It's back-to-school time!
And for whatever reason, seeing kids go back to school always makes me think that it might be time to do a bit of digital scrapbooking. I guess the start of a new school year reminds me how quickly time flies by and that makes me think about doing something to help remember special events.
With that in mind, it seemed like a good time to share how I create one of my favorite back-to-school scrapbooking looks. I like to create a background that looks like chalkboard and decorate it with chalk-type embellishments and text.
I made the page above (and similar ones) using the tools that come with Photoshop Elements, as well as a couple of files that can be found free on the web. I'll give you links to those files as move through the process.
By the way, creating this page is easy. But it does take a number of steps. So we'll be spreading this tutorial out over the next three posts.
First, let's start by making our digital chalkboard background.
Create a new blank file by selecting File>New>Blank File from the top menu bar.
In New File dialog box, type in final dimensions of page you want to create. In my case, I'll be using a photo that is 7x5 inches or 2100 x 1500 pixels at 300 pixels per inch. I want some room around the photo in my design to add text and other stuff. So I'm going to make my background 10x10 or 3000 pixels x 3000 pixels. I've set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch because I may want to print the final page later are. Set the background contents to transparent. Then press OK.
Change Foreground color to a dark green (#1b3c2c). Change the Background color to a slightly lighter green(#224b38).
Choose Effects from the bottom bar. Then click on the Filters tab.
In the drop-down box, select Render. Then click on Clouds.
The background will be filled with a pattern that looks like chalk on a dark green board.
We're going to build up the background by adding a bit of texture. I like the one I found here.
Add the texture to the page by clicking File>Place and then navigation to the texture file.
Resize the texture by clicking and dragging the corners of it's bounding box until the texture covers the entire green board. When you're done resizing the texture, either click on the green checkmark or hit Enter to confirm the change.
Change blending mode of the texture layer to Soft Light and reduce it's opacity to 70%.
That's it. Our chalkboard is finished! You can merge the two layers together to flatten it or leave as is so that you can edit it at a later date if you like.
You can download the file that I created by clicking on the link below.
That's it for today. Check back for our next post where we will continue creating our back-to-school page.
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f you are just getting started in photography, exposure is one of the first things you need learn.
But even beyond that, getting a good handle on exposure and how the different components of exposure work together is essential if you want to take control of your photography and the images that you are creating.