Leading. Right now, the voice in your head is probably pronouncing it as “leeding,” right? As in “leading a parade” or “leading with distinction.” But when we’re talking about graphic elements, leading is pronounced “ledding.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way and the voice in your head knows how to say it, let’s talk about what leading is and what it offers you in digital scrapbooking terms.
According to Wikipedia, leading refers to the “distance between the baselines of successive lines of type.” Or in simplest terms – the line spacing, the space between lines of type. The term leading originated in the days of handset type – when strips of metal (lead) were inserted between rows of metal letters in the printing presses to increase the space and improve legibility.
We also come across leading in our scrapbooking programs. In Photoshop Elements 12, it appears after you click the Text tool.
However, it doesn’t always work. For example, cursive and decorative fonts often require a larger leading to allow for the “busy-ness” of their designs. Serif fonts may also need adjustments in leading, as well as text with lots of ascenders and descenders.
Furthermore, as scrapbookers, we sometimes need to adjust our leading to fit a design item. An example of this is lined paper. Sometimes the spacing of our text results in it falling directly on the line or floating aimlessly. To improve legibility and overall aesthetics, the text needs to be on the line. This is incredibly easy to do and gives a much more polished feel to the page. Let me show you how:
1. Place your design item. In this case, I have chosen the Notebook paper from the Simple Joys Collection Biggie by Elisha Barnett.
2. Choose your font. I like to try a few fonts to find one that suits the subject of my journaling and the style of my page. Once you’ve settled on a font and size, you can start making adjustments.
3. Select a size for your text that fits the lines in your paper. In my case, this was a size 28. My font is Butcher and Block. Using trial and error, I settled on a leading of 49.5.
There are no magic numbers; it’s all personal preference, so have-a-go and play with the leading setting! Then load your “leading-adjusted” pages to the Scrap Girls Gallery for us to admire and be inspired by your creativity!
Age your photos using Photoshop Elements
1. Open your photo and go to File > Duplicate. Close the original.
2. Make your photo black and white using your favorite method. I used Enhance > Convert to Black and White.
3. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Click OK. The default photo filter is Warming Filter (85) and the default density is 25%. However, for that “olde-tyme” look, use the drop-down arrow and click on sepia. Slide the density all the way to 100%.
For an even easier and more authentic aged look, there are many wonderful styles and actions in the Scrap Girls Boutique to do the work for you. Here are some examples that I used in my sample greeting cards.
Several ScrapSimple papers also have shabby-looking textures that can add a worn look to a new photo. For example, I used ScrapSimple Paper Textured Creases on the photo of a turtle which I used in my sample greeting card. The Scrap Girls Club Family Ties is the perfect resource. Once you’ve aged your photos, just think what creative ways you can use them! Here, I used the Family Ties collection and my newly “old” photos to make fun birthday cards.
We’ll play with curves to get your feet wet.
Tuesday, July 28th - Water Inspired challenge by Carla
Wade in with this water inspired layout.
Thursday, July 30th – Colors challenge by Theresa G.
Diving into the beautiful blue/green water.
Weekend - Water Photos by April
Swim out in your favorite lake, river or ocean.
July Monthly Game Challenge:
Join us on the forum in July for a Retreat, Scrap Girls style.
We are offering a Early Bird sale on the class this weekend. Find out all the details here.
Let me start with full disclosure. I edit most of my photos in some way. I do a lot of it manually, using techniques I have picked up along the way and perfected via trial and error over the last 5 years. Some edits are quick whilst others can take a lot longer. I don’t claim to know all the techniques and I am sure I do a lot of things the long way. I have spent hundreds of hours and dollars over the years taking classes and buying the related actions/brushes/overlays to help my photos shine. To me, the photos are the most important part of any scrapbooking page.
I do have other (and more expensive) Editing actions, which I admit I rarely use. They work well but they are not as logical as Linda’s and they certainly didn’t come with the instruction Linda provides. They have been relegated to the ‘rarely’ used category as I can never find the one that does what I want it to, and I am not adept at getting the results I want.
When I sat down to watch Linda’s videos the first thing that struck me was how capable I felt. She had the class set out to show a slideshow of the ‘before and afters’ which led on to a video of how she edited the photos. Each edit was clearly explained as to ‘what’ she was trying to fix, followed by a ‘how’ to do it. For each edit she gives several examples, which not only shows the various photos each action may work with but also gives the student the chance to recognise the flaws in the photo and to begin to predict which action she will run. This gives a lot of confidence as you find you are selecting the correct action before she does, and then you get to see her expertly apply it. Some photos which looked ‘good’ before she explains the flaws and how to correct them, now look amazing! Following Linda’s examples and playing with my own similarly composed photos I was able to not only replicate some of her results but also achieve some wonders of my own.
The next thing that struck me was the logical naming protocol Linda follows as well as the ordered sequence of her actions. She presents them in a way that makes sense and allows you to correct one aspect before attempting the next. The actions range from Quick edits which correct common flaws, through to ‘Beauty’ edits which smooth the skin and enhance features, through to Artistic effects, colour variations and correction. They are all labelled to fit with the video which demonstrates how to use them, and are easily recognisable in the Actions panel by their descriptive names. Each step makes perfect sense as the videos follow a pattern and the clearly explained videos show the results, giving the student the confidence to tackle the next section. You get a real feeling of accomplishment as you work through each class with her and feel your skill level climbing.
The third major revelation I had was gradients. I use them a bit but nowhere near as much as I will from here on! The gradients Linda applied to layer masks allowed her to not only blend in her edits but also to isolate them to selections. Learning to copy these layer masks and manipulate them was a major eye opener. For beginners she explains what the masks do and how they work so all skill levels can benefit from this section.
So would I recommend this class to my friends? The answer is a resounding yes. If you want to take your photo edits to the next level, or simply want to learn ways to make your photos have more impact, this is the class for you. Linda is a gifted teacher and a Photoshop/Photoshop Elements Whiz – and she makes you feel a little smarter and more capable just from spending the time taking her classes. - Jody West
If Jody has convinced you that Enhance Photos FAST is the class for you, you can learn more here.
P.S. – If you missed our sale on the Fix Photos FAST class that is the perfect companion to the new class you can still buy it here: Learn more here.
We’ll provide the images, your create the layout
Tuesday, July 21st - Favorite Thing challenge by Conda
What is the last thing you did outside? Catch a quick pic of it for this month’s Right Now challenge.
Thursday, July 23rd – Specific Image challenge by
Everyone has a favorite thing to do outside. What’s yours?
Weekend - What Do