Though I’ve been scrapping for several years, I’ve never posted a blended layout until the last few weeks. Why? Because they scared me. They were new and different and I didn’t know what I was doing and I felt I just couldn’t make them look right. But recently I ran across a discussion online that cleared up the fog as to what to do and I’ve been having a ball creating digital blended layouts ever since. So, I thought I’d share the fun.
I use PSE4 so those are the instructions I’m going to give. If you use another program, ask your friends, search out a tutorial on line, or whatever is necessary. I promise you it will be worthwhile.
You will need to find Layer Styles, the Opacity slider, and your eraser.
Start by editing the photo you want to blend into the background. Then copy and paste it onto your selected background paper. If you’re new to blending, you may be happier with a lighter colored bg paper. At the top of the Layers Palette, you will see “Normal” and a down arrow located next to it. With your photo layer selected, click on the down arrow. I would suggest Hard Light as the category you want to use, but you can try a few others, just to see the effect each achieves with your photo. When you have selected the one you like best, move on to the Opacity slider. It is located just to the right of the down arrow you previously clicked. You want your bg paper to show through the photo, so manipulate the opacity of your photo til you like the effect you achieve.
Actually, you’re pretty much done. You have just one problem left……hard edges. Since the desired effect is to have the photo fade into the background, the last thing you need is to have a hard edge hanging around. You either have to disguise it or get rid of it. You can disguise it with an appropriately placed ribbon or other embellishment, but why not get rid of it altogether? Select your eraser tool from the tool bar. You want to select a soft brush and set your opacity to about 50%. Being sure you have your reduced opacity photo layer selected, erase those hard edges! Now you can add other layers to your creation—more photos (blended or not), embellishments, title, or journaling. One of the great things about blended photos is that they don’t have to be perfect photos. Since you’re going to be erasing part of them anyway, maybe you can get rid of those strangers in the background or Uncle Charlie’s arm that juts into the photo or last week’s laundry that is laying around in the background. It’s okay if they’re a bit “noisy”. It won’t show when your blending and erasing is complete. Now you can scrap some photos you thought were unscrappable and you have a whole new technique in your arsenal. Community Challenge
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