Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Photo Blending II (with paper) in Photoshop

Since using blending options varies so much, I thought I would do a series on different methods. This is very much a trial-and-error technique, but I have noticed a bit of a pattern on some things, so hopefully this series will at least give you enough information to get you started in the right direction. In the Photo Blending I session, we were dealing with a photo that had a relatively light background and we placed it on a white canvas. In this session, we will work with a photo that has a darker background and we will add some paper into the blending mix to give it some texture. Here is the layout we will be making today:

1.) Let's start with our photo. I have chosen a photo with a dark (but still distracting and ugly) background.

2.) Drag your photo onto a new document. (For instructions on how to do this, click HERE)

3.) Now lets choose our paper. In this case, I want my layout to be very simple, so I've chosen a very subtly textured solid paper. But you can choose any paper you like. Drag your paper onto your new document with your photo. Go to your layers palette and click on your paper layer and drag it so that it is underneath your photo layer. (For instructions on how to do this, click HERE). Here's what your document should look like now:

4.) The first thing we want to do is make our photo lighter and brighter. Right click on your photo layer and choose Duplicate Layer. Now, you should see a drop down menu somewhere on your layers palette that is defaulted to Normal. These are your blending options. Click on the drop down menu and choose Screen. Your photo should brighten up quite a bit.

5.) Now, duplicate the Screen layer once again so that the photo becomes even brighter. Here's what this photo looks like at this point:

5.) Now, since I am terrible at extractions, but i hate this background, this is how we will get rid of it in this photo. (Keep in mind that these steps may vary for each photo, but now that you are learning the basic idea of blending, you can play around with the blending modes to aquire the look you are after.) Choose all 3 of your photo layers by clicking on the top one and holding down your shift key and clicking on the bottom one. Right click anywhere on one of the layers and choose Merge Layers.

6.) Now here's where it gets really cool. Now that we have one photo layer, we are going to blend this photo into the paper behind it. You will see that with each blending mode, you will get a different effect. But since I want to take out the background here, I found that the Lighten blending mode accomplishes this for me. As you can see below, it virtually eliminates the background for me.

7.) Now, there is a bit of editing left to do. Choose your Eraser Tool from your tool palette(hitting "E" on your keyboard will also activate this tool.) and erase any remnants of the background. (You can also resize your eraser by clicking the bracket buttons on your key board. The Open Brackett ( [ ) will make your eraser smaller and the Close Brackett ( ] ) will make it larger. )
I also made my photo larger and placed it over to the right to give it a dramatic effect. (***NOTE: Be sure to hold down your SHIFT key when resizing your photo. This will ensure that it keeps its proper proportions.)

8.) Now... the photo still looks a little off to me since you can't see any of her hair... plus the image seems kinda dull to me. So lets do a bit of editing. Since her hair is darker than her face, i need to lighten it to get it to show up a little bit. (The blending mode of Lighten will usually bring out the lightest parts of your photo and make the darker parts disappear.) This was easily done by using the Dodge Tool. (You can choose your Dodge Tool from your Tools palette as shown below (or you can simply hit the letter "O" on your keyboard.) (You can also resize your eraser by clicking the bracket buttons on your key board. The Open Brackett ( [ ) will make your dodge tool smaller and the Close Brackett ( ] ) will make it larger. ) Now... click and hold and sort of drag it all around over her hair to begin lightening it. You will notice it start to appear. Continue this until you reach a look that you are happy with.

9.) Now, in order to define the photo just a bit more, I'm going to play with the Levels just a bit. Making sure your photo layer is active, go to your top menu bar and choose Image and then choose Adjustments and then Levels.

10.) Once your Levels window pops up, begin sliding the levers back and forth slightly until you are pleased with your result.

11.) Now, simply add your favorite elements and text and that's it. You're done. Again... here is our finished layout:

For my layout, I used:

TAYLORMADE DESIGNS: Solid and Understated Soft Neutral; and Fading Emotions Vol. 2

Jefferson Font (available at dafont.com)

I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial! Feel FREE to leave comments!! If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at taylormade8330@yahoo.com. Also, if you like this tutorial and want more, refer to the TUTORIAL section in the left panel of this blog!!

This tutorial can also be found in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps.com! Also, we would LOVE to see any layouts that this tutorial helped you with!! PLEASE come on over to the Oscraps Gallery and post them there!!!


Cat said...

WOAH!! I cant wait to try this one out!!

MariaT said...

i have never used the dodge tool before, i can't wait to experiment with it now. and i can't believe i never read through any tutorials in the year or so i've been scrapping, this is so much easier than just experimenting (and often times failing). thanks again!

cmnb said...

I'm learning so much from your tutorials! I had no idea what the dodge tool was! Thanks so much for the time and effort in putting these together!!!!!

Kymberly Foster Seabolt said...

I think it is INCREDIBLY GENEROUS of you to take the time to post these, Amanda, and I have bookmarked you both under my favorite scrap blogs AND my favorite "PSE Tuts"

Thank you!

Bush Girl said...

Thanks so much, Amanda. Now I know what to do with the dodge tool - gonna try it right now.

ccynden said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial, I will try my best as I am new to PSE.

molly said...

Thank you! So sweet of you to share your tips and tricks with us! I am excited to give this a try.

Now... Any tips on finding extra time to scrap? ;)

Tali ~ said...

This is the best tut, Amanda! I love it. I am so excited to try the dodge tool now!

CydB said...

I just discovered your site while searching online for ideas for my final project in a Photoshop class. You blog is amazing! Thank you for sharing, you have really spent a lot of time developing this site! It's going on my del.icio.us favorties for sure!
~ Cyd

grambie said...

I so enjoy on this Sunday mornings to read your wonderful blog page regarding all your fantastic and so wonderful tutorials. I do not use PS, but have PSE and find that certain tools in PS are also in PSP, so I combine their use. I love your tutorials but because of my disability and problems with controlling my tremors, I always add Layer Mask to the steps, especially when using the eraser tool. I think your layouts are awesome and so effective at the end of your tutorials and so easily reflect your techniques. I even read the ones that I already know how to do to see if new techneques or shortcuts are available. It is so nice to meet you and I definitely will visit you to keep up with your fabulous tutorials. Leavin LUV! XOXOXO

Suzie said...

Thanks for this tutorial - awesome! I've been wanting to play more w/ blending but always get intimidated... Thanks for the tips!!! Here's a scrapbook page I made using your tips and tricks!


Arya said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This is SO awesome!!!

Deborah said...

Okay... here's my attempt at photo blending with paper and a dark background... As you can see, I totally lifted your idea!!

You're the best... keep 'em coming and I'll keep coming back!

Here's the link:

Christine said...

Thanks so much for the incredible tutorial. Here's the LO I made with it:


Celik said...

Thank you for explaining. Nice

Meagan said...

I LOVE your tutorials. I just found your blog, and I am so addicted. Your tutorials are AWESOME (probably the best I've used, EVER!).

Thanks for sharing all your secrets.

Anonymous said...

Love all your blending tuts and can't wait to try them all out. Very clear explanations, easy to follow.
I would never have thought to put one photo over another and then use the blending options.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this tutorial. I tried my first photo blending with it and it turned out wonderful... even though I'm a beginner. Thanks again for taking the time to do this tutorial.

clipping path services said...

I love the amount of details you gave in your instructions through this tutorial. Great example. Looking forward to more from you.

Lilipuce said...

Waouwww love this tuto.
Can I try to translate it in french on put in on a french forum ? With a link to your blog ?
Thanks !

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