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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Really since the beginning, photographers have been interested in what surrounds their images, because many photographers have discovered that the edges, or what surrounds our photographs, really affects the image. And sometimes, it's pretty fun to play in Photoshop and see what we can do in regards to creating custom edges or borders around our photos. One of the things that we can do here in order to create an edge effect is we can apply some of our masking skills in order to have quite a bit of flexibility in order to come up with some different options. All right. Well, let's take a look at what we could do.
Well, the first thing that I want to do is go ahead and navigate over to my Layers panel. And here, I am going to click on the Adjustment layer icon and then choose Solid Color. In my case I want to have a black edge around my photos. So I am going to click Black and then select OK. So currently, you can see that I have the color here and then a white Mask revealing the entirety of this Black. Well, that's not exactly what I want. I want something a little bit different. So let's make our way over to the Marquee tool.
What we are going to do here is simply click and drag across the image, trying to make a pretty even selection. And then I'm going to click in the Mask. You can see that that is now targeted. There are corners around this icon. What I want to do is fill this middle area with black. In other words, I want to conceal the black here. I don't want to see it in the middle of my image. Well, in order to do that, I can use a shortcut. On a Mac, my shortcut, because Black is in my Background Color, will be Command+Delete.
On a PC, that's Ctrl+Backspace. All right. Well, once we've done that, we then need to deselect. We can do so by navigating to Select and choosing Deselect, or by pressing the shortcut which is listed here are. All right. Well, so far so good. I now have this Black edge, and that alone looks kind of interesting. But let's say that I really want a little bit more of a creative kind of vignette type of an affect. Well, no big deal. All that I need to do is to go to my Feather slider here in the Mask panel. And then I can dial this in however I see fit.
I can also continually modify this Mask. If it's too small or too big ,no big deal. Command+T on a Mac, Ctrl+T on a PC. I can then free transform this, and I can change how this appears, to either modify the composition or to modify the thickness of that edge. I'll go ahead and make it a little bit smaller this time, and then press Enter or Return. So the nice thing about using masking in order to create effects like this is we just have so much flexibility. For example, let's say we are not sure if Black is the right color. No big deal.
Double-click this icon here, choose a new color like, for example, white and then go ahead and click OK. Now, we have a completely different effect. We can continually modify this by going back to the mask, and here we can change the hardness of that edge or we can make it a little softer. So as you can see here, you have quite a bit of flexibility with how this works. And we can take this even further. Let's remove the Feather. Well, right now, I have this bright, white edge around my image. Well, how could I customize that, say if I want it to look like it's kind of brushstrokes, or a little bit more distressed, or messy? What I could do is select my Brush tool, and then when I hover over the image, I can right-click or Ctrl+click and then select a different brush.
I am going to go ahead and just choose one of these brushes here. I think that one will work fine. And then I'll click out of the image. Well what I want to is I want to paint with white along these edges because if I paint with white here, that means that it will reveal more of this white right here. So I'll go ahead and do that. Again, I am just going to kind of make some brushstrokes here. And at this point, I'm just using my mouse. It would be nice, really, to use a Stylus Pen. And I don't have one right now during this movie, so I am just going to use my mouse and see if I can come up with something that's somewhat interesting.
Not amazing, but nonetheless, you are starting to get a feel for how you could really work with this and come up with some creative ideas. Now, we can always modify this further. We can increase the Feather amount to change that. Or, for that matter, we could use different brushes. And as you can imagine, there are so many different brushes. And just to highlight one option which is completely different, but to get you thinking about some of the creative options, I am going to select this Leaf brush right here. And then I'm going to make this a little bit smaller.
And still painting with white, I am going to go ahead and click and drag along the edge of this photograph. And here, you can see I've now created this really interesting leaf-like brush. Now, if ever I have too many leaves, or if I've modified my edge in too strong of a way, no big deal. Simply choose another brush, right-click or Ctrl+click. This time, I am going to choose a more regular brush. And then, I'll paint with black, so black is now in my foreground color there. And I am just going to paint away some of these leaves that went over kind of the main subject of the photo.
Just a little bit too strong there for me. And then I can change it this way, and just continually customize this so that I can create an edge that makes sense to me. And as you can see, masking gives you an immense amount of flexibility. And what we can do, furthermore, is double-click the color picker. We can try different colors out to see how that connects with our photographs. And sometimes this is simply an interesting practice, just to start to see what happens if I surround my images with neutral colors, or dark colors, or bright colors.
Now, in this particular case, this edge isn't necessarily one that I would keep for this image. Yet nonetheless, this creative process can be really interesting. And the nice thing about going about creating borders, or edges, this way is that if we don't like the edge, like in this case, I don't really like this one, no big deal. Simply turn off the Eye icon. No harm has been done. No pixels have been lost. And we have an immense amount of flexibility, and ultimately this flexibility, hopefully, can lead to even more creative and compelling photographs.
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