Project with Layer Styles

At a seminar this past week at Castle Craig Camera Club, I demonstrated this project and promised to post the instructions. Here is the finished image of the project demonstrated:


Open your main photo – crop if desired.

Duplicate the background layer (Control + J)

Using the Shape Tool, choose a shape to make your photo. Select white for the Foreground Color (the black & white overlapping squares at the bottom of your tool bar — hit the letter D for default — makes the foreground black, then click the curved arrow to switch the black and white positions).

Place your cursor in the upper left area of your photo, click and drag to the lower right to make your shape (leave a little extra room on the bottom as we will be adding type).

Move the shape layer BELOW the background copy layer (should be between the two photos).

Hit Control + G to “group” the photo with the shape below. (Click the “eye” next to the background layer to turn off its visibility so that you can see the shape.)

Click on the background layer then click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon (the half black/half white circle at the bottom of your layers palette) and choose Solid Color. The color picker box will open. You can choose a color in the color picker, or if you wish to use a color that is part of your photo, just move your mouse over the area you like in the photo and click. You can keep clicking around until you like the color (and remember, this is an adjustment layer, so you can always go back and change it again later!).

Now we want to add type. Click on the Color Fill Layer that we just created, then click on the Type Tool. Choose your typeface, size, style and if you want the lettering centered, flush left or right (these items are all on the dialogue bar at the top). Click in the photo where you want the type and type the words. You can change sizes or move it around as needed.

The last step is to add some definition to the shape by adding drop shadows. Click on your Shape Layer, then open the Effects Palette (this should be in your palette menu on the right — if you don’t see it go to Window on the top toolbar and click on Effects to open it.

Click on the Layer Styles icon (the second from the left of the four at the top of the Effects palette), and choose Drop Shadows from the drop down menu. Click on a style and see how you like it — keep trying different ones until you like the effect.

Next choose Inner Shadows from the drop down and choose a similar effect for the inside top and left of your shape. You’re done!

I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR FINISHED PROJECTS! Please feel free to e-mail me (and let me know if it’s OK to share them with the blog readers).

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