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Another way that we can add border or edge effects to our photographs is by using custom shapes and then by turning a custom shape into a selection and eventually a mask. Well, let's take a look at how we can do this. If we navigate down to our tools panel, and if we click on the icon which allows us to select shapes, here we can choose a shape say like the Rounded Rectangle tool. When you select this tool, you can change the Radius, and if you increase the Radius and then click and drag across the image, you can see that you can create a shape which has rounded corners.
And in this case let's say that we want to add a border or edge which has this type of a rounded corner. Well, right now we have the exact opposite of what we need. Yet we are going to use this shape, because we are going to turn it into a selection and then a mask. Let me show you what I mean. Well, if you hold down the Command or Ctrl key and then click on the shape and then turn off the Visibility of it, you'll notice that basically what we've done is just activated that shape as a selection, well that's exactly what we want.
But we want to invert this selection first, so we'll go to Select, and then here we'll choose Inverse. Well, now we just have the outside edge of this photograph selected. And now that we have that, we can go to our Adjustment layer icon and then choose Solid Color, by doing that we can select a solid color. Let's go ahead and start off with white so that you can then see how that looks at how we have that here around our photograph. If we want to soften the edge, just double-click on the Mask icon and then increase the Feather Amount.
So you can then soften the overall edge effect there in order to change the way that that appears. Another thing that you can do--which is really fascinating--is you can change the blending mode of this layer. Here we will click on our Blending mode pulldown menu and try Soft Light. In doing that, you can see how it's kind of a bit more of a subtle brightening effect around the edges. Well, rather than brightening, I want it to darken. So we'll double-click the icon for our Solid Color Adjustment, we will changes to a nice dark black there, and then click OK.
Furthermore, we can then go back to the mask by double-clicking that, and we can increase the Feather more, so it's almost a bit more like a vignette effect than it is kind of a border or edge. So with this technique you can see that you can start off with a really fixed shape, and then you can customize that either by using the different blending modes, or of course you can always leave this on Normal if you want to have a really fixed or solid shape. Another way that we can work with this technique is to use different shapes as well. For example, if we go back to this area, we can select the Custom Shape tool.
Now in the Options bar there are so many different shapes that we can try. Let's go ahead and try this star shape here, which is currently selected, and we will click and drag that across the image. Next, I'll use the Move tool in order to reposition this, so I have this over the photograph. Now you may be thinking there is no way that this shape will work for a border or edge effect. Well, actually, we can use this, and it will look pretty interesting once we go through a few steps. Again, we'll Command-click or Ctrl-click the shape to activate it as a selection.
Next, we will turn off the Visibility of that shape. Then go to Select and here choose Inverse. Next, we will click on our Adjustment layer icon as we've done before, we'll choose Solid Color. In this case, we will keep this as black. Well, now that we have that, the shape is obviously much too harsh, it's too strong. I want to on border or edge which is a bit more like a vignette, not a custom star over this portrait. This doesn't work with this image. So here, we will change our Blending mode to Soft Light, we've seen that before.
Then next, we'll double-click on the mask to open up the Properties panel, so we can increase the feather. As we do that, you can see that that star is going to completely disappear. But it is kind of the irregularity of the star of this mask which helps to create kind of some nice vignetting. It's not a normal vignette, but rather it kind of has a little bit of give and take, which with the photograph like this might work well. Well, after I've done that, what I also want to do is turn on my other Adjustment layer, so I can have this edge, and rather than having an edge which is black--I'll double-click this, I want to bring it back to white here--and then I'll click OK.
And I will just drag this to the top of my layer stack so that that's nice and pure white, and you can see how we brought both of these layers together. One which darkens some of the edges there, the other one which adds that really defined edge or border. And by using this technique, as you have seen here, we can come up with some really interesting and fascinating ways to create and add borders and edges to our photographs.
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