Well, now. This project exemplifies why I would never be hired for a Graphic Design position requiring Photoshop skills. I started out with one layout, then changed my mind, then forgot part of my original concept that I wanted to use, then kept coming up with more ideas which resulted in the final design. But I had so much fun!!!
So here it is...
As you can see, this is another one of my layer intensive Photoshop projects, as is the composite that this layout illustrates! Originally, I was going to make a diptych, using the photo with the people sitting on the beach and the photo of the sailboat, each cropped into a square format. But it just didn't work for me.
So I put on my Photoshop Thinking Cap and decided to make it into a composite, using elements from a couple more photos from my trip, to try to create a believable image. I think I kind of succeeded because I showed it at our neighborhood photo group meeting last night and no one guessed...or they were too polite to mention it :-) How about you, my lovely readers?
I had to give myself a refresher course in one of the techniques that I ended up using to replace the sky in the composite image. As always, there are many ways to accomplish an end in Photoshop. I remembered that Matt Kloskowski had covered one technique in his book, Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature. I highly recommend it and refer to it often. I just can't keep everything I've learned about Photoshop in my head :-)
Matt uses the technique Paste Into, found in the Edit menu (see above), to replace an area in one photo with another. Fortunately, Dave Cross, another Photoshop Guy, has a couple of videos on Kelby TV showing how to use this technique. In the first video, Dave shows you how paste one photo into another.
In the comments for that video I asked Dave what is the difference between using Paste Into and creating a Clipping Mask. Imagine my surprise when I learned that he had answered my question!!! He always mentions the name of the person who asks the question and he did a pretty darn good job of pronouncing my slightly tricky Armenian last name :-)
In addition to wanting to replace the sky, I wanted to select the sailboat and the seagull and move them into the composite. As noted in the layout, I used the Lasso Tool to select the sailboat. I made a loose selection, isolated it on a blank layer and copied and pasted it into to the composite image. Then I masked out the little bit of ocean that tagged along with the selection of the boat. Here's a tutorial for using the Lasso Tool over at Photoshop Essentials if you're not familiar with making selections with this tool.
To select the seagull I decided to use a different technique. I wanted a more precise selection, so I used the Pen Tool. I found another video at Photoshop Essentials which discusses how to make a selection with the Pen Tool. After creating a Work Path around the seagull with the Pen Tool and turning it into a selection in the Paths Panel, I isolated it on a blank layer and copied and pasted it into the composite.
Once I was happy with the placement of the boat and the bird, I did some tweaking with Hue/Saturation and Levels, clipping them to the selections where needed. I added a Warming Photo Filter as the image was little bit cool and then added the textures. I used a Gaussian Blur Filter on both the textures to soften them a bit and clipped a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to Kim's texture, Partings, to increase the Saturation and Lightness in the Master Channel.
For the layout, I created a template, as I did for my balloon storyboard from last week. I used Edit > Place to bring in the photos that I used for the composite. There were a lot of layers, so I grouped the various elements in their own folders (Command/Control > G) to simplify the Layers Panel.
I played around with the placement of the type and ended up with the blank areas in the center above and below the composite. That's when I came up with the idea to put the title in the upper space. Then I decided I needed something to fill in the space below the composite. I thought it would be cool to put a seashell in the space below the composite, so I searched for seashell brushes and found the set that this brush is included in from Neon06 on deviantART.
Lastly (deep breath), I decided that the plain white background was really boring, so I came up with the idea to use Kim's texture, Partings, again, to make the design more interesting.
OK, The End :-)
If anyone made it this far, you have my heartfelt condolences :-) But seriously, if you did make it to the end, I hope you learned something and if you need help, let me know!