Sunday, July 26, 2009

I've Conquered Layers in PhotoShop!

It's only taken me a year, but I've figured out layers in PhotoShop Elements! In all defense, there hasn't been a concentrated effort to really figure out layers until yesterday. I've tried the PhotoShop help guide a few times, but the tutorial is as skimpy as a first grade reader written in techie speak from an engineer with a doctorate in photography and graphic arts.

Who knew all that could happen from a sidebar, I kept looking for buttons at the top! My layer bar has been sleeping over there and closed up just about the entire time I've owned this program. I think I went over there one time and woke it up, clicked something that made whatever I was working on at the time do something scary so I backed out. I thought it was like a little clipboard over there, just holding on to stuff...nopie you can do lots over in the little sidebar!

My next favorite layers discovery of the day was the free transform button under *image* at the top of the screen.....no more trying to figure out like-pixels, dpi, size.. all that stuff between several photos for the layers.

And my all time favorite discovery while figuring out layers was the background eraser. Oh my, sweet! I kept tyring to work with those little checkerboard thingies that show up on a photo, making you think the background is translucent. Those checkerboards and I never did figure out how to get along. I knew the background eraser was there, but the ah-ha moment came when dragging the second photo on top of the first in the main screen, making a new layer, then lightening the opacity on that layer so you could see the background very well. Now you can see what you need to erase from that 2nd layer! And, poof, it's gone with a steady hand and a brush! Yayyyyyyyyy!

This ACEO (Artists Cards Editions and Originals) is created from one of my own photos from the mid 1980s when I spent a lot of time sailing in the Ft. Myers, Caya Costa and Boca Grande areas of SW Florida. I'm taking the photo; who is actually at the helm is a good question. Could be one of my kids or could be a friend who taught me lots about sailing. The weather in the Gulf allows a lot of steering with one's big toe from the side seat; I didn't PhotoShop out the sailor.

There's only 3 layers here, but a big accomplishment for me. The background was a scanned copy of the photo which I then slightly stylized in PS using the watercolor filter and brushes. I also scanned a vintage sailing chart and layered it over the sky, using the background eraser to get rid of overlaps. It really looked cool using that layer over the sail, but just not enough was left to be exciting for my first layer accomplishment. I wanted lots of chart! Then I layered the text and lightened the opacity, I wanted more of the chart to show through the lettering, but it looked too washed out, so I didn't lean heavily there.

I aged the edges digitally and again after mounting on matt board, using Tim Holtz's distress inks, and added a bit of copper pigment powder. I love pigment powders and thank you Michaels for your 50% off coupons or I never would have owned them.

I did two more ACEOs from vintage photos last night so I wouldn't forget how I did what I did. I want to go in and tweak them more today, they are for the consignment shop up the road.

I'm unleashed!

8 comments:

NANCY LEFKO said...

lovely work...congrats on mastering PS !!!!

Glenda-TwoCoolTexans said...

WoooHoooo, mastering a few layers. Now there is an accomplishment. Good for you. And the work is wonderful. Way to go.

paperdreamer said...

Thanks for giving me some encouragement to tackle layers ... Looks great !

Jessie said...

I love this!! And congrats on conquering PS Elements!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am just starting to conquer my fear of PS, lovely image, you rock. Linda Donnelly

dogdazzle said...

You should be very proud of your computer skills!

whyte said...

It is rewarding to finally figure something out. My eternal quest for knowledge and a reminder that "old" doesn't mean "can't". No skydiving goals, though. I'll stay grounded, thank you very much.

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

I love it! Congrats on going digital!