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Digital Scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements

Lesson 15 of 24

Photo Composition 101

Michelle Stelling

Digital Scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements

Michelle Stelling

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Lesson Info

15. Photo Composition 101


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Day 1 Pre-Show Duration:05:43
4 Favorite Features Duration:39:30
5 Typography Duration:23:24
6 Creating Textures Duration:33:57
7 Making Patterns Duration:45:25
9 Tools and Techniques Duration:31:41
10 Creating Layouts with Digikits Duration:27:43
11 Day 1 Wrap Up Duration:01:28
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Day 2 Pre-Show Duration:11:08
3 Designing a 2 Page Spread Duration:38:57
4 Photo Composition 101 Duration:22:04
5 Poster Creation Duration:27:19
6 Card Creation Duration:37:18
7 Custom Brush Creation Duration:26:23
8 Layout Creation Duration:15:28
10 Social Cover Templates Duration:45:56
11 Create a 10 by 10 Layout Duration:30:54
12 Day 2 Wrap-Up Duration:02:33
13 Thanks + Credits Duration:03:55

Lesson Info

Photo Composition 101

People ask me all the time if I'm a photographer and I definitely never ever say I'm a photographer and a photo taker but I do have some point pointers on how to take photos because I've taken classes before so I just sometimes think about when I'm taking photos I think about a few things I like to have things off center a lot s o I talk about rule of thirds a little bit zooming in and zooming out I sometimes forget about textures and get you know, getting really close and showing the details of things like with weddings taking the pictures of just the shoes or maybe just the ring up close so when I'm taking a photo I'm thinking, ok, I'm going to take a picture from back and then I'm also going to take one that's up close, so maybe a zoomed in version and maybe ah back version so for instance, the's right here we just pull up these photos right here so this one here I was trying to focus on the whole entire slide but then when you take a picture of that, you're not going to see what th...

