Month: June 2016

Lightroom, Templates and Artsy Transfers


This two page spread about our morning at Wisconsin Deer Park may look complicated, but it isn’t. I began with a 24×12 inch blank document in Photoshop and what I call the basic layers of template 16 on the left and template 17 on the right. Both templates are part of Anna’s new template collection, WaterColor Template Album No. 3. I find it easier to make adjustments for my photos on a template by working with just the frames, masks and text boxes. I turn off all the other layers. With my favorite photos already “picked” in Lightroom and some thoughts about our adventure already in the caption field ready to paste into the text boxes, the process goes quickly, even if I change my mind and substitute one photo for another.

lkdavis_basic template

On this page, I wanted the large mask on the right side to go across the page gutter. I adjusted the mask’s size and moved it towards the left. I moved the fotoblendz mask on the left side toward the top of the page. I also adjusted the position of the frames, moving them toward the center on both the left and right so that I would have a larger margin on the sides. On each side of my layout, I clipped a copy of the photos to a stain included in the templates in order to extend the size of each fotoblendz mask. By turning off the background layers, I can see much more easily what adjustments I need to make on a template. Although I added a bit of a cartoon effect to each photo and adjusted both fotoblendz masks, it was an easy process.

Once, I had all my photos in position, then I began to work on the background. I first looked for artplay palettes with colors that coordinate with my photos. Some of Anna’s transfers are designed with straight edges and corners. Those work well to fill the background of a template. For this page, I chose transfers from ArtPlay Palette Explore, ArtPlay Palette Mountain High and ArtPlay Palette Heartland to place below the frames on the right side of my page.

lkdavis_basic template + transfers

However, my favorite products to use for template backgrounds are Anna’s Artsy Transfers. As indicated in the layer’s panel below, for Artsy Transfer Mountain High 1, which I placed in the left top corner, I added a layer mask to one layer to blend out part. I also lowered the opacity on one layer and deleted another. Sometimes, I need to adjust the color, as I did to another layer of an artsy transfer set on the right side. There are two other artsy transfer sets on this page.

lkdavis_basic template + transfers + 1AT

Once I finished my page, I created a composite. I used that composite to create two separate 12×12 pages to insert into the book module of Lightroom. I have learned that initially working on a 24×12 inch document and then dividing that page in half is far easier than trying to put two 12×12 pages together. The faint lines around the edges of the pages below indicate the margins where I wouldn’t want to place anything important. If necessary, I go back to my original document to make corrections and create another composite. This screenshot provides a realistic picture of what these pages would look like in a book once it is published.


As I explained in the previous two posts, Blurry Photos Tell Stories and Organizing with Lightroom, Lightroom is an integral part of my creative process.



Organizing with Lightroom

In the future, my family will look at these photos from our trip and want to know the what, when, where and why of their pictures. My grandchildren are young; they will forget much about the memories we made together.

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One morning we bought containers of corn and seeds to feed the deer as we walked along paths with open fences allowing deer to freely roam among people walking the paths.

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Owen and Logan shook their closed containers of seeds to attract the deer and fed them just a few seeds at a time. Owen, almost twelve, placed seeds on the backs of the deer trying to get them to eat off one another. He and Logan weren’t afraid they would lose a finger by feeding the deer one piece at a time.

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However, Corbin and Kate had a little more trouble keeping a secure grasp on their containers. We had some tears as the deer gobbled up the corn spilled on the ground.

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2016-06-14 091803Kate wanted to feed the deer, but she wasn’t sure that she really liked them licking seeds off her hand. Kate smiled when her mom put some in Kate’s lap. Yet, she did not like that her dress got wet when the deer lapped up the corn and seeds!

Helping my grandchildren remember our time together is the reason why I make photos and take the time to create scrapbook pages as well as add metadata to my photos with Lightroom. With five years experience using Lightroom, I have found which options work for me and are worth my time.

One of the most important options in Lightroom is the ability to add keywords and captions to the metadata of my photos. My keyword list includes words clarifying who, what and where. I have categories for family and friends, foods, garden words, holidays, indoor activities, outdoor activities, places, weather and technology.

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As I went through my vacation photos, I first deleted those photos that I knew I wouldn’t use, photos with blurry faces and sharp backgrounds, photos obscured when someone walked into the view just as I was snapping the shot, photos that were poorly cropped. At the same time, I picked my favorites by pressing the “p” key which attaches a white flag. That indicates the photo is a keeper, a photo that speaks to me, a photo that I want to use on a page. I have given up attaching a numeric rating to photos. I found it wasn’t worth my time since I don’t choose photos based on a rating.

As I shared in a previous post, I also add captions to photos so that my thoughts about the photos become part of the metadata. Once I had those “picked” photos, I created a collection for them so that they are easily available for creating scrapbook pages.

Taking the time to organize photos by adding keywords and a few thoughts about the morning together before creating a collection of my favorites in Lightroom makes it much easier when I begin to create scrapbook pages for this year’s book.

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Blurry Photos Tell Stories

While I had my computer with me on vacation and fully intended to post photos on my blog, it just didn’t happen. I didn’t even get any photos uploaded to Lightroom until I returned home. However, as I review them now, I am going to add a number of stories to the caption space in Lightroom so that the stories are embedded as metadata in each photo. Then if I don’t get to creating the scrapbook pages immediately, I will have something to help me remember the stories that I want to tell. As I upload the photos from my camera into Lightroom, I also pick my favorites, add keywords and file favorites in collections which makes searching for photos I want to use to create a page much easier.

One afternoon, I repeatedly climbed several flights of stairs with Kate in order to reach one of several different slides. I stood behind her, waiting for the guard’s signal to slip down behind her. I don’t have many photos of our time playing together. I didn’t want to ruin my iPhone or camera under all the spraying water.

Yes, this shot of Kate as she’s approaching the stairs appears a bit blurry. She was moving fast. I soon learned that if I didn’t keep up she would disappear from view, which definitely provided a few scary moments as I searched for her. However, sometimes blurry photos help tell the story. In this instance, the blurriness emphasizes just how fast she was going, way too fast for my camera in the dim light, let alone a grandmother standing in a foot of water trying to keep her camera dry.

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Kate would slide down first and then wait for me at the bottom of each slide, laughing. No, there are no photos of me sliding down. However, I did manage to get one photo of Kate at the bottom of one slide. Try to visualize a three story structure and a grandmother racing to keep up with a little girl flying through sprays of water as she led the way to one of the slides. I slept very well that night!!

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Sometimes I find it hard to get back into scrapbooking after a vacation. I have learned that just spending time reviewing photos, adding keywords, and thinking about the stories the photos tell helps me plan pages. I’m not sure yet what kind of scrapbook pages I’m going to create with all the photos I made, but this is a story that I want Kate to remember. I’ve already added this story to the metadata in Lightroom, I just need to think through a page design.

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