As April draws to a close, we are going to take a moment to look back through our amazing April gallery, Selfies, for one last chance to pick up some journaling, photography, and design ideas. Ready? Shall we go together?
We thought these five layouts had wonderful ideas for journaling our own lives. Some give us good strategies for our writing, some give us good ideas. All are helpful to recording bits and pieces of our lives. Let's look.
This is So Me | Lisa Ottosson
8.5 x 11 | materials cardstock (Bazzill) + patterned paper (BasicGrey) + enamel dots (Freckled Fawn ) + tag (Evalicious) + journaling card (Project Life Neapolitan mini kit) + clip (Studio Calico) + datestamp (Becky Higgins) + sentiment stamp (October Afternoon)
Tried and true and never out of style, list making is a wonderful way of catching snapshots of our current lives. You can use them as bullet points as Lisa did, or use them as starting points for a much more in depth story.
This is such a FANTASTIC idea for a layout. And using a patterned page like this helps eliminate the daunting side as it makes your confessions just snippets of thoughts and happenings, rather than making you feel like you are at the police station having to write down the whole story! Jenny, thank you for a truly clever idea!
Hello 32 | Kate Christensen
8.5 x 11 | materials digital kits (Sass Mouth by Valorie Wibbens and Lauren Reid) + kraft paper (Stated by Sara Gleason) + mist (Perfect Amount of Mess V.2 by Amy Martin) + alpha (Clearly by Robyn Meierotto) + style (Digital Glitters by Sahlin Studio) + font (Traveling Typewriter)
Do you sometimes shy away from journaling because you are afraid to write? Kate's layouts reminds us that a few descriptors can be a very effective means of journaling.
41 | Amy Sorensen
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (American Crafts) + pens (American Crafts, Zebra) + date stamp (My Mind's Eye) + font (merge)
Amy's random list is another successful means of collecting details that might otherwise go unstated in your scrapbooks. Having the number coincide with your age helps give you a parameter but it would be just as easy to pick 25 or 100. Another helpful measure if you choose this route for your journaling is to set a time limit on each one (or on the whole) so that you just go with what comes to mind and don't get too caught up in the process.
Technology | Cristina C. Scrap
12 x 12 | materials Real Life collection bundle (Digital Design Essentials), Journal Junkie - Bright Heart, Good Harvest, Doodles-a-Fancy Borders and Blessed Beyond Belief (CD Muckosky), The Golden Friends fonts (Heather Joyce)
Many of us have documented our movies and music, but until now, have you thought to document your tech? or your feelings about it? So much of what we do now revolves around it, especially if you are a a techhead. Thank you, Cristina, for the reminder to capture that side of ourselves as well!
As you look through these next few layouts, notice the awesome ideas for getting some shots of ourselves.
Something Cool Like Aliza | Aliza Deutsch
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (BasicGrey, Studio Calico) + transparency (Studio Calico) + sequins (Teresa Collins) + thickers (American Crafts) + enamel dots (Teresa Collins) + stickers (Evalicious, Skipping 5, Studio Calico, 7 gypsies, October Afternoon) + other (Jillibean Soup, Maya Road, Two Peas in a Bucket) + fonts (Skinny)
This photo reminds us to capture the regular moments of our lives. Here Aliza was scrapbooking on vacation. But it could have just as easily been at home. Set up the tripod or ask someone to capture you scrapbooking. It is a huge part of our lives. And what fun to see your process in front of you? Great idea, Aliza!
Remember how awkward it used to be to ask someone to take a photo of you and your special girlfriends when you were out on a girls night? Remember how now in the time of camera phones, no one thinks twice about taking one themselves or asking someone to do it for you? No more, here is my big camera that will scare off any passerby. No more here is the button you push. Nope. Now just hand over your phone. Everyone knows where the buttons are. Everyone knows what to do. It's awesome!!
We love how Christine took one photo and added different filters and washes to create three different looks. And while at first you might think that it is still just the one photo, upon looking closely, you will see that the different effects create different images. One is happy and sunny. One is reality. And the other is artsy and contrasty. The filters you pick tell a little about yourself and help add to the story. A quiet and cool hidden bit of the story.