e person's doing, so I thought, you know, go down twice now because I got to get one close up and I want to get one with everything so think about that when you're taking pictures yesterday justin was taking pictures of the make up room and stuff and he he was taking pictures really really close up of the of the makeup itself unlike that that's great that's exactly what I like to see because you don't when you bring it out so far and you zoom in it's going to pixelated and everything so make sure that you think about that so these thieves are just things to think about here's one that's up close again have a cactus who knows I could use this as a background background I could change the color are or whatever I need to this one here was really cool well guy got really close and I love this picture I go in there and you can you know highlight it you can go to enhance and bring out a lot of the the lights and darks and then change the color it's a lot of cool things you can do with this picture I got so close like the eyelashes you can kind of see the eyelashes another one that I took that was um oh actually here this one's good two this is going to go show out you can see the spit from his top I'm like yeah that's what I want tio but if I would have taken it from afar you would have got the whole effect and then this one here is the one from back and of course if you zoom in real quick because I don't have the top of the line camera you wouldn't be able to see you know the expressions on the face let's see there's the far back oh, getting eye level with your subject aa lot of times when you are taking pictures, you're standing above the subject so you want to scrunch down and try to get eye level with the subject, especially when you're focusing on the eyes, the eyes air really something that I like to focus on a lot because you can tell a lot by taking pictures and focusing on the eyes so make sure get down tto high level try that turn that perspective this one here is another one where I had to kind of scrunch down and get down if I would have stood straight up, I would have been taking a picture kind of down and he would've been looking up and I just didn't didn't want to get that type of ah picture another thing you could do is you can really go straight down and shoot up so that you have a different perspective so that's just a sample of that if I had taken it straight across I wouldn't have been a we'll see the height of these trees another idea is another one shooting into the sun sometimes is pretty cool because you can get those rays going and this one just happened to work out pretty good so shooting into the sun having it shine right through there and it's cool it's digital cameras because if it doesn't work it's not a big deal this one here is another different angle so coming from below to get in order to get the whole entire luxor in the photo and sometimes you have to lay down to get the shot let's see ok, this is another one from shooting from above is kind of a nice way we would definitely get that shoe out of there, my husband taking the picture because I wasn't tall enough and shooting with taking your angle camera and just rotating it is another thing you could dio so here's a difference I actually like the one that's rotated better, but we can also do this in post production because we can, you know, crop it down, but I kind of like this angle better because it's just not what you're expecting, so taking your camera rotating a bit, we'll get you totally different photo another idea would be teo, put yourself subject in straight in the center or right of center, which I usually like to dio and that's kind of the rule of thirds there so don't always have you don't always have to have your subjects smack dab in the center, play around with that and, uh, see what you can come up with um leading lines and go to golden ratio because I've ever heard of that what you want to do is you want to have all your lines that air in your photo kind of lead up to this subject so if you notice here in this and might not be the greatest example but these pillars here they go back they kind of give you because you depth we're also talking about the golden ratio here where the subject is in the bottom left hand corner they're not smack dab in the middle they probably should even be a little bit mohr in the left hand corner I'd probably crop it a little bit in fact to make it perfect perfect golden ratio but if you did have to crop it we have the crop tool down here you have what's called the golden ratio and then you can go in there and you can crop it that way you have, um the rule of thirds and then you have your grid and then you have this basic crop so just remember you have that available down in your cropping area all right, the rule of odds because heard of that? So we I just happen to see these guys and there's only three of them so I thought have perfect picture for this um a lot of times I like to focus on even numbers or whatever, but there is a rule for photography that the rule of odds tends tio be more appealing to people then we had this little lone guy back there but I would go ahead and crop that out to have just three. All right, thie distractions try hard to get the shot without distractions but if you do have distractions like this right here, you can always clone that out now there wasn't a way I was trying really hard to get my, um, shadow out of there and just didn't work, so I said, well, we'll just do that and photoshopped elements but if you can get the photo right the first time it's always good to not have to worry about spending time getting that out all right, natural settings you know, when we go to zoos sometimes there's all kinds of things in the background so if you can try to get a picture without all that stuff it's better means this framing one in here though framing framing your subject is a really cool thing to d'oh that that that escaped that exit sign gets out of there though. But any time you see stuff like this he's always got the happy face right you get you got a perfect opportunity to have your subject in that area. A lot of archways in arizona are really cool for that too, so framing your subject is another thing you want to keep in mind when you are trying to take great pictures and basically just have fun we talked about this yesterday here's