One of the things that can help to make a layout really shine are the photos. Not all of us can afford a fancy camera, including me. I use a little point and shoot Panasonic DMC-ZS5.
But with a little help from Photoshop, I can usually find ways to help my photos be the star of my layout.
Today I will show you a quick and easy technique for your photos that will pull your eye right to the focal point of the picture and really make the whole picture pop, so your pictures and layouts can “shine.”
Step One: Open and Duplicate Photo
- Open the image you want to work with (File > Open).
- In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate and click Ok to accept the name in the dialog box.
- Close the original file.
Note: It is never a good idea to work with original files. Simply working with a copy of the original ensures that the original file is not altered in any way.
Step Two: Make a Selection
- In the Tool Bar, get the Elliptical Marquee tool.
- In the Options Bar, make sure the New Selection icon is active.
- On the document, drag a selection outline around the part of the image that you want to use as your focal point.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Refine Edge.
- In the dialog box, set Feather to 150 px and click OK.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Inverse.
Step Three: Turn on the Spot Light
- In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. Click OK when the dialog box pops up to confirm the new layer name.
- In the Adjustments panel, drag the Shadow Input slider to the right to about 50-65. Different photos will requite different settings.
(Photoshop CS6: You will adjust the slider in the new Properties panel.)
- In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Flatten Image.
- Save your picture with a unique name.
There you go! You have now created a soft spotlight that highlights the focal point of your picture.
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Digital Spotlight with Levels, by Nannette Dalton
Layout: Soulmates, by Nannette Dalton
Brushes: Mission Possible by Michelle Shefveland, wbi-love quoted by Wild Blueberry Ink., JS Swirl Set From Jessica Sprague
Kit: Me Personally by Taylor, previously available to Digital Scrapper Premier Members October 2011
Software: Photoshop Elements 10 and PS5