How much time do you spend in the car? Let us count the hours. These photos are priceless. Such a wonderful way to capture a slice of life and to tell the story of a busy mom. Sometimes in the passenger seat with a whole family behind her. Sometimes in the driver's seat with a tiny in a carseat. But always surrounded by love. It makes you want to hurry to your car and take similar photos, right?
My Fave Things | Jennifer Hignite
12 x 12 | materials template (Nettio Designs) + circle labels (Karla Dudley) + chipboard (My DeLeon)
This is the perfect photo challenge, summarized in one layout. Take your camera (phone or otherwise) and for one week (or a day) capture all those things around you that you love. Or be more precise. Photograph !% things you love. And then use the sketch from last week to recreate Jennifer's layout so you can showcase your favorite things. It's like a tiny little pinboard. And who doesn't love pinterest? It pinterest for your own life!
And last, but not least, we selected these six layouts for the design tips they inherently offered. Get your pencil out, you are going to want to make a list of these!
#planneraddict | Francine Clouden
12 x 12 | materials cardstock (Bazzill Basics Paper) + spray ink (Kesi’Art) + patterned paper (Sassafras Lass for Studio Calico) + journal cards (Studio Calico, Kesi'Art, Callaloo Soup Designs) + stickers (Studio Calico, Sassafras Lass for Studio Calico) + paper doily + glassine bag
All the rage right now is writing with a paintbrush. It isn't as easy as you might think, but it is a lovely way to be artistic, have fun, and brighten up a page with the perfect color of title. And just like most things in life, practice makes perfect!
Sue's pages are such studies in balance. She truly is a master. Though, today, we are focusing in on another well done technique. Look how she created a polaroid overlay that is sitting vertically on her horizontal photo, thereby "cropping" out the superfluous and drawing your eye in to the important part of the photo. Then she smartly layered other bits and baubles around and under her photo providing depth and texture to the photo. It was so well done, we bet some of you didn't even see the rest of the photo peeking out the sides. (It's okay, we missed it the first time, too!) Isn't it magical? Purposeful magic makes for wonderful pages.
I Love Color | Diane Payne
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (Studio Calico) + buttons (Studio Calico) + brads (American Crafts) + flair (A Flair for Buttons) + die cuts (American Craft, Studio Calico) + bows (American Crafts, Studio Calico) + paper clip (Freckled Fawn) + stickers (Freckled Fawn, Twine & Ink) + pen (American Crafts)
Amazing! We are going to look to four specific things that Diane does to make this layout sing. First, to balance ALL that color, there are two wide expanses of white space. And bit of blacks for grounding. This layout would have been frenetic chaos without these two things. Next, while Diane uses all five rainbow colors, she doesn't use shades of each as well, thereby maintaining the actual number of colors to 5. Third, the hearts, while plentiful, are small and repeating. Think of her having spilled a colorful button jar along the middle band. While lots of sizes, really only two shapes (hearts and circles) which again created controlled chaos. Lastly, Diane switched her photo to black and white (and a very blown out black and white) which eliminate any competition between the colors in the photo and the colors in the layout. You may want to rebuild this layout, but go against any of these four techniques, to better understand how smart they are for helping keep a neat and tidy layout. Diane, you get a gold star for this one!
Me At This Very Moment | Amy Kingsford
8.5 x 11 | materials patterned paper (Seize by Allison Pennington) + buttons (Seize by Allison Pennington) + brads (Seize by Allison Pennington) + alpha (Seize by Allison Pennington) + die cuts (Seize by Allison Pennington) + flowers (Seize by Allison Pennington) + cork (Happy Go Lucky by Allison Pennington) + other digital elements (Seize by Allison Pennington) + Template (One of Each 2 by Amy Martin) + fonts (KD Everyday)
This layout is in our scrapbook section as we were completely beguiled by the diagonal cut on Amy's photo. Brilliant! Do you see the subtle arrow drawn below the title? Built bu the box, the two triangles comprising the square, and the two triangles placed to create the arrowhead? Then look to the left and down a little and you will see that there is another arrowhead facing left. And then the circle with the dangling key in the center brings your eye in and holds the balance perfectly. This layout is art. Truly a mini masterpiece. Brava! Amy, you are amazing!
