened my photo in Photoshop CS6. I have a hard time seeing the light gray letters on the dark gray interface, that CS6 has as its default. So, I went into the Photoshop Preferences and changed my interface to this dark gray on light gray.....much easier for me to see.

Step 2.  Overlay Blend Mode ignores gray.....it makes things darker or lighter.....it increases contrast. I will use a dodge and burn layer. A dodge and burn layer is nothing more that a layer that is filled with gray and set to Overlay. if I hold down the Option / Alt key when I click on the button to add a new layer, I get the New Layer dialog that allows you to name the layer and to select a blend mode and then you can fill that layer with the color that is neutral to that blend mode. I typed in a name for the layer ..... dodgeAndBurn ..... I used the camel style of writing the name ..... first letter of first word is small letter ..... no space between words ..... all following words begin with capital letter ..... dodgeAndBurn. I set the Mode to Overlay and this then allows me to check the box to Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray).

I clicked OK and I now have this new layer set to Overlay and filled with 50% gray. You do not see any change to the image because Overlay is neutral to the 50% gray fill ..... that is, the gray pixels are ignored in the Overlay mode.

Step 3.  Next, I selected a soft round brush. The foreground color is black, so I will be painting with black. In the brush Option Bar, I set the Opacity to 30%. Then I painted over the sky area in the image. On my dodgeAndBurn layer I am adding a darker gray than the 50% gray that is in the layer. This will cause the Overlay Blend Mode to darken the image in that area. I held the mouse down the entire time I was painting so that the brush stroke was just one application of the 30% brush. If you let the mouse up, it starts another 30% application. You can see the darker area in the layer thumbnail.

Step 4. Next I changed the foreground color to white ..... left the brush Opacity at 30% ..... painted over the image area that I wanted to lighten ..... adjusted the brush size as needed. I painted over the chimney, the right side hill slope, and the left side foreground. On my dodgeAndBurn layer I am adding a lighter gray than the 50% gray that is in the layer. This will cause the Overlay Blend Mode to lighten the image in that area.

Step 5.  I thought the sky could be a little darker and I went a little too far with the white to lighten around the chimney. I changed the Foreground color to black ..... set the brush Opacity at 10% ..... painted with black near the chimney to darken the light area ..... painted over the sky area to darken it a little more.

If I hide the visibility of the background layer, you can see how I have modified the burnAndDodge layer shades of gray. Where the gray is darker than the 50% gray, the image is darkened. Where the gray is less than the 50% gray, the image is lightened.

And that is how I went from this

to this

And it is all non-destructive since all the modifications were done on the dodgeAndBurn Overlay layer that was filled with 50% gray.

If you need to adjust some of your images before you put them into your scrapbook pages, I hope you remember this method of doing it. It is rather fast and easy and non-destructive to your original image.

That is it for now.

Enjoy your scrapbooking and recording your events for the future.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shall We Go Soaring Together?

My son-in-law took some photos for me on his iPhone last summer while they were at the beach. I loved this photo with the seagull soaring on the winds and the airplane leaving a contrail in the sky. I had to do something with this photo to make it mine.

Here is how the original photo looks. To my mind, the image is perfect for what I want to do. I love the one seagull and one single airplane contrail in the same image.

And, this is how it looks after my processing.

This is how I got from the beginning to the end.

Step 1.   I opened the image in a new document and it became my background layer.

Step 2.  I duplicated my background layer.....Command / Control - J, to create my second layer. I right clicked on the Layer 1, the duplicate image layer, and selected to Convert to Smart Object. I can tell it has become a Smart Object by the little image that appears on the Thumbnail of the image in the Layers Panel. I converted to a smart object since I want to be able to use Smart Filters which allow me to change them later if I want to. Then I clicked on the menu item Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur. If you don't have Smart Objects, no matter, just go to Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur. You just won't be able to change it later. After the Gaussian Blur dialog opens, click your mouse cursor over the image of the bird in the photo. This will put the bird into the dialog image. And, I gave the blur an 8.0 pixel radius. 

The dialog opens with a 100% image size. This is so you can tell what is happening a full resolution. However, if you want to see at a different image size you can click on the - or + symbols on either side of 100%. For example, I clicked on the - sign three times and that reduced the image size to 33% and I can see more of the area around the seagull.

Also, another little trick in this dialog is if you want to see the image before the blur is applied, just click your cursor in the image in the dialog. As long as you hold the click, it will show you the before, and when you let up on the click you see it with the blur. Another little tip is that when you are holding the mouse down you get the hand cursor. While you are holding down with the hand, you can move the image inside the box. And, you can move the hand outside the box to get to where you want.

After applying the blur, my image looks like this.

It is hard to see in this image, but everything becomes a little blurred. This can sometimes give you a little smoother image over large areas of similar color, such as the blue sky. This image was taken with a cell phone camera and there is a little digital noise in the solid blue areas. But, blurring the image smoothes the noise and gives a nicer image. Also, it gives an overall softer image. 

But, I do not want the seagull to be blurred. I want it as sharp as in the original image. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the layers panel to add a layer Mask to this layer. The mask is a white mask allowing all to show. I selected a soft round Brush....made sure the mask was selected by clicking on it....l made sure the foreground color was black....and painted over the seagull in my image with 100% Opacity black to hide the blurring over the seagull....and I now have this.

Step 3.  For my next layer, I brought in Kim Klassen's kk_sunkissed texture. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity. For this nice blue sky image, I thought the name of the texture is just perfect. 

Then I changed the blend mode to Pin Light and reduced the Opacity to 50%. 

Step 4.  Then I duplicated the kk_sunkissed texture, Command / control - J, for my next layer. I inverted the texture, Image / Adjustments / Invert. or Control / Command / I, so the texture now looks like this at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

That may look a little scary....what have I done....no need to worry....change the Blend mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 50%. And we get this....

Step 5.  The image is now a little more dark and mysterious. But it needs to be desaturated a little to make it even a little more mysterious. I clicked on the Create new adjustment layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and selected Hue / Saturation.

I decreased the Saturation to -21. While I was in this dialog, I also changed the Hue to -30. This gave me the image I wanted for my vision of this layout. I wanted something a little soft and hazy....with the bird flying over the shore....and an airplane leaving a contrail behind it....going who knows where.

Step 6.  Next I added a title in my layout. I used the font Microsoft Yi Baiti. This is in my fonts. I assume I got with with my Microsoft Office software. My title is "Soar." I modified text in the Character Panel. I made the text size to 80 pt....adjusted the Tracking to 120 to make the characters farther apart ....adjusted the Vertical Scale to 130% to make the characters taller than normal....and, selected a color for the text from the white cloud area.

Step 7.  Then I added my journaling layer. I used the font Prestige Elite Std. Prestige Elite is a font that was used on typewriters. I used it at 14 pt and selected a color from the seagull for the font color. This is my final layout.

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

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I did this editing of the photo.

That's all for now.

Live life fully and enjoy.