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Photoshop tutorial: Creating a ragged frame

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Category: Adobe Photoshop

Daffodils and Photoshop - Learn how to create a ragged frame that can be added to any image.

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Now that you have taken your daffodil images, it is time to fire up Photoshop and get creative.

  • Software used: Photoshop CS4
  • Time taken: 15 minutes
  • Try this tutorial for yourself by clicking on the image on the right to download a high resolution image.
Creative Photoshop technique with Daffodils

Step 1: Copy the background

Start by copying the Background Layer twice, either by using Ctrl+J or right-clicking on layer in  the layers palette. Name the top one in the stack ‘Mono’ and the one below ‘Noise’. The original Background Layer is left untouched so if you get into trouble you can easily start again.
Layers Panel

Step 2: Enhance contrast

Click on the Mono layer in the palette to make it active. Go to Image>Adjustments>Black & White. In the Black and White dialogue box, use the sliders to enhance contrast. Here, with the daffs, move the Yellow slider to the right to make them lighter – we went to 100%. To make the background even darker the Green slider was moved to -98%. Click OK to finish this step.
Mono Layer - adjustment panel
Black and white adjustment box

Step 3: Add noise

Click on the eye icon to turn off the Mono layer and click on the Noise layer to make it active. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. In the dialogue box, click on Gaussian and tick Monochromatic, and then move the Amount slider to get a level of ‘film grain’ that you want. Make sure the Preview box is ticked so you see changes in real-time. To make the effect really obvious we went slightly over the top at 88%. Click OK to give your Noise layer its noise.

Before exiting this step, we went to the Layer Blend mode and changed it from Normal to Overlay so the grain appears over the Background image.
Add noise

Add noise
Noise layer

Step 4: Play with Layer Blend modes

Click back on the Mono layer click on the empty box to bring back the eye icon so the image is mono again. Now it is time to play with the layer blend modes. Click on Normal in the Layers palette to bring up the many options. The options are many so it is up to your taste.
 Mono layer

Step 5: Use Color Burn

After trying various options we settled on Color Burn which gave a rich, saturated image. It is too rich, so the layer’s Opacity was adjusted from 100% to 34%.
Saturated image
Photoshop tutorial

Step 6: Save the image

At this point, we are going to save our image. Go to Layer>Flatten Image, then File>Save As. You can stop here if you want or you can finish off your arty image with a suitable border.
Flatten image

Step 7: Add a border

Borders can be added in many ways – like most functions in Photoshop.

Go to File>New and choose a document size to suit the paper you are going to print out on. In this case, our image is 7inches long so we went for A4. If you use the default A4 template you have to rotate the document 90 degrees to give a horizontal image. Select the Move Tool (shortcut key V) click on the image and drag it onto your new document while holding down the Shift key to centre the image.
Add a border

Step 8: Pick a brush

Hit D to give the default foreground/background colours, ie black and white respectively. Then hit X to make white the foreground colour. Tap B or use the Tool Palette for the brush, then click on the downward arrow next to the brush size to bring up the menu with Master Diameter and Hardness. Click on the top right arrow for more option and select Dry Media Brushes and click Append.
 Brush type

Step 9: Final step

Select a brush and start painting around the image. It is worth trying different brushes and sizes before deciding which to use for your final image. Use the History function to go back or hit Ctrl+Z to go back one step.

Take your time and try different sizes.
Using brushes

Once you are happy go to Layers>Flatten Image and make a print.
Final Image

You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.

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