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.