Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Template Tutorial: Part 1

The key to making a template is to make everything impermanent. It may be a challenge, but there's always a way to make a change temporary in Photoshop. You just have to find loopholes!

A template starts with a blank white or black canvas. I started mine with a 5x7, 300 px resolution white canvas because 5x7 is a nice, standard photo size that can easily be changed to either 8x10 or 4x6.

Let's begin with something simple. Using your rectangle tool, make a shape that covers roughly three-fourths of the canvas in the opposite color (for instance, I have a white canvas, so I'm making a black rectangle.)

Now, make another shape in gray. This can be any shape you want from the Photoshop presets. It should be between half and two-thirds the height of the canvas and however wide as you see fit. You can always change the size as we go. Place it where you think a photo would look nice.

Use Ctrl+J or Command+J to duplicate the layer twice. Line the three objects up so that at least two overlap your black rectangle. Look! We already have some sort of design. This is technically already a generic starter template.


Place your photo over whichever shape you want it to occupy. Resize as needed.

With your cursor on the line between the photo and the shape layer, hold down your Alt key and click the line. This is called creating a Clipping Mask. The photo will only show up where the shape is. you can move the photo around to get the correct placement.

From now on, any changes you make with the shape layers will be applied to the photos. For instance, if you change the gray layers to "Hard Light", the photos will appear to be set to Hard Light although they are still normal photos. You can change the Blending Options any time you want.

Part two will come soon enough. For now, experiment with this method. Make your own different starter templates, and show me what you do! :)

That Time of Year Again

Yay, Spring! It was such a beautiful day, I had to spend a few hours basking in the sun on my lovely back porch. While I was sitting there, I thought I'd take a few snapshots from my seat. :)

I'm meeting with the local pro photographer tomorrow between my classes to get some insight on the local scene and how to get into the business. It should be a learning experience! I'm really looking forward to it.

In other news, I've decided to enter the PDN Faces Photography Contest for kicks. I'll be entering my harlequin series (there are more than I posted here) under the Self-Portraits category and portraits I took in the multiple City Methodist church under the Environmental Portraits category. When they're all re-edited and ready for uploading, I'll be sure to post them here. If you're thinking about entering, I'd love to see what you submit!

Now, I shall FINALLY post part one of the template tutorial. I've been putting it off for a day when I was alert enough to at least understand my OWN tutorial. haha, Today's the day. Hope you get something from it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Yesterday, I was practically avoiding my computer. I'm really burnt out with all this editing. It's just school, eat and edit, edit, eat and edit, sleep poorly due to nightmares, and then start the whole process again. It's a charmed life, a great life, but it's hard on my eyes and my wrists, especially when I'm this sleepy all the time. So I decided to play with some paper and rubber cement once I finished doing some schoolwork. Apparently I'm not very good at it. LOL

Anyhow, I'm exhausted and hoping that tomorrow I'll cheer up. Or at least that tonight I will get some horror-free sleep!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meh. Who Cares?

Look what I found in my yard today.

Alright, I honestly don't feel like even being near this computer today, and it doesn't feel like anyone's paying attention anyway, so...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pup Pup Pweez Come Home

My darling dog is back on her feet and wanted to enjoy the fresh air, so we gave her a long overdue bath and let her hang out on the back porch.

The poor dear. She kept going out on that porch anyway because that's where she and our neighbors' dog Roxy like to play. Rather, liked to play. The neighbors moved away the day Ursa hurt her foot. She just doesn't understand why Roxy won't come play with her. She'd keep looking for Roxy and crying.

SOOC again, different lens. I thought the flare was interesting.
She's still looking for Roxy. :(
The weather today was wonderful. We spent the day riding around and sitting on the back porch.

SOOC yet again. It's almost that time of year!!!
While we were out, we went to Best Buy, where my grandparents decided to buy me the best photo printer in the place. It's made specifically for photography, and I am in love with it. It's wonderful!!! So of course I printed like crazy today. On the other hand, I haven't been on the computer much. These are a couple of the photos I managed to edit. Hope you like them!

A Little Retro, A Lot of Makeup

I was in the mood to have a little fun. What can I say? Hopefully someday I'll actually finish editing all the photos I took over Spring Break and I can get to playing with photos like this.

Anyhow, I have officially decided to give you the template tutorial in parts because it's going to take way too long and be way too confusing otherwise. The first part will be posted tomorrow or so. For now, I'm ready to pass out. Goodnight!