Changing Focus and a Tip for Extractions

As I go through Anna’s gallery, I often think about the different purposes for engaging in scrapbooking, knowing that for many digital scrapbook artists the time with small children lies in the past or future. Family has been a major theme for many of my pages. However, it won’t be long before my last grandchild heads off to school in 2018 and my focus will change.

I am thinking now about what stories I might write and photographs I will make when Kate does begin school. I know there are stories that I haven’t told about photos still quietly residing on my hard drive. I imagine that I will compile some of those stories on scrapbook pages. I imagine that I will create more art with my photos, try new techniques and experiment with upcoming trends. Maybe I will find some better approaches for working with those 1970-80s photos of my own children. I am sure that I will continue to develop my skills and style. As a grandmother I know that change will come whether I want it or not. This is part of the reason that I am grappling with creative balance this year, something between artsy pages for the sake of art and pages with family stories for a 2016 book.

Despite my changing focus, I think extractions will remain a characteristic of my style. I love the dimension created with extractions. With all this practice, they are certainly getting much easier and faster for me. So using a two page spread that I’ve just finished, I would like to share another tip for using extractions, specifically an extraction of just part of a photo so that it extends beyond a mask and/or frame.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.39.19 PM

I love the look of part of a photo Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.43.12 PMextending beyond a frame as on this page using Anna’s Artsy Layered Template No. 125 and Artsy Layered Template Duopack No. 10. After resizing and clipping a photo to a mask, I duplicated that photo and moved the copy up above the frame. I often extract what I want to keep with the Quick Selection Tool and then click the add layer mask icon to place the selection on a mask. Sometimes, I use the Pen Tool, however for this photo, I simply attached an inverted layer mask to the photo copy and then used a hard round brush to bring back just the part of the photo that I wanted to extend out of the frame. The screen shot of my layer’s panel shows the original photo that I clipped to mask 3 and the duplicated photo (with the word extraction added to the layer name). I placed the duplicate above not only frame 3 but also frame 5 so that Kate’s feet would drop over the frame onto the black and white photo below.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.47.44 PM

After I finished extracting her feet using a hard round brush on inverted layer masks, I added a drop shadow to the layers to make the extractions appear more realistic.


I actually extracted just part of a photo on both sides of my two page spread. On the left, I created a custom mask for the original photo and then duplicated the photo, placing it above the original masked photo. From the photo copy, I extracted using the Quick Selection Tool just enough from the photo to allow my granddaughter’s feet to dangle over the bridge. I gave the extraction a drop shadow. On the right, I extracted her legs and feet again so that they extended out of the frames. I also gave those extractions a drop shadow. While I used the Quick Selection Tool on the left side, I used an inverted mask and the Brush Tool on the right side.

Whether you use the Pen Tool, Quick Selection Tool or Brush Tool to extract doesn’t really matter as all three are simple techniques when combined with a layer mask for creating partial extractions to extend from a mask or frame. I hope this provides an idea for working with extractions on whatever type of scrapbook pages you create. The full layout screenshot links to this page in Anna’s gallery with a complete list of products used.


Below are two additional examples of placing a partial extraction above a frame and applying a drop shadow to the extraction. For information on the supplies used on the layout on the left click this link. More information on the layout on the right is available here.


Blending Modes and Levels Adjustment Layers




  1. I would LOVE to see a video on this extraction Linda! It’s a technique I’ve always wanted to try but could never master. You make it sound simple enough but I’d love to see a video on this.
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and processes!

  2. Diane Smith

    Thank you Linda I always appreciate your sharing of your creative process.

  3. ellen colville

    lovely examples of the OOB effect. i love using that specially with photos of little ones.I tend to put the photo to a low opacity and rub out the bit of the frame that i don’t need , then turn the opacity up again. Doing it your way gives it much more of a 3d effect specially with teh shadow added. i’ll keep that in mind next time.

    • Thank you Ellen, looking forward to seeing how the technique and shadowing work for you:)

  4. Video! Video! Video! And aside from that, I hear you on the “creative balance” grapple. Am doing the similar dance over here.

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