Sneak Peeks August 16th, 2018

Happy Thursday!!! My oldest had his first day of kindergarten yesterday! I can’t believe the summer is gone and my son is in kindergarten! The back to school season is upon us! Our designers have some great kits releasing this week! Plus we have a NEW DESIGNER!

LDrag Designs is joining our team!!! Take a peek at some of her awesome products!

From Wimpychompers

From Luv Ewe

 

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From Tinci

From Lindsay Jane

From JoCee

From Miss Fish

From Aimee Harrison

Check out all the awesome products in the store tomorrow!

~~August Bake Sale!!~~

It’s August Bake Sale time!! All these kits are available from today until August 20th for just $1 each. What a great variety of kits – from Summer to Back to School.

Let’s see what our amazing designers have put in for the Bake Sale this month.

Looks like it’s time to go shopping!! Head over to the Bake Sale page in the GS store and fill your cart!!

Tutorial Tuesday (General)

I’m a bit under the weather today but didn’t want to leave y’all hanging so I whipped together a little discussion on how to pair those awesome alphas that come in so many of the kits at GingerScraps with the perfect font. The inspiration for this came from my friend Bea, known as beatricemi. I like to use alphas, that’s no secret, and they’re great for those layouts where you want a title and a subtitle.

A lot of the same principles I talked about in the tutorial on pairing fonts also apply to pairing an alpha with a font. They need to compliment each other, as well as the overall theme of your layout, but you don’t want them to be too matchy-matchy. You want one of them to be the boss, the alpha being the most likely choice, since you’ll be adding a drop shadow to it. You want your font to be legible.

 

By far the best tip I can give you for this task is to try them on for size. In Photoshop Elements, (before you Simplify the text layer) you can preview your text in each of your fonts just by highlighting the text then scrolling through your font library with the arrow keys. The software will change the text right in front of you. You’ll know right away which ones DON’T work, but might have to play around a bit with some of the ones that DO work. Nothing is carved in stone until you say it is!

Sneak Peeks August 9th 2018

 

Happy Thursday!!! Summer is coming to a close. School is starting tomorrow where I am. This week we have some great new releases coming out! Let’s check them out!

From Heather Z

From Ponytails

From Miss Fish

From Aimee Harrison

4

Come back tomorrow to see all the goodies releasing!

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Another Way to Have the Photo You REALLY Wanted, Not the One You Got

I have another amazingly simple Guided Edit to show you today. When I took the photo of the young lady you’ll see in a moment, I didn’t really have any control over the situation and wanted a shot of her one way or another. Later, when I started looking at my photos critically, I saw an opportunity to create the photo I REALLY wanted and at the same time, I had food for another tutorial, so prepare to be awed!

The cars in the photo of the piper are really distracting, but I knew I wouldn’t get another chance to get a photo of her alone. She was preparing to lead a “parade” of Irish Canadians into a field for a special event and there would be a lot of people in the way later. So I went for it. The lighting in the second photo is similar and the time of day is similar so I chose it for my new background.

This was my very first attempt to use this Guided Edit, so don’t feel intimidated. It’s very user-friendly! It’s called Photomerge Compose and it lets you move things from one photo into another quite quickly and easily.

The first step is to drag and drop the “source” photo onto the workspace. I’m going to move the woman from in front of the cars and stand her in front of the cork tree, so I put the photo of her here.

The second step was to begin defining the part of the photo I wanted to merge with the background photo. I started with the Quick Selection Tool. If you’re not familiar with that tool, it uses a brush to add or subtract parts of your photo. I dragged a fairly small brush over her body and bagpipes to crudely select her from her background.

As I dragged my brush over the photo, marching ants appeared around the areas I’d selected. It really doesn’t have to be precise at this stage because there are several occasions for fine-tuning the selection in later steps.

I like to zoom in on my image so I can be more precise, but when I’ve gotten what I want selected in the area I can see, I need to shift the area I’m working on to another part of the photo. It’s easily accomplished here by using the Hand Tool to click and drag on the photo to another area. Then I clicked on the Quick Selection Tool button on the tool panel again and went back to work.

Once I had a (very) crude outline of the woman I used the same tool with the Subtract setting to remove more areas of the background.

I was THRILLED to see how this next tool works! The Outline Select tool makes refining the edges of a selection so much easier and cleaner! Who knew?

Whoa! It uses a red mask to cover up the parts of the photo I’ve already excluded and lets me see how raggedy the edges of my selection really are. The brush for this tool can be either dragged around the edges to smooth them or to slice away small areas by clicking on them.

I tried to see some redeeming quality to the Subtract mode for this tool, but couldn’t really see one.

If my image still needed a bit more refining, I have the option of using the Refine Select setting and it’s good with a small brush to crisp up the edges where fine detail exists and for areas where colour differences are very subtle. I could push out the edge a little or pull it in a little where needed.

When I was satisfied with my selection, I clicked on the Next button at the bottom right corner of the workspace. Elements automatically moved my woman onto the photo of the cork tree.

Well, look at that! I wasn’t all that careful when I hit the Next and now I see I missed an area of her sleeve with my selection. But have no fear! I can fix it!! I moved her down a bit so she looked like she really was standing under the tree using the Move and Resize button. Then I clicked on the Reveal tool. It let me “paint” her sleeve back into the photo.

Down by her feet, I didn’t bother to select out the grass, and now by using the Hide tool I can “paint” in the leaves and grass as it is under the tree.

It really was easy!