Selfie with Flower | Jina Jean
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (American Crafts) + stickers (American Crafts) + glitter label (Studio Calico) + labels (October Afternoon) + tag (American Crafts) + ribbon (Gossamer Blue)
Jina does color washes unlike any other. And she is SOO good at the little details. The stamped feather blowing in the breezy clouds. The stitching in the clouds for added texture. The loose threads hanging off the end provide movement and help you feel the breeze you see in the photo. The droplets of water on the patterned paper that reinforce the water in the photo. The repeated bits of loveliness in the pink scattered here and there. The addition of the little yellow bow to the flower in the top left hand corner repeats the color of the journaling strip by the photo adding cohesion. Do you see how all the random bits are anything but random?
Love Me My | Marnie Flores
12 x 12 | materials patterned paper (Glitz) + tags (One Little Bird) + arrow (Glitz) + flair (Pixels & Co. Collaboration) + fonts (The Maple Origins, Montez)
Going digital gives you the freedom to play with hues. Liking making all the blues in your papers a tiny bit more green to make you eyes stand out? Or making things a little bit lighter here and a little bit darker there to better tie them together. If you are digital, don't be afraid to play with the depth or shade of the colors in your kits so that you can create the perfect hue for your layout.
Thank you, for stopping by and for being a part of our write. click. scrapbook. reading family! We love having you and hope that you have enjoyed our look back through our gallery! Only four more days til a new one!
Since we are scrapping about ourselves this month I thought I´d talk about taking selfies with a phone camera today. Do you do them? Not everyone does. I take an occational selfportrait, but have always felt a bit selfconscious about it. I have however gotten better at it by practicing. Here is what I have learned:
1. As in all photography, find your light! Place yourself so that the light falls evenly on your face and try your hardest to not use the flash!
2. Find your angle! This is where praticing comes in handy. Try to use your phones back camera, so that you can see your face in the display when you are praticing. I usually don´t do this in public :) I find that holding your phone a little higher and tilted just a bit does the trick for my selfies. As I have become better at this, I always use the front camera since it has better quality.
These are NOT my best angles, people!
3. Look into the camera! When taking selfies with your phone (especially when you are using your back camera) be sure to look into the lens and not on to the screen.
If not, you will have a photo like this one above :)
4. Play! Have fun with this, dont take it to serious.
I wanted to show how annoying that strand of hair was and took a silly selfie!
5. Be conscious about your background! Take a quick look at how the background looks and if there is anything you really don´t want to have in the photo. Also, sometimes include what is behind your back for a more telling photo.
I took this selfie when I was preparing my very first lecture and wanted to show where I was.
6. Filters are your friend! I often use a filter either on Instagram or PicTapGo before posting my selfies. And turning a photo black and white always make it better :)
Welcome to our fifth and final day of our photo editing week. I really hope it has been helpful.
Today we are going to take that lovely photo that you have finished editing and switch it to black and white. Ready? Grab a picture you love and run it through steps one through five. I'll wait. No worries.
Here is the photo I am going to use today. It has been sized, saved, leveled, curved, and had its eyes brightened and sharpened.
So the easiest way to make a photo black and white is to switch it to grayscale.
While it is the fastest, I usually find it a bit muddy.
Another quick fix is to use Channel Mixer. It has 6 options for tone. Here is our photo of the day to show you some of them.
Here is back and white with infrared.
The black and white with blue filter.
Then the yellow filter. (This one was best on this photo.)
Aren't they different, one from another?
I use this from time to time. I do like that I can switch between the possibilities so easily. And I am getting better at knowing which one will look best, so I don't have to go through all 6.
There are so very many actions that turn your photos without too much work. Here are a handful.
Pioneer Woman's Black and White Beauty.
Here is Pioneer Woman's PWs B&W.
Willette's Autumn Set, Naked Trees B&W.
I like these for their ease of use. But at the end of the day, I really just like to do my own thing. Which we will call, Grayscale Plus.
