Preserving Memories, One Frame at a Time

April 27th, 2007

Combining Techniques to Make a Website Header

Have you been wondering, “These are nice tricks, but what do I do with them?” Here is one example of combining the skills you have been learning.


I took this unremarkable photograph of an alligator and decided to make it the basis of a website header background. Now, I know headers are more involved than this, but they all begin with an image.

The first trick from our arsenal was the crop ratio. I wanted a header 80px. high and 800px. wide. I set the 10 to 1 ratio as we did with the “Path Not Taken” photograph. (Shown smaller here to fit the blog.)

I then changed it to a duotone. The picture is taking shape, but looks a little dark.


The next trick, of course, was to lighten the photograph. This could be done either by using curves or our trick for underexposed photos. The results using 45% opacity when blending the duplicate layer was almost identical to using the curves adjustment.


Finally, the healing brush was used to clean up debris in the water.

Webmasters will tell you the image still needs to be made scalable to adjust to different viewing widths, but that’s another trick for another day.

April 13th, 2007

Vignetting Part 2

betsyvignetteblurt.jpg betsyblurblackt.jpg betsyblurwhitet.jpg

Do you like the idea of the vignette but want more defined edges?

With Photoshop, there are always many ways to do the same thing. For vignettes with more definite edges, here is another approach.

I began with an elliptical marquee selection around the baby’s face. The elliptical marquee is hidden behind the rectangular marquee tool. For best results, begin in one corner and draw a diagonal across the picture.

Then go to Select, Inverse (Shift-Ctrl-I). This chooses the outer part of the photograph.

In the first example, I used the Gaussian blur filter. Go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Use the preview and slider to get the effect you want. -In this case, I used a radius of 21px.

In the second, I filled the outer edges with black and blurred again. In the third, I filled it with white before blurring.

Since I didn’t use layers, I was careful to save each version with a separate file name leaving my original intact.

April 5th, 2007


Byron did a neat thing with one of his re-enactment photos that I just had to learn. I think it’s a great technique for photos I want for my scrapbooking. Technically, vignetting means that the corners or outside of the photo are darkened. I also like when the outside fades to white. Here’s how it can be done. I’ll use the same photo I’ve been working on the last two weeks.


This effect takes a few more steps, but can really enhance the proper picture. It begins, like the duotones, with a new layer filled with a solid color. This can be either black or white. (Try both to see which suits the photo better.) Then choose the rectangular marquee. Center the rectangle over your center of interest. In this case, the baby’s face was above the center of the picture, so the marquee was moved up.

Go to the Select menu and choose feather. The higher the number, the more oval the marquee will become. Now you still see only the solid colored layer with your selection. Hit backspace (delete on the Mac) to reveal the photo. Press Control-D to deselect. If the edges appear too dark, play with the opacity setting to get a shade you prefer.