Postaday #46 Things I’ve learned

Share one thing that you learned recently.

I’ve been using blending modes in Photoshop Elements for several years but until recently I used a sort of tedious trial and error method.  After layering two items I would click on the blend modes drop down menu and click on the first choice.  Actually, soon I regularly skipped the first one, Dissolve, because I never wanted it.  So I’d click on Darken and then hit my down arrow key repeatedly, observing the effects on my layout.  Sometimes I’d have to go up and down the list a few times before making up my mind.

Well, I’ve read a tutorial, I’ve taken a class, and I’m beginning to understand blend modes.  They are grouped with similar effects together, so for instance, the first set darkens and the second set lightens.  I made a connection between the modes and the dodge and burn tools too, which I have only just begun to understand, despite all these years scrapbooking digitally.

To talk about this I had to play, of course, and I made a paper.  I don’t love it, but I didn’t want to spent a long time.  I just wanted to experiment more with blend modes.  You can take it if you’d like; just click on it, then right click and save.  Just please let me know.  Thanks!

I made it by starting with a brown filled layer, over which I placed a photo of trees I took last week.  I was going to look for something with texture, and thought the trees might be interesting.  Then I used the saturation blend mode to blend the trees into the brown layer.  I made the swirly stripes with a native brush in a separate document, then dragged the stripes on top of the paper and blended them in with the soft light mode.  Before I merged the swirl layer with the rest of the paper, I applied PSE’s native grain texture to the brown/tree layer.

When I saved this paper, I came across the plaid papers I made a year ago (I blogged about them, I think, but I don’t have time right now to search for the link) and I decided to try it again.  Using the same tree photo I used for texture in the paper above, I created this plaid.

Let me know what you think.  I’ve got to stop playing with pixels for a while, but I’ll be back!

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