Here is my photo after grayscale plus.
Here is a side by side with the standard grayscale so you can see the difference. It's just a bit brighter.
Here is the difference on another photo. If you click it to make it bigger, you can see how the grayscale plus keeps a bit more detail.
To create this look, I first go to color balance and up the green until the whites are tinted green. Then I go to grayscale.
Here is a visual for the steps.
First drag the color green up higher.
Which will leave your photo looking a little alien.
Then switch the photo to grayscale.
Once you have completed this step, you might want to fix the curves just a smidgen. When you are in grayscale, the curves grid is upsidedown, so take a second and switch back to RGB or you won't be very successful unless you go backwards. Once you are back in RGB mode, you can add just a touch of black and brighten it up just a bit and you will be good to go!
There are so many fun ways to make a black and white photo. I hope this has given you a few ideas!
Please leave any questions you might have. I'd be happy to answer them!
It is day four of our photo editing. Thank you for trying our techniques! I hope you are finding success with the list.
Before we go further, let's recap. First we resize and then SAVE AS. Then, we fix the levels and get out histogram to a happy place. Next, we find a good contrast and tone with CURVES. Now your photo looks amazing! But let's clean up a couple little things.
STEP FIVE: BRIGHTEN
This step is to be used with caution. Or perhaps minimalism. Or care. Mostly, just know you can easily overdo it. So try not to.
Here is the photo we are starting out with. It is the same that we ended with yesterday.
We are going to brighten the eyes. For those of you who like to play with makeup, you know that we try to highlight the eye area with a brighter foundation. We want this area lighter and brighter so that the light reflects and draws our attention. I like to use Pioneer Woman's action, Bring on the Eyes, found in set 2. (Here are her directions on how to use the action. I do it a bit differently. Good thing there are no scrapbooking police! :) )
Once you select the action, change the brush size to be a bit larger than the eye area.
Here is how it looks with the other eye done.
Holy crazy eyes! So now we have to take down the opacity of the layer.
Here is the final product!
STEP SIX: SHARPEN THE EYES
Finally, let's sharpen up the eyes a little. And I mean a little. This is another place where I went a little crazy at first. Happens to the best of us, right?
When I first learned how to do this, it was a super detailed and multistep process. Then I decided I wanted it to be faster. So now I am a renegade. Those who do this differently, I bow to you. Here is my quick and dirty process.
Here is our starting photo.
Use you lasso tool to draw around the eye, just inside the lash line. Be sure that you have a feathered edge on your lasso.
Then use the unsharp mask to sharpen it.
Set the first number (amount) to 150, the third (Threshold) to 10, and the middle one (Radius) is the one you move up and down. I wouldn't go higher than 2.5. It will begin to look fake. (If you move the picture in the preview box to focus on an eye, you can tell when it is enough.)
Here is the sharpened eye image.
And a side by side.
It's fun! I hope you will try it! Please let me know if you have any questions!
Did you try messing around with levels? Was it fun? I hope that you enjoyed it!
Today we are going to talk about editing with curves. If you haven't used them before, here is a link to a detailed curves tutorial.
Very very basically, the curves grid allows you to manipulate contrast and tone. Contrast is the difference between light and shadow. Tone is the grey scale in color. (That's a bit confusing, I understand. I found this article really helpful.)
When I began editing photos back in 2002, I went a little wild with curves. It took me awhile to rein in my joy and not make every photo look painted! It was also a deciding factor in my shelling out the big bucks for photoshop vs elements as the elements (back then at least) didn't have a way to edit the curves. NO! how would I edit photos without it?? :)
Curves is an amazing tool, when used conservatively or with abandon. So let's get started!
STEP FOUR: CURVES
Here is our photo for today. I have already renamed it, resized it, and edited the levels.
Here is the curves grid before any editing.
The histogram looks pretty level, but I can see that they photo is a bit dull. So I drag the bottom left just a bit to enhance the blacks, and then lift the upper middle-ish of the top right to add some brightness to the color.
Here is the result.
Once I was done, I thought I might like it a bit brighter so I did the same thing again, but a little more gently.
