I've Been Framed

We have not done technique tips for a while, so here is a pretty easy one that can be done in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.  Often times, we want to add some visual interest around our photographs.   Here is one from Cape Hatteras of the famous lighthouse.  As a retired sailor, lighthouses hold a special importance for me, but this is a remarkedly average photograph.  I looked at it and decided to work on it a bit.  After making all my basic minor corrections in Adobe Lightroom, I made a virtual copy and exported it to Photoshop for editing.  Since PS and LR are so tightly linked, it keeps track of the files for you.

The first thing you can do is add space all around your picture.  Photoshop makes it easy to “Add Canvas”.  You can choose to add a fixed amount or a percentage of the picture.

Next, you select the inside of your image.  Again, Photoshop is very smart and will snap to the corners.  Go back up to the selection menu and invert  or Ctrl-Shift-I.  This will select the area you just added.  I went to the color picker tool and selected a spot of red from the base.  I knew I wanted that color for my frame. 

Next, add a new layer,  Ctrl-J,  and then under the Edit menu,  add a stroke.  A stroke is just a line that follows your selection I wanted it on the outside and played around until I had the width about right—120 pixels.  The width really depends on the resolution of your image and the size of the camera. 

That put a flat red line all the way around the picture, but now it is time for some PS magic.  At the bottom of the layers panel, fx allows you to add layer effects.  These can completely change the way that particular layer looks.  I wanted to make the line appear like a raised frame, so I went to the bevel and emboss menu.  By adjusting the height, direction and profile you can create 3D effects.  The sliders let you see how it looks as you are adjusting it.    I also added an Inner Shadow and that follows the exact same process. 

Finally, just Save the document.   Lightroom now will take control and your edited image will be there, next to your original.  It makes it a bit more of an interesting photo. 

Play with the controls.  Remember you can always go back.  

Last thing folks - the registration for Photoshop World is open and is filling up fast.  If you want to really learn tips and techniques with a convention center full of like-minded geeks, join us in Orlando at the end of March.   www.Photoshopworld.com   It is worth it.