The Progressive Page

 

 
Try adding interest to a title by using a second color to highlight and personalize an initial or create a clever play on words. Selectone or more letters and use the Color Swatches palette to choose a new color.

Now take your page to the next level by creating depth with brushes. Use decorative brusheswith the Brush tool to paint or add digital “stamps” to your page. You can also use them with the Eraser tool to subtract areas from an image. I used a decorative corner brush to erase the edges of the enlarged photo and the notepaper. You can change the Diameter (size in pixels), Opacity, Angle and otherbrush settingsin the options barand Brushes palette. You can also apply Blending Modes directly to brushes.
 
My next step was to modify my photos. First, I enlarged the photo of me for emphasis. Then I wanted to lighten the photo and eliminate most of the distractions of the background (calling “blowing out the background”). Because this photo has a light background, I first adjusted the Curves feature (Adjustments>Curves) by clicking on the diagonal line within the Curves box and dragging upwards with my mouse/pen. I then tweaked the contrast by adjusting the sliders slightly in the Levels box (Adjustments>Levels). I removed any remaining details by using the Eraser tool set with a soft round brush at high opacity. (You can also use the Dodge tool to eliminate stray details.)
 
In an opposite problem, some details in the middle photo were lost when I applied the Color Burn mode.  One way to reestablish these details is to create a new layer behind the photo layer and apply a brush stroke such as a large soft round brush or a custom brush with high opacity. Always create a new layerfor each new brush so that you can add and delete brush strokes easily and selectively (without having to delete all brushwork if you make a mistake).
 
Finally, to add a pale, enlarged spider behind the black one, I selected the existing spider layer, then chose Duplicate Layer. Then I enlarged the new spider by pressing SHIFT while dragging a corner handle until the image size balanced the other enlarged photos. (Pressing SHIFT ensures that the enlargement occurs proportionately.) To recolor the spider, I used the Gradient tool and applied the Hard Light Mode. Next, I copied a page overlay file into my document as a new layer. Using the Gradient Map tool, I recolored this layer to a grayish brown and then applied the Hard Light mode with increased opacity to this layer to finish the page.

Anna's final, advanced page.  

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