Monday, December 17, 2007

Photos That Inspire!

Hi everyone! When I'm in a funk I usually turn to my photos (which happen to be on my computer). I love to just go through them all because I know I'll take a lovely stroll down memory lane and I usually end up laughing or crying and I always walk away with some photos that I just have to scrap. After I find my photos I will then think about the journaling and either type it out in MS Word, or just hold off a bit and start my layout. However, sometimes my favorite photos are really not that great. Unfortunately bad photos are something we all have but that certainly doesn't mean we can't scrap them! Photoshop is so awesome for fixing up bad photos and when you have a photo that is just so terrible you can't fix it, you can alter it completely, making it blurry purposely, or making it black and white with some texture, printing on cardstock, and so on. When you do come across a photo that is not that bad, but not all that great either, there is help. A conversion referred to as the Orton Technique is becoming very popular. Some photos tend to be very harsh. For example, I love my mom and dad dearly but when I take up close shots of them their aging shows a bit too much sometimes (especially when the flash is used!) This technique helps with that by creating a softer look to the overall image. If your photo is a little blurry, this technique works great. It also works well on images that have a lot of white in them, wedding photos for example work very well. The Orton technique was developed by a man named Michael Orton. Basically he merged two images together, one sharp and one out of focus (same image) to create a beautiful, soft looking image. Here are some samples so you can see the difference;

Orton Technique Instructions for Photoshop (all versions)

1. Open your photo and make any adjustments to it so that is looks it’s best (levels, unsharp mask, etc.)

2. Now you will need to duplicate your image by creating a new layer. You can do so by using the short cut keys “Control J” or by putting your cursor on the background layer and right clicking and then click on “duplicate layer”. Name this layer “Sharp”.

3. Now just repeat those steps once again, making another layer by either right clicking and selecting “duplicate layer” or by just using the short cut keys “control J”, this will give you a new layer named “Sharp copy”.

4. Click on the “Sharp copy” layer and change the blending mode to “screen”. (The blending mode is usually on normal and it has a pull down menu.)
5. With the “Sharp copy” layer selected right click and select the “merge down” option.
Now click on the “Sharp” layer and duplicate it. Name this layer “out of focus”.
6. With the “out of focus” layer selected, use the filter menu and click on “blur” then click on “Gaussian blur”. The amount of blur depends on your photo resolution, basically you want the detail gone but the shapes in the photo to remain. A number between 15-20 usually works well. If you have six megapixel camera go with 15, if you have an eight mp camera try 17, if you have anything higher use 20.

7. Now change the blending mode of the “out of focus” layer to “multiply”.

That’s it, now just flatten your image (click on the top pull down menu “layer” and then click “flatten image”.
So next time you are in a funk, check out your photos, I'm sure there are a few (even if they are not perfect!) that you are just dying to scrap! If you have any questions please post them and I will answer and try to help out if I can! Happy Designing!


Robyn Weatherspoon said...

These tips are wonderful!!I'm definitely gonna be trying these! Fabulous!!

Jen N said...

lYou know that I have to try this now! Thanks so much for the info on how to photos better!


Wow! Great ideas!!!!!!! Thanks!!!

Cricket said...

Wow, this is awesome! Thanks for the great tip!


Mireille said...

Cool technique!

Anonymous said...

Truly amazing Miss W! Holy cow---you are such an inspirations!

Anonymous said...

So doing this with my next batch of pics! Fabulous, fabulous, Wendy!

The Clever Container Girl said...

Simple, clear and precise instructions! I did it tonight with a photo of DH and I and it turned out beautiful! Thank you so much!