Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
From time to time, you may need to add text or graphics on top of a photograph. And when that's the case, you want to take the photograph from Lightroom to Photoshop, which has some sophisticated text and graphics tools. Maybe you're making an announcement for a photo show, or you're mocking up some collateral or a website that you are going to hand over to a designer. Before I take a photo over to Photoshop to add text or graphics, I like to prepare a surface. In other words, here it's dark at the bottom and then gets lighter, I'd like that all to be evened out. So, I am going to go to the Develop module and I am going to get the Graduated Filter tool, and then I'll come into the image, and I'll click and drag.
And I'll move the Exposure up. If I click on that point, I can change the location of the Graduated Filter. And I could add other parameters by moving these sliders. But, I am happy with it as it is, so I'll click Done. So now I'm ready to take the image to Photoshop. I'll press Cmd+E on the Mac or Ctrl+E on the PC. And in the Edit Photo window, I am going to Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments. I'll click Edit. Here in Photoshop, I'll double-click the Hand Tool to fit the image to the window. Now, there is a lot that you can do with the Type tool and the Shape tools.
So, in just a few minutes, I can't show you everything, but I'll show you a couple of tricks that I like to use. For one thing, I very seldom will type directly on a photograph, because often, the content of the photograph can make the message hard to read. So, one trick is to add an area on top of the photograph on which you can type, and then to blend that surface in with the photograph. I do it like this. I'll get the Rounded Rectangle tool which is a Shape tool, I'll check the options for this tool, I am going to use Black as the fill color; I won't use a stroke.
And over here, I want to make sure I have a reasonable radius for the corners of this rectangle. Mine is set to 40. Then I'll move into the image and I'll click and drag. Now, as I drag, if you look very closely, you can see a faint blue line. That is a shape, or a vector outline. And when I release my mouse, the shape is filled with color. The advantage of using a shape for flat art like this is that you can modify it without affecting the quality of the image because it's not pixel based like a photograph. So, if I wanted to make this smaller, I could go up to the Edit menu, and choose Free Transform Path, and then, I could click and drag to make it narrower, or shorter, or I could click inside the shape and move it around.
I am going to cancel that so it's big again. But it's nice to know you have the flexibility of vector shapes. Notice there's now a new shape layer in the Layers panel. With that layer selected, I am going to blend the black in with the photograph behind using a Blend mode. I'll press the V key, and then hold the Shift key, and press the plus symbol to cycle through some blend modes until I see one that looks good with this. I think I am going to go with Overlay, and then I'll lower the opacity of the shape a bit, so that it blends in, but we can still see the texture behind from the photograph.
Now, I want to add some type. So I'll get the Type tool, and I could set some options before I start typing. But usually, the only one I set to start with is a color that I know I'll be able to see on top of the area where I am typing. So here I am using white, and I'll click, and I'll type The Photography Show. And then I'll click the check mark in the options bar to commit that type. I'll press V to get my Move tool and I'll click and drag to move that type where I want it. Now, if I want to change something about the type, like the font, I'll double-click the big T on the editable type layer that was created for me, that selects the type, but the problem is now that you can't really read it.
So, if you press Cmd+H, that will temporarily remove that overlay. Sometimes when you do that on a Mac, you get a message asking if you want to use Command+H for some other purpose or for Photoshop, and you can choose Photoshop if that's what you want. So that type is selected. Now, I am going to go up to Font menu, and I am just going to click in the Font menu, and then I'll use the arrow keys on my keyboard to cycle through fonts in the menu. And notice as I do that, that the type is changing. These are some symbol fonts.
I am going to go with Trajan Pro. I also need to make the type smaller. So, I am going to do the same thing in the font size area. I'll click in that field and then I'll use the arrow keys on my keyboard to make the text smaller or larger. When I am done, I'll click the check mark. Now, I think it's still hard to read that text. So I am going to double-click again, and this time, I am going to go the Style menu, make sure I have Bold selected there. And I can come to the Character panel symbol, click that, and here, I can move my mouse over the label for the Tracking field and drag right or left to change the amount of space between the letters.
Sometimes it's easier to read if you space letters out a little bit, and there are lots of other parameters for your type here that you can change. And now I'll click the check mark, and with the Move tool, I'll move that type into place again. You also can type on a path. To do that, I am going to switch over to the Paths panel for a minute, and I am going to go back to the Rounded Rectangle tool, and I'll choose the Ellipse Shape tool. Up in the Options Bar, I'll change the first menu from Shape to Path. Then I'll go to this Gear icon, and I am going to choose Circle and From Center.
And that will allow me to come in without holding any modifier keys and just drag out a circular path from the center outward. If I want to reposition that, I can get the black arrow tool, the Path Selection tool, and click and drag the path where I want it. Now, I'll get the Type tool, I'll move over the path, and when my cursor changes to display a small dotted line, I'll click and I'll type. And the type is going around the path. Back in the Layers panel, I can double- click that new type layer, that selects that text, and maybe I'll change the font, and the style, and the font size.
If I want to move the text that's on that path, I can come back and get the black arrow tool, and put it right at the beginning of the text, and push. So that's how you make text on a path. Now, there is a lot more that I could do to this image. I'll actually show you a finished version to give you some ideas of where you can take it. This is just a combination of simple shape layers and a few type layers. Now, let's go back to the version that we were making together and save it so that Lightroom knows what we have done to the photograph. I'll press Cmd+S, Ctrl+S on the PC, and I'll close the image, I'll close this one too, and I'll go back to Lightroom.
And here in Lightroom is the TIFF that we just created, and right next to it, the original photograph. If you want to take this TIFF back into Photoshop for further editing, then choose the Edit Original option in the Photo Edit window, and all your layers will be there. So, Photoshop offers a lot in the way of text and graphics. Explore on your own time, and I hope you create some great photo-based designs.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
164 Video lessons · 47844 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 84097 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 54067 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 90947 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.