Compare that back to the beginning and you can see how much happier it looks.
And if you want to, you can use it to really brighten and increase contrast.
It's really just a matter of preference.
You can also use curves to help fix color hue "errors."
Here is a photo that has already been run through steps 1 through 3.
You can see that the blue from the mats is reflecting everywhere. If I used the color balance tool to decrease the blues, it takes it from everywhere.
Or, I can use the curves and pull out the blues in the highlights. Here is the graph.
which then doesn't steal blue out of everywhere.
Here is a side by side. The original is in the middle, the (im)balanced blue reduction to the left, and the curves balancing to the right. Please click on it to make it bigger.
Please leave me your questions and let's see if we can have some fun together! Please stop back tomorrow where we tackle all the finishing touches.
Thank you for coming to visit today! I'm so glad to have you here. Today we are going to look at levels. Before we do, let's do a little review about histograms. If you follow the link, you will get a super detailed, very helpful explanation. But here is mine.
The histogram helps you to know how the lighting reads in your photo. Let's look at a couple of examples. Here is the photo from yesterday.
And here is its histogram.
Notice that the photo is quite dark? That is why the histogram is heavy to the left. Let's look at another.
This one has blown out whites.
Here is the histogram. See that tall line up the right side? That's the bright bright white.
And now this one.
and its histogram. This one has pretty balanced whites and darks so the graph is pretty balanced.
Now that we are up to date on our understanding of histograms, let's go to step 3 of our editing process.
STEP THREE: LEVELS
You can fix the histogram using levels. Go color by color and then do the RGB at the end.
Here is the levels box. The first arrow shows the drop down for color. Go first to red. The drag the arrows to the edges of the graph at the top and bottom. For this one, I only moved the top one down as the bottom was already on the edge.
Here is the photo after the red adjustment. You can see it is more rosy.
Here is the photo after the green adjustment.
and then the blue.
Lastly, adjust the RGB to make the light feel right.
Here is a side by side comparison.
You can see that the picture is much brighter. Evenly so.
Here are the other two.
That's it! I didn't use levels for a long time after I began editing, and now it is my starting place. THe better I become at getting good shots, the better my histograms, which means less drastic changes with levels, but I still use them.
And just in case you are wondering, here is the difference between doing it myself and doing it with autolevels.
If you click them, they will open bigger. You can see that auto levels does a great job, but I like to be able to control the brightness. I also think that it does a better job at controlling the shadows.
To get to LEVELS, go to the IMAGE dropdown menu, then the ADJUSTMENTS, then LEVELS. (Autolevels are there, too!) It works best to do the individual colors first (RED, GREEN, BLUE) and then the RGB.
Oh, and once you are done editing, go back and look at your histogram. It will be different. And awesome!
Hello my friends! This week we are going to talk about photo editing. I use Photoshop, so all the specific directions will be for that program, but most of the steps are available in other programs, too. If you have questions as we go on, please leave us a comment and I will find someone who can answer for it!
Getting a good camera was the first step to my enjoying scrapbooking more. Truly. I was so frustrated by not getting back photos (back in the time of film and developers!) that showed what I wanted them to show. And getting a good camera fixed that. Somewhat.
But I wasn't a great technical photographer. So while the composition was what I wanted, the lighting wasn't always great. Then my brother sent me photoshop. Suddenly the heavens opened, the choirs sang, and the whole world shone with gold. I fell so very far in love. Finally I could (mostly) make up for my technical gaps and get photos that looked like I wanted them to. Finally.
At some point I realized that I was spending HOURS editing. So I set out to learn to shoot in manual so that I could free up some editing time (the better the photo, the less to fix!) but I still enjoy tweaking all the little things. I do nearly every single picture I take. I know, I know, not necessary, but I love it.
This week we are going to go through the steps that I use to edit photos. Each day will cover just a step or two. Bite sized pieces so you don't overwhelm! Nothing will be earth shattering, nor will it at all tell you all that photoshop can do. Rather, we will take a photo, or two, and run them through the process.
