My first appreciation of photography happened at Whitney’s blog, The Ugly Green Chair. Her photos were unlike any I had ever seen before. Some parts of her photos were blurry while other parts were sharp. Years later, I learned that this “blurry background” effect wasn’t actually a Photoshop trick, but a camera technique. So I signed up for Photography 101 at CCSF. But the class moved really slow, so slow that a month into the course, we were still discussing the first week’s photo assignment. I grew impatient and read ahead in the textbook. I almost died from happiness when I read about shutter-speed and aperture, the two technical components needed to achieve that blurry background effect.
Anyhow, I found a great treasure during my last surfing expedition — a 30-minute Asos Summer School Photography 101 class with Michelle Bobb-Parris in which she talks about how to get that cool, blurry background effect! In the video, she covers: depth of field, focus, composition and framing, and light. It’s short and sweet, but loaded with wisdom and composition tips.
Have you ever noticed how some magazines use outline legends to identify people or items in their photos? You know, those little numbered outlines off to the side of the page? I thought it would be fun to create a tutorial showing how to outline objects in a collage. So, I made some outlined collages, BUT the outlines just didn’t show up very well when I turned them into mini legends. That’s when I decided to try silhouettes instead and thank goodness, they worked out really well.
As you work through this tutorial, you’ll notice that we’re going to use some of the tools we’ve used before, like brushes and masks. In addition, I’m going to show you how to use the Pen Tool to create selections. In the process, you’ll learn how to make straight and curved paths. Heads-up, guys: the secret to curved paths is in Step 5! :)
Beautiful web type, realistic calligraphy fonts, beaded bracelets, photography advice, dotty nail DIY, cool blogs, and other fun stuff!
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Last week on A Beautiful Mess, I shared some Blog Post Layout Tips. You can check out the post on Elsie & Emma’s blog.
Also, I’ve received a few comments and emails about how to get started making collages and what kind of image-editing software is needed. I use Adobe Photoshop CS3. I know it’s old, but it does everything I want (and more). I also own a copy of Photoshop Elements 10, which is about $600 less expensive than Photoshop CS6. However, PSE 10 still does everything a blogger could ever need. If you’re a photographer, Photoshop CS* would serve you better. As for free image-editing applications, try Sumopaint or Pic Monkey. You can create collages with Pic Monkey. If you have Photoshop CS or Elements, you can start with some of my tutorials and go from there. I also have some free photo layouts that might be helpful!
I was flipping through Asos Magazine’s September Issue and, once again, their labels caught my eye. I first noticed them last year and had good intentions to make a short and quick Photoshop exercise showing how to make them. The thing I LOVE most about ASOS’ UI is the way they use simple monochromatic geometric shapes with stark drop shadows as design elements. I’m not talking about their online store which has become more and more like a busy and crowded bazaar. What I’m talking about are their magazine layouts, which got me thinking it would be fun to finally do that 2-bit color tutorial. If you’ve seen the black and white graphics created on the original Mac Plus, you know you can do some really fun things with only two colors and simple shapes!
stark drop shadows
a css tutorial
camo and me
at japantown, sf
I’m writing because I have great news! We’ve been great friends for almost three years now, since that day I met you by accident at the Gap. You remember… I was looking for a solid olive jacket, but they were so popular they were out of stock. And you, my camo friend, were unappreciated and discounted 50% on the sale rack. I know I bought you reluctantly, but our friendship has blossomed and now we have become inseparable friends.
My good news is that camouflage is “in” again. In fact, you’ll be happy to know that you can be paired with a pretty summer dress now. Or knicker shorts (a.k.a. daisy dukes) and a jumper. You’re finally stylish, my friend. This is your time to shine. But don’t let all your utility pockets go to your head. You know how fashion is: one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out. But that doesn’t matter — you’ll always be in style with me. xoxo, K.
Unlike this Photoshop tutorial, the borders and drop shadows for the images in this post (including the Asos magazine images after the jump) were created with CSS. The great thing about using CSS to create borders and drop shadows is that you can edit styles on the fly without opening Photoshop or re-uploading any images to your blog or website: