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Using Gradients in Photoshop Elements
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Using Gradients in Photoshop Elements to Color Papers, Embellishments, and Photos
Tutorial written with Photoshop Elements on a Mac running OS X Lion
Last week, we talked about using Gradients in Photoshop, and this week we are going to be using Gradients in Photoshop Elements.
Gradients are an often overlooked but easy-to-use tool. They are perfect for adding multiple colors to a photo, embellishment, paper, or just about anything! I'm going to show you how to add a gradient to a paper template, a seashell embellishment template, and a photo. Grab your favorite drink and let's get started!
Adding a Gradient to a Paper Template
First, let's add a gradient to a paper template. I have used a paper from ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Picturesque 2.
Open up your template and make a duplicate copy and close the original. This is a good practice each time you use any kind of template; that way, you always keep your original intact.
Create a new blank layer by holding down Ctrl+Shift+N. Make sure that layer is selected in your Layers Palette.
Now, go up to your menu bar and select "Layer," then scroll down and select "New Fill Layer." Then select "Gradient."
A little box will pop up; hit "OK."
The Gradient Fill dialog box will open up, so click on the little arrow to the right of the Gradient box and choose a gradient.
If you click the double arrows on the right, another drop-down menu will appear. You will find even more gradients to choose from; just select one and they will load into your Gradient Fill box. I chose the Pastels.
Now you will see the new gradient fill choices, so pick one and hit "OK." The gradient will fill the blank layer you just created.
Now, in your Layers Palette, click on the arrow on the top left where it says "Normal." These are your Blending Modes. Scroll down and select "Overlay." (Play around with these to see all the different effects the Blending Modes can make on your template!)
Now, look how pretty this is! There are several gradient styles that you can choose from. Open up the Gradient Fill dialog box by double-clicking on the Layer thumbnail in your Layers Palette.
Click on the little arrow next to the Style button. You can choose between Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected, or Diamond. I usually stick with the Linear, Radial, and Reflected.
Below you will see examples of Reflected and Radial.
The third paper is an example of playing with the Angle setting. The default angle setting is 90 degrees; I have set this to 0. The fourth paper is an example of checking the Reverse box; this reverses the direction of the gradient blend. Look at the fabulously different effects that you can get with a few easy tweaks!
Adding a Gradient to an Embellishment Template
You can apply gradients to ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates using the same technique above. I added a Radial Gradient and increased the Scale to 150 to apply more yellow to the shell.
Adding a Gradient to a Photo
Now, let's see what effect a gradient has on a photo! Following the same technique above, I added a gradient and used the "Overlay" Blending Mode on the top photo and a "Color" Blending Mode on the bottom. I think this is such a cool effect!
I hope you have as much fun playing with gradients as I did!
Until next time, Happy Gradients!
Products used in this tutorial...
Scrap Girls, Etc. is a weekly column pulling bits and pieces from all over Scrap Girls. Stay tuned each week as Scrap Girls' team members bring you tutorials, musings, recipes, interviews, design/software tips and tricks, layout walk-throughs, and who knows what else!
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Using Your Camera's Self-Timer to Get Family Photos
Tutorial created using Photoshop CS 4 with Windows XP
Do you find that you are often missing from the family photo album because you are the one behind the camera? Using the self-timer on your camera is a simple way to solve that problem.
First, you'll need to know where the self-timer is on your camera and how to use it. Consult your camera's manual for the specifics, but most camera manufacturers use this icon for the self-timer.
Next, I'd suggest using a tripod. You, like my husband, may be really good at positioning the camera on a rock or table to frame a shot, but a sturdy tripod is more reliable and gives you greater control over the framing of your photo. You'll want to choose a location with an uncluttered background and adequate light. After you've set up the camera, have one person direct the pose and push the camera shutter release. If you have your photographer standing at the side or back in the pose, they can get into position quickly.
In these photos, my daughter, Cathrine, was our designated photographer. She left an open space in the photo composition so all she needed to do after she clicked the shutter release was walk over to her spot and smile. We like to do silly photos as a little reward at the end of our shoot, and they are often our favorites.
While our last use of the self-timer was for a family portrait, using your self timer is a great way to include all the participants or family members at holiday dinners, family reunions, birthday parties, or any occasion. If you are the main photographer for your family, using the self timer on your camera will ensure that you are in more of your photos!
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Article written by April Martell
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Sketch Challenge Chat
Tuesday, February 28th - 7:00PM MST
It's time for the Sketch Challenge and Crop! Join Cheri (Cheri T) on Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm MT in the Scrap Girls Chat Room! Enjoy getting a little creative boost for your pages? Are you needing help getting started? Then this is the challenge for you! A few hours before the chat begins, Cheri will post a link for you to download the sketch. Use it as the starting point for your page; be inspired by the basic arrangement; flip things around or scraplift the whole thing hook, line, and sinker;) This month our inspiration piece is ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Photo Masks Vintage Valentine from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin. All interpretations of the design are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry about any deadlines... post your layout when it works with your schedule. Hope to see you there!
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Speed Scrap Crop
Wednesday, February 29th - 6:00PM MST
It's time for some Speed! Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) at 6pm MT for the Speed Scrap Crop! She will give you six tasks, spread out over an hour. Then, you will have an hour to get it finished and posted in the Forum Gallery!
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