Hip to be Square: Creating & Using Mosaic Backgrounds

Filed under Good News & Bad News: The good news is that Shutterstock, one of the largest stock photography companies, has accepted my work to sell on their site! Yes, I’m already selling some of my images on my own site (in the Digital Graphic Files collection), so why sell on Shutterstock too? Well, primarily because they do the work of formatting my images in a range of sizes, making it easy to find just what you need, and also because they reach a huge world-wide marketplace. Good news, indeed.

Original rose photo on Shutterstock

One of my rose photos that’s now available at Shutterstock. (Click the photo to go directly to it.)

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My first collection of photo backgrounds!

I’m so excited— I just finished my first collection of photo backgrounds, Colorful Leaves I, and it’s now available in my Etsy Colormusing shop! There are 3 images in this set; I always feel that with a larger collection, you’ll not only pay more, but almost certainly end up with some images you will never use. And as a bonus, I’m including a FREE tutorial (tips and illustrations for creating titles and text boxes on these backgrounds) with the purchase of this gorgeous collection.

Here’s what they look like:

Dark Leaves Background

Dark Leaves Background (click on the photo to see the collection on Etsy).

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Silk Purses 2: More Easy Options

After I finished the Silk Purses photo-montage tutorial the other day, I thought of some other ways to combine the same 2 photos. These are even easier, since there’s no masking involved; it’s just the rose photo layered in between or on top of the 2 lettuce layers. (If that sounds incredibly strange to you, you’ll want to check out the previous tutorial.) 

Step 1: Get your background layers ready

Once you’ve worked your way through the first step, where you make 2 copies of your background photo and apply separate effects to each of these 2 layers, you’re ready for this project! You’ll just need your main photo; in this tutorial, I’ll use the same rose photo as before, to show you how you can get many different looks from the same 2 photos. We’ll just combine them a little differently.

Tip: You can use just one layer for the background, but it’s still a good idea to have a copy of the original layer.

Another tip: I’d advise a Save As here, using a different name. You may want to use those background layers later, with another photo. Continue reading

Silk Purses: A Creative Use for a So-So Photo

Maybe it’s because I just watched a “What Not To Wear” rerun, but I’m in a makeover mood today. As a graphic designer, I have often used less-than-perfect photos in unusual ways. I started in photography before digital cameras came on the scene, so I was already in the habit of trying to find uses for my “rejects” of film photography (of which there were many). I wanted to turn the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse, in fact.

Now that we don’t have to feel that we’re wasting money by throwing out film-based photos, we often find it all too easy to just trash those images we don’t think are useable; I’ve done it myself. But when I realized that I take a huge number of photos just for the sake of capturing colors, I started to think of every single shot in a new way. Could I do a digital makeover on so-so pictures? And how could I use the results? Continue reading