As I was reading through my copy of Nylon Japan for December 2011, I noticed the “attention circles” they used to highlight small details in some of the photos. I don’t know what they’re really called so you can just laugh at my made-up terminology if you want to — I was actually tempted to call them “zoom circles”. :) Anyway, I really liked the gradient borders around the circles and the dotted lines they used to connect the circles to the photos. Naturally, I thought, “How did they add those gradients?” It was clear there was a stroke involved. So, when I opened Photoshop and looked at the Stroke settings, I saw something I hadn’t paid attention to before: the Gradient fill option. Perfect.
How to use them
These circles would be just the thing for highlighting small details in your photos, especially style or fashion related posts where you want to give an accessory some attention without giving it an entire photograph.
In the tutorial after the jump, I will show you how to add a gradient stroke to your shapes, in this case, our Attention Circles. :) And, if you want to learn how to create dotted lines, I have another tutorial (a screencast) that you can watch over here. Members can download the PSD exercise file with all the settings I used to create the photo layout for this post (not just the circles), but you’ll have to provide your own photos. You’re welcome to use the layout in your posts if you want to, just like all the other photo layouts. :)
Tip: Perfect Circles
Hold down the SHIFT key while you make your circle selections. This way, the selection you create will be a perfectly round circle.
Fill Type: Gradient
After you select “stroke”, play with the stroke and gradient settings. Make sure to select gradient from the drop down menu for Fill Type. To select your gradient colors, click the Gradient Bar as illustrated below.
And that’s all, folks! :D
american girl photos by eléonore bridge (used with permission)
governor from lost type
futura condensed and medium (OSX system fonts)