STEP ONE: RESIZE
Cameras record photos in JPEG or RAW or both. I shoot in both. (I have tons of card space and never know when I am going to get a photo that I want to blow up, so I use RAW. Further, my camera came with some Canon software that is terrific for editing RAW format photos, in case the lighting just doesn't allow for a great shot.)
Generally I edit the JPEG photo. Which is usually much larger than I need. And I am quite impatient as I wait for my computer to process (anything) so (as long as I am not looking to enlarge my photo) I resize it to the appropriate ratio (ie 4x6) with a 300 resolution.
This makes the photo the right size for printing and allows it to make changes faster as I am editing.
IMAGE SIZE is found in the IMAGE drop down menu. This opens a box for sizing as shown above. Be sure as you are changing the numbers that you have selected inches and not pixels on the width and height.
Do you see this link symbol? If it has a box around it, as shown in the above photo, then the original ratio will be preserved. If you unclick the box, then you can choose the options. However, for photos, keep it clicked otherwise your photo will be wonky with a too wide or a too tall side.
STEP TWO: SAVE AS
As soon as I have the photo resized, I create a new folder (I always call mine "edited photos") and then save my photo with the date leading the name.
I like to "save as" at this stage so I don't forget and accidentally save over the original photo. (In my uptight, wound tight way, I like to keep a wholly unedited version of every photo.)
Also, we have just one family computer, so if someone else closes photoshop and hits save, then it will save as the edited version, again, not overwriting my original photo.
SAVE AS is found in the FILE drop down menu. SAVE AS gives you options for file name and file type. SAVE rewrites over the file you are working with, and does it automatically without any pop up boxes.
That's it for today! Open, size, rename, then save as. And tomorrow we will start editing!
Hello! Spring is here, so it is time to start snapping some spring photos. Today we have a duo sharing--Jennifer Larson from Minnesota and Amy Sorensen from Utah. The states are important because spring has been very different in each place: spring has arrived in Utah, while the Big Melt has only just begun in Minnesota. Still, spring is spring in its different forms, so let's get snapping!
Here's some ideas for getting out and photographing spring in whatever form it is in for you now:
Tell a story
Here are a few photos Amy took to show spring in Utah:
This photo illustrates texture. These are the shoots of my bleeding heart plant and I love the texture of the fronds.
Utah hasn't had much snow this year. But one of the things we can count on here is inconsistent weather. We had a cold day this week, a windy one, a couple of warm ones—and one swift little morning snowstorm. I liked the contrast between the snow and my one silly tulip; I think it "feels" like that warm/cold thing that spring does here.
It's a good thing my neighbors are used to seeing me lying around in an effort to get a good shot, because I had to sprawl on my back to get this shot—color and a low angle.
In spring, these seed pods start falling off of my sycamore. My son Kaleb and I were sitting outside talking and I decided to swoop in close to his hands taking the pod apart.
To get this shot of light shining through the old leaves on my rosebush canes, I had to get down lown again, but it was worth it!
I think this tells a good story: the tale of a slightly-grumpy (but at last riding his board again!) and very hungry teenage boy coming home from school and his little brother's excitement.
And here's some photos Jennifer took to show spring in Minnesota right now:
This shot was inspired by color and distance: the color of the sky reflected in the puddle, and the distance down the road showing the melt from snowbank to icy road to puddle.
This shot of the mailboxes was taken down low at their level, which highlights how much snow banks them. Still, the posts are showing: just like kids in Minnesota put on shorts as soon as it gets above freezing, the mailboxes are showing a little leg too, hinting that spring is on its way.
This is obviously up close, a shot of a bootprint in the slushy road. That golden color through the water is gorgeous--that means the road is almost bare!
These two shots tell a story. It's warm enough for my son to be in a sweatshirt alone, but the snow is still deep. When he kicked the ball deep into the yard, he had to trudge through thigh-deep snow to get it. Funny! (Confession: the snow isn't pretty--lots of asphalt shoveled into it after the google feet of snow we got this winter. I don't care. Spring in Minnesota is messy and dirty and damp and beautiful, because it's spring.)
And there's our photo inspiration! Whatever stage spring is at right now for you, no excuses. Get out there and let nature inspire you!