a good one for leading lines but take pictures of things that you think that your background is going to be good with now here's the leading lines all these trees lead up to the subject that's a good example of that all right and all these little fund have fun fun photos especially scrap bookers we'd like to have fun so take pictures that are going to be a little bit interesting he was a little off he was going for the nose, I guess, but um yeah people look at it's kind of funny when we do this kind of stuff but hey here's another one sounds like no move over a little mar that's when we took a long time ago. Wow. Okay, that was dealing with my old old camera, you know, he's kissing the alligator right there. So he's all blurry the photographers out there saying, oh, terrible shot with that bloody kid in the front but all right, any questions on that? Okay, cool let's move on depth of field while we're kind of talking a little bit about photography, you could do that without doing in your camera you can do this and filter shop element so and it's, one of the guided features so depth of field means it's going to make it look like things they're closer and farther for things are further apart, so let's will go into the guided section and photo effects and because see dept there it is depth of field the first one up there, so you the guy is section is really nice because it tells you step by step what you need to do if you forget it's always there to help you, so we're going to do first of all, we're just gonna go ahead and do a simple one, so we're going to go ahead and click on the one it says simple add depth and a single step, so click on that, then it says, ok, you need you need to go from a to b so it's going to show you a sample right up here so it says add blur after you add the blur, you're gonna add the focus so let's click on add blur. Right now you have to go to the next step in order to get that focus area, so click on add focus and then you click where you want to focus it and then you drag it and drop it out to as far away as you need tio so right, I usually start small and then I'll add onto a tough I need tio some clicking and dragging out and it looks like we have that nice lens that you need to get this with a normal camera but if I wanted to bring it a little bit more I'm just gonna go ahead and get down here I think I want I don't know if I want her yeah I want to see a little bit of her uniformed down here so I'm just gonna go ahead to click and drag and you still have that blurriness back here that gives it the depth of field now if let me cancel that one if you wanted to do the other way the custom haven't use this one for a while so bear with me quick selection tool so let's take the quick selection tool we come out into our subject and we click and drag around the peace that we want to be in focus and let's just say we wanted this might be the greatest example say we wanted just wanted her arm and her head and ponytail then we click on add blur so it blurred everything outside of that that we just selected if we want to add more blur let's just push it, push it hard there and I'll give it a little bit more black doesn't look too bad actually because our focus is on her face it sprinkle cancel that comes out of that I'm going to stay in the guided section and show you the low mo camera effect, which is a cool effect go down a couple from there and we got the high key I'll just go ahead and show you high key while we're here got high key color and high key black and white it kind of this kind of blows it out a little bit sometimes it looks pretty cool with photos sometimes it doesn't work so good um, you just have to do trial on air and see see what works let's cancel that one let's go line drawing see how that works with this photo? Not not the greatest but it's all right, you can click on levels a couple times and all kind of bring it up a little bit we'll go with the low mo camera effect this is the one I really like, so basically we when you roll over the image above it's going to show you exactly what it's going to do to your photo. So I click on low mo camera effect and it kind of gives it kind of like a I don't know maybe an old fashioned look so it I think it works pretty well with this photo and when you do that, you kind of want to maybe put a little bit yet on it just to kind of dim the edges of it I'm going to click on that a couple times, maybe a little bit more so that you can still you can see it and the more you click on that the dark, darker it's going to get around the edges so if you click on it like five or six times it's going to get really, really dark, okay, go ahead and open up the next photo this one's kind of fun it's kind of like the rainbow effect. I know this came out about two years ago and a lot of people are still doing it and I like it because it gives it dimension it's the out of bounds effect and we covered this in the first class in the introduction let's, go ahead in and cover it now too, so we're going to do is see this photo above here it's going to be picking out of aa? It looks like a frame. His leg is coming out where it's pretty neat because it does look like it's. Really? Three d so that's, what we're going to try to do with this photo here so I'm gonna click on this we go step by step I'm gonna give it ah, edge here so that's pulling this out, click on okay then we click on the selection tool and this is what we're going to select the pieces that are going to be popping out of this frame so this front of the four wheeler is going to be coming out I could do the back as well but I'm just going to focus on the front I think you know you just do this I'm not going to be doing this perfectly but let's just go ahead and have this pop out to maybe and maybe this back wheel now you can spend a lot of time getting this you know perfectly selected I'm just going to go ahead and rough it and then I'm a click on out of bounds and it's going to pull it out you could see it's very rough edges and it's really cool because you can go inside at the expert mode and button it up more and that is what I usually dio I'm going to immediate a large drop shadow oh it add the background someone added like a radiant background to it you can pick whatever grade and she want lovely rainbow pick one of those click on okay I'm going to a large drop