As I said at the beginning, I had two photos that had very similar lighting and saturation, taken as they were at roughly the same time of day, with similar weather conditions. So I didn’t need to make much of an adjustment. But this Guided Edit knows not every pair of photos are going to play so well together. The top button shown is called Auto Match Color Tone. When I clicked it, I didn’t see any difference. So then I went on to look at lighting. Could I tweak it a smidge to make it look mroe natural?

Well, I adjusted both the Luminance and the Contrast just a tiny bit.

Because she was standing under some trees in the original photo and is here too, she wouldn’t be casting much of a shadow, so my work was done.

I’m so happy with how this turned out and I know I’ll be using this again!

 

Sneak Peeks August 2nd 2018

Happy Thursday! It’s the first Thursday in August! The start of school is right around the corner for kids here in Florida! Fall is only next month! The time has flown! Even though our designers outdid themselves with yesterday’s Buffet, they still have some great new products releasing tomorrow!

From Wimpychompers

 

From Day Dreams N Designs

From Lindsay Jane

 

From Aimee Harrison

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From Miss Fish

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Vacation Memories Sanitized!

I’m back!! My vacation to Ireland surpassed all my expectations and I’ve got about 400 new photos to turn into lasting memories. I’m still looking through them to see which ones are amazing and which are only so-so. If you remember the tutorial from this time last year where I talked about taking better photos you might already know that I’m a fan of cropping in the viewfinder. That means looking at a scene through the lens and moving around so that I can eliminate a lot of things I can’t (or don’t want to) fix later… like posts growing out of the top of people’s heads. One aspect we have no real control over is that people will unknowingly walk into our carefully-composed shot and get in the way of that perfect image. There are times when it’s possible to just wait for them to wander on, and others when it’s not. So I’ve started taking two or three shots from the same spot a few second apart, allowing the people in my way to move along a bit. Why? Because I know I can Clean the Scene with a Guided Elements Edit!

Elements has had a Scene Cleaner Photomerge edit since Version 7. It works in basically the same way, but it’s accessed a little differently. For versions 7-13, you need to go to the Edit tab then select Photomerge Scene Cleaner from the dropdown. For versions 14 and later, click on Guided>Photomerge>Scene Cleaner.

My example will only use two photos but you can merge as many as you need to in order to eliminate strangers from your memories. I’ve found that with my particular laptop (which gives me enormous grief sometimes) and my particular installation of PSE 15, it’s best not to have the target photo – the one with all the best angles and aspects – in the first position in the Photo Bin. You can reorder your photos and elements in the Bin simply by dragging them into the spot where you want them then dropping them there.

When you click on the Guided>Photomerge>Scene Cleaner button, that first photo in the Bin will populate the left side of your screen. Then drag and drop the TARGET photo into the right hand side. If you look closely you’ll see that the “Source” image is outlined in the Bin with blue, while the “Target” or “Final” image is in yellow.

You’re going to be shocked when you see how easy this is to accomplish. I clicked on the Pencil Tool in the Edit menu, then looking at the Final image, I scribbled on the Source image over the general areas where the two women (Gail on the left, Eleanor on the right) are using a moderate-sized brush tip. Usually that’s enough to totally solve the intrusion. If necessary, you could enlarge the area you’ve covered, or b some of it on that Source image. PSE will show you what your final image will look like so you’ll see where tweaking is needed.

As with all the other Guided Edits, once you’ve done what you set out to do, you click on the Next button at the lower right corner of your workspace and then either save your work or open it in Expert to continue working on it. As you can see, this Edit has made all the changes on a new layer. The easiest way to make the changes permanent is to Merge the two layers together.

I’m sure you knew I wasn’t finished with this photo. I want the clouds and sky to look better, and the stones to be a bit sharper. So first I chose Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels (CTRL/CMD>L) to make some exposure adjustments.

Don’t overdo this adjustment.

Then I moved on to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast. Again, this photo didn’t need a lot of adjusting. But this slight tweak has added more detail to the clouds.

But I feel like the shadows are still too dark, so I went to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Shadows/Highlights.

The shadows just needed a bit of illumination and there’s great detail visible there now.

And of course, once the rest of the image looked good, I hit it with my new favourite enhancement, Haze Removal.

I love that this tool adds drama to the sky, sharpens and deepens the stones and just brings the Oomph with it.

This tutorial marks the end of my second year as your faithful tutor. I can’t believe I’ve found enough new things to show you to build about 100 tutorials around them, but here we are!

This is the final image of St. Finian’s Roman Catholic Church, Aghowle, Shillelagh, Wicklow. It dates from the 12th century and is in ruins. It will be the star of a double spread at a later date.

One scene cleaned, a dozen or more to go…

Sneak Peeks July 26th 2018

It’s that time again! New releases debut tomorrow but we get a peek tonight! Thanks to our awesome CT, lets see what our amazing designers have in store for us!

From Tinci

From JoCee

From Aimee Harrison

From Miss Fish

From Neia Scraps

From Ponytails

From Luv Ewe and La Belle Vie

Have a wonderful weekend!

~~July Bake Sale!!~~

I can’t believe it’s already Bake Sale time. Goodness 2018 is flying by. Let’s see what our designers are offering up this month. Remember these kits or template packs are $1 each through July 20.

Head over to the store and grab these goodies.

Sneak Peeks July 12th, 2018

Happy Thursday! I hope you have some time to scrap this weekend because you are going to love everything coming out tomorrow!! There’s so much awesomeness! Let’s take a peek!

From Heather Z

From Miss Fish

From Tinci

From Clever Monkey Graphics

From JoCee

From Ponytails

From Aimee Harrison

Come back tomorrow to see all the awesome releases!