Tutorial: A Palette Changes its Stripes

As much as I love my colorful stripe-y palettes (and I do), even I am occasionally in the mood for something a little fancier. Here’s one of my favorite ways to change those stripes:

Change stripes to dots with this Photoshop tutorial
Talk your palette into changing its stripes with this easy Photoshop tutorial! (Note: As for all my Photoshop tutorials, I’m using Adobe Photoshop CC 2014*.)

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Catch the Wave: Alter a Palette for Fun!

In my last post, I introduced you to the idea of easily expanding the color range of a basic color palette by using the Mosaic filter in Photoshop. Now, starting with that expanded palette, we’ll take it to another level to create The Confetti Wave Palette! And when we’re done, I’ll show you some of my favorite ways to use this super-fun new version.

Let’s start with a new palette, with a sneak preview:

From palette to party!
If your simple palette needs a little dressing up, transform it into this party-worthy version, complete with confetti!

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Hip to be Square: Creating & Using Mosaic Backgrounds

Filed under Good News & Bad News: The good news is that Shutterstock, one of the largest stock photography companies, has accepted my work to sell on their site! Yes, I’m already selling some of my images on my own site (in the Digital Graphic Files collection), so why sell on Shutterstock too? Well, primarily because they do the work of formatting my images in a range of sizes, making it easy to find just what you need, and also because they reach a huge world-wide marketplace. Good news, indeed.

Original rose photo on Shutterstock
One of my rose photos that’s now available at Shutterstock. (Click the photo to go directly to it.)

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Equipment: Do You Have the Right Stuff?

Bizarre moment #67 in the photo/graphic part of my life: A while back, I was happily snapping pictures in the Portland Rose Garden with my trusty little point-and-shoot, when a man said to me, “You need a bigger camera.”

?????

Ironically, I don’t have a photo of this dubiously memorable moment, so let me try and paint the picture for you: Here’s a complete and utter stranger, sporting an enormous camera complete with over-compensatory long telephoto lens, who has absolutely no idea what kind of photography work I do— and he’s telling me I have the wrong equipment!

Pink & Gold Rose
Pink & gold rose photo, taken with my apparently inferior camera. (It hasn’t been retouched at all.) For the record, my camera is a Canon PowerShot 2000 IS. Click on the photo to see more rose photos on my Photo/Graphic Design website.

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New Photographic Backgrounds: Impressionism & Reflections

In addition to my first collection of photographic backgrounds, I now have two new collections: Artistic Impressions I and Reflections I. Like the first collection (Colorful Leaves I), these are high-resolution JPEG files, perfect for incorporating into almost any online/electronic design project*, from blog headers to e-book covers and illustrations. Here are some samples from these beautiful and versatile image collections:

Artistic Impressions I, montages created from my photographs of marble and stones, with an Impressionistic feel.

Artistic Impressions I sample
Artistic Impressions I sample. This collection includes a free header design tutorial! (Click on the picture to see this whole collection in my Etsy shop.)

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My first collection of photo backgrounds!

I’m so excited— I just finished my first collection of photo backgrounds, Colorful Leaves I, and it’s now available in my Etsy Colormusing shop! There are 3 images in this set; I always feel that with a larger collection, you’ll not only pay more, but almost certainly end up with some images you will never use. And as a bonus, I’m including a FREE tutorial (tips and illustrations for creating titles and text boxes on these backgrounds) with the purchase of this gorgeous collection.

Here’s what they look like:

Dark Leaves Background
Dark Leaves Background (click on the photo to see the collection on Etsy).

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New: Colormusing sets up shop on Etsy!

I’ve just opened my second Etsy shop, Colormusing (natch), just to have a fantastic place to sell my photographic work! Right at this moment, there are 12 of my original photos and photographic montages, already printed and gallery-wrapped for your gift-giving convenience— with sale prices and free shipping if you order by December 12! Here’s one of my canvas images:

Floral Montage
Floral Montage, created by blending over 2 dozen flower and foliage photos! Printed on gallery-wrapped canvas on a 24″ x 20″ frame. (Click the photo to go directly to this canvas in my new Etsy shop.)

And just because I know there are a lot of you out there who like to do your own graphic work (and bravo, by the way!), I’ll soon be offering collections of high-resolution photos, textures, and backgrounds, which you can incorporate into your own masterpieces, from greeting cards to family newsletters, scrapbooking projects to, I don’t know, maybe you blog headers and backgrounds? I’ll be sure to post again here as those become available. And please tell me about anything in particular that you’re looking for, okay?

Click here to go straight to Colormusing’s new Etsy shop!

Silk Purses 2: More Easy Options

After I finished the Silk Purses photo-montage tutorial the other day, I thought of some other ways to combine the same 2 photos. These are even easier, since there’s no masking involved; it’s just the rose photo layered in between or on top of the 2 lettuce layers. (If that sounds incredibly strange to you, you’ll want to check out the previous tutorial.) 

Step 1: Get your background layers ready

Once you’ve worked your way through the first step, where you make 2 copies of your background photo and apply separate effects to each of these 2 layers, you’re ready for this project! You’ll just need your main photo; in this tutorial, I’ll use the same rose photo as before, to show you how you can get many different looks from the same 2 photos. We’ll just combine them a little differently.

Tip: You can use just one layer for the background, but it’s still a good idea to have a copy of the original layer.

Another tip: I’d advise a Save As here, using a different name. You may want to use those background layers later, with another photo. Continue reading

Silk Purses: A Creative Use for a So-So Photo

Maybe it’s because I just watched a “What Not To Wear” rerun, but I’m in a makeover mood today. As a graphic designer, I have often used less-than-perfect photos in unusual ways. I started in photography before digital cameras came on the scene, so I was already in the habit of trying to find uses for my “rejects” of film photography (of which there were many). I wanted to turn the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse, in fact.

Now that we don’t have to feel that we’re wasting money by throwing out film-based photos, we often find it all too easy to just trash those images we don’t think are useable; I’ve done it myself. But when I realized that I take a huge number of photos just for the sake of capturing colors, I started to think of every single shot in a new way. Could I do a digital makeover on so-so pictures? And how could I use the results? Continue reading