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May, 2012

Welcome to my share page. Each month I'll try to bring you an enlightening thought, quote or tip. Questions or feedback is always welcome at: roger@imageinations.com



NOTE: The suggested settings below refer to an image that is approximately 8x10 at 300 ppi.

1. Open the image you want to frame. Be sure Foreground/Background colors are set to default (press D). Press Ctrl-A (Mac: Command-A) to select entire image, and then press Shift-Ctrl-J (Mac: Shift-Command-J) to cut the image from the background and put it in its own separate layer.

2. Under Image menu, choose Canvas Size. Check the Relative box. Under Canvas extension size choose White. Enter 4 inches for both width and height. Click OK to add white space around your photo.

3. Press-and-hold Ctrl key (Mac: Command key) and click on Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. By pressing this key the new layer appears below your photo rather than above it.

4. Press M to get the Rectangular Marquee tool. Draw a selection around your photo about half way between the photo edge and the border edge. This will be the edge of your frame. Press X to set your foreground color to white. PRESS Alt-Backspace (Mac: Option-Delete) to fill this section with white. Press Ctrl-D (Mac: Command-D) to deselect.

5. At this point you won’t see any difference (white on white) but you will see the frame area in your layers palette. Click on the Add-a-layer-Style pop up menu at the bottom of the layers palette and chooses Stroke. Set your size to about 7 pixels and set the position to Inside. Click on the Color swatch and choose black. Click OK and a black border will appear around your frame. (Choosing Outside as Position would have resulted in rounded corners)

6. With this layer still selected, choose Inner Shadow from the Add-a-Layer-Style pop up menu. Uncheck Global Light, lower Opacity to about 50%, set the Angle to about 130, increase distance to about 20 pixels, and lower size to about 3 pixels. As you make these adjustments you can see the result on your image. This adds a small shadow inside the top and left of your frame. Press Ctrl-D to deselect.

7. Go to the Layers palette and click on Create-a-New-Layer icon. We will now create a thin bottom mat on this layer. Access the Rectangular Marquee tool again and draw a selection that is just slightly larger than your photo. Fill this selection with white by pressing Alt-Backspace (Mac: Option-Delete) and then deselect.

8. Again, you won’t see anything on your image yet. Click on the Add-a-Layer-Style pop up menu and choose Inner Glow. Change the blend mode to Normal, lower the Opacity to about 20% and click on the color swatch and choose black in the Color Picker. Adjust to the size to about 20. Click OK and a soft shadow appears along your inner frame making it look like an inner mat.

9. Click on the outer frame icon in the Layers palette. Choose Drop Shadow from the Add-a-Layer-Style pop up menu. Turn off the Use Global Light checkbox, lower the opacity to 60%, and increase the Size to about 10 pixels. Again, you can see the results, so use your own taste. This adds a soft shadow the bottom and right side of the frame. Click OK.

10. You may want to change the color of your background. Do this by clicking on the background layer and choosing a foreground color (such as light grey) and filling the background with this color.

NOTE: If you want you image off center as in the example below, after STEP TWO do the following: Choose Canvas Size again. Click on the top center box. Enter the number of inches in Height but leave Width at 0. When you click OK the image will be off center by the number of inches you entered.

digita mat



GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE [1900 - 1968] American draughts man, fashion photographer and short film maker

MarleneThese photographs would never please the architects, who want blueprints, but I wanted to interpret ancient buildings and ancient sites, and glamorize them, just as I had done with beautiful women. - George Hoyningen-Huene - ["Eye for Elegance - George Hoyningen-Huene" (exhibition catalogue) International Center of Photography and Congreve Publishing Company 1980, p. 16]

Was there no way to render images of women the way you saw them in their normal surroundings, pausing for a moment during their daily activities and not posing for a photograph ? Somehow the photographers had as yet not captured the attitudes and gestures that women assumed, they seemed to freeze in front of the lens, as if posing for their portraits, whereas the top fashion illustrators would render them as they actually saw them in real life. Was there no way of achieving the same results with photography ? - George Hoyningen-Huene - ["Eye for Elegance - George Hoyningen-Huene" (exhibition catalogue) International Center of Photography and Congreve Publishing Company 1980, p. 12]

To see more George Hoyningen-Huene images, click here


Sometime this month try to take some photos in a setting that is a bit different for you. Perhaps set out a bowl of vegetables or eggs from the fridge. A box of pencils or crayons. A collection of make-up or even a pile of socks. Use natural light that is coming through a window. Be aware of everything else that is in the frame besides the main subject. Visualize how you expect the image to appear and see how close to final image is to your visualization and make appropriate adjustments.

When taking photos of kids or pets try this simple rule: Always have the camera approximately level with their eyes. This might mean sitting on the floor or even lying down. And always plan on taking 8 to 10 variations. Move your subject or yourself relative to the light source and background. Zoom in and out; move physically closer and farther away. Frame the subject on alternate sides of the image.

With just a little effort you have become "creative"!

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