Photoshop Friday #17

Thanks to all who attended last night’s chat! It was a blast! :)

 As promised, here are the instructions to the technique we worked on last night. If you would like to complete this EXACT layout, you’ll need:

If you don’t have this paper pack, choose a patterned paper for your page background that is lighter in color and has either a subtle overall pattern, or patterns only on the edges of the paper. You’ll see why in a second. :)

Here is the layout we’ll be doing:


 Okay, this technique is pretty easy, but very cool.

1. Open your photo.

2. Convert the photo to black and white: Enhance > Adjust Color > Remove Color (PSE) or Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (PSCS/2)

3. Open the Levels dialog box. Ctrl-L

4. You’ll see three sliders at the bottom of the ‘mountain’: grey, black, and white. You want to move the black and the white sliders toward the grey slider middle. This will give your photo a very nice contrast boost, which is what we want for this technique. Because every photo is different, you’ll have to adjust this until it looks good to you. :)


5. Start a new layout. 12x12, 300 dpi, RGB color, white background.

6. Open your light-colored patterned paper. I used the Aqinnah paper from Anna’s Esther paper pack, which is a teal color with flowers in the bottom right corner.

7. Drag the patterned paper onto your layout and close the original.

8. Drag your photo onto your layout.

9. Enlarge your photo until it fills the entire left side of your layout.

10. Now here’s where the magic happens. In the layers palette, target the photo layer and set the Blending  Mode to Hard Light.

JS-hardlight-blend.jpg This allows the pattern behind the photo to show through, giving it not only a really cool duo-tone effect, but also showing the pattern in the paper right through the photo.

A couple other things to try here:

  • Experiment with different patterns for a more or less ‘artsy’ look
  • What happens when  you stack TWO patterned papers and use blending modes to show them, and then place your Hard Light photo on top of that?
  • Try copying out some of the edge detail of a patterned paper and pasting it  into your layout. In my layout I copied out the corner flowers using a rough selection, then pasted that into a new layer over my photo layer, in the bottom right corner. Then I set that new layer to Screen blend mode, and it took on the appearance you can see there.

To finish up this layout, I opened Anna’s Storinna paper (although you could use any dark colored paper for contrast). I wanted the dark strip on the right side, so I reversed the paper (Image > Rotate > Flip Layer Horizontal) and cut the brown strip out. I placed the strip along the right side of my layout. I then added my journaling text and Katie’s Sanded Overlay for some edge detail.

And there it is! Happy Photoshop Friday! I can’t wait to see what you make with this technique! :D 


Jessica Sprague9 Comments