shadows really pops and then click on done and then now we can go into the expert moan you're going to see all the things that it did and you can go in there and you can use your masking skills that she just learned and you can go in there and help out the selections right in here by going to black and white black conceals white reveals it's gonna open up on more the pop art was added in a couple versions ago is well and I'm gonna go ahead and get maybe just this face here on my shift key on to make what go back in and see yeah we got to go toe no restriction make sure said it no restriction whenever you want to create your own selection how my shift key down to make a perfect square and then I'm gonna go over to guided section and we have the pop art and kind of the andy warhol kind of style there's two different styles to choose from let's just convert it two black and white some photos don't work so good with this system works okay the ad the color duplicate the image and now you've got a nice little quick way out all right I don't know if there's any other style match I covered that yesterday that I love that one the style match again used to be inside of the guided section but now you can find it in the or was that enhance photo emerge in style match because that when I took it out of that that when it whatever version it wass it's like oh my gosh he took out my favorite piece in the guided section and now I found it like maybe four, five months later inside the enhanced section, so you always have to just like kind of dig deep and see if they put it somewhere else were we talking about that the other day where you guys are like, I'm glad you guys stumble upon things too, because sometimes they put him in different areas that you would not expect them to be, and so this is one of those this is where you can drag and drop the different styles from below it's kind like in your been area and sometimes it doesn't look the greatest for everything on your page, but you can go in there and you could take the style eraser and I'm just going to make us a little bit bigger here and I can go in there any race from pieces of that so you wouldn't want his face to have that type of a style on it. You can take the opacity down as well and the intensity you could take down if you don't want it to be too much clarity kind of play around with that that's too much bring it down a little bit, but I really like this feature I think it does it gives it some really cool facts and then I can go in there I believe it's going to go ahead and keep yeah keep kept that pulled this one in here if you want it to take in a use the same a transfer the tones all you had to do is click on this little box here in the bottom um corner of that and it'll transfer the tones I guess it doesn't transfer it to the face because I erased it out because sometimes the tones you want to keep this pull this one in again it's click on want to click on transfer terms tones on that one because I kind of like that yeah ok and then they go back into the expert mode and you can see everything that it just did because ever use those much so this is kind of new to you good let's cancel that likes to take in too fat too long all right let's see if there's one more photo but I think that that is all that one this is what the one looked like that I spent a little bit more time on so you know that I went into the gold masking and I went ahead and painted it back in because sometimes you can't get a really good selection when you're in that guided section the expert mode I'll give you a little bit more leeway and it also help you to get a little pickier with your selections because of selections inside of the guided mode sometimes to still work as well so you would go in there and you can find out where you were layer is by just clicking on the eyeball, turn it on and off and over here you're going to make sure that you had that selected when you are working on it, so you can select this little thumbnail here or this, it has a little blue outline around it that will let you know what is selected. So if it's not working for you, just look in your layers panel, make sure that there's a blue outline around what you wanna work on and that I get often, they say, might I'm asking is not working what's going on? I'll make sure I say, make sure you select the proper piece to that because just because you have that layer selected does not mean that you have that mask selected because it could bounce for you if you click around. If you're click happy like I am, you might click on it and never even noted she just clicked on it, and you can also go into each layer and change the things that are in there. It's like, if you don't like this, grady int you can double click on that being click happy again, you can go into it, so I double clicked on it. And I could go in there, and I can change it to the rainbow if I want tio in this mode. If I wanted to throw that layer away, I could just right click on it. Delete that layer. Here we go. And we could put on all our own background. We could put in a paper from a digit kit or whatever.

Class Description

This course is part of the Digital Scrapbooking Essentials Bundle.

Preserving and organizing your digital photos can be a powerfully creative endeavor — if you know the right tips and tricks. Join digital scrapbooking expert Michelle Stelling for an in-depth exploration of how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 as a dynamic scrapbooking tool.

Michelle will guide you through everything you need to know about working with type and typography, including mixing fonts and colors, nesting text, and integrating graphics into titles. You’ll also learn about creating digi-kits, using patterns, brushes, paper textures, blending modes, and other embellishments. Michelle will also share the hacks, short cuts, and troubleshooting skills that will help you use Photoshop Elements to its fullest potential.

Whether you’re an at-home crafter or professional photographer, this course will give you a whole new toolkit for editing, enhancing, and sharing your digital images.


Prairie Chicken

I found this an excellent course on the use of PSE--not just for scrape booking but for any use. And of course the scrape booking ideas and methodology was great. I enjoyed Michelle's approach very much, and also liked Karens.