Thursday, October 30, 2008

Using blend modes for backgrounds.

I often use blend modes with papers and photos to create an interesting background for a scrapbook page. To create this card for my brother's 50th birthday, I searched Google Images to find a suitable "horses and hounds" photo and some cute fox hunting illustrations that would work well with my design. I always do an "advanced search" for the highest resolution images. Choose extra large from the dropdown list. It looks complex but it's not really. I used the pink, textured background paper from Shabby Miss Jen's French Attic kit and then changed the Hue/Sat so that it was a slightly desaturated green color. Press Control+U to bring up the Hue/Sat dialogue box (or use an adjustment layer) and change the Hue to +42 and the Sat to -7. These settings suited my photos but you may need different settings for yours. I placed the photo on the layer above my textured paper, changed the blend mode of the photo to color burn and then erased the areas of the photo that I didn't want with a soft eraser brush at 50% opacity. The photo of my brother is on the next layer above with a blend mode of darken. Again, a different blend mode might suit your photo. Rather than extract his head from a photo, which can take a while, I just put the cropped photo on top and erased the sections I didn't want like before. When you use a blend mode, many areas of the photo disappear anyway so there is not much erasing to do. The last thing to add on that side of the card is the photo frame. It really is that easy.
Credits: Textured paper - Shabby Miss Jen, French Attic Photo Frame: Katie Pertiet - Deckled Edge Photo Frames
Fonts: Chopin Script, Hana and Kunstler Script.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Face Swap Tutorial

How many times have you taken a group photograph, only to find that someone blinked or looked away just as you pressed the shutter? When I take group photos I always use the sequential shooting mode which is available on most digital cameras today. This means that your camera will continue to fire off photos while you hold down the shutter button. If you want to take that a step further you can use the bracketing mode, which will take three photos at different exposures, so you have a choice. You'll see the problem that I had when you look at the photos above. My dear brother and his family were having lots of fun, horsing around while I was trying to get a good photo in fading light. Fading light means you need to use a slow shutter speed to get a decent exposure without the flash. Slow shutter speeds result in blurring if people are jumping around. I had two photos which both had problems. Linda Sattgast from Scrapper's Guide wrote a wonderful tutorial on how to do a face swap in July 2007 so I have put a link to this tutorial here. This is one of the benefits of signing up for the Scrapper's Guide free newsletters. I just knew this was going to come in handy one day. I took my sister in law's face from the first photo and placed it in the second photo via the face swap method and voila... I have a photo I can use.
Credits: Treasure template (part of your free kit when you sign up for my digital scrapbooking classes), and all other elements by Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals. Font: Olicana Smooth. (not free but stunning) A similar one that is free, CAC Shishoni Brush.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Shutterfly Featured Book

A few weeks ago, Shutterfly interviewed me for a story on my Christmas Recipe Book (read the entire book at the bottom of this blog). The story is now "live" and can be viewed on their website here. They will be featuring it on their home page from mid December.
Credits: This kit, Botanist Notebook No 17, from Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals is one of my favourites and compliments the Christmas embellishments beautifully. Check out the Holiday Trees and Star Gazer Flourishes Brushes and Stamps too, and see how I used them throughout the book. The recipe pages are from a beautiful template by Kellie Mize. Kellie has joined wearestorytellers and you will be able to purchase her templates from January 1st. In the mean time she has some freebies there for you. The little tree on those pages comes from a mega Christmas kit by Shabby Miss Jen, called Tree Trimmin Party. I did use Jessica Sprague's Daily December Album template for some of the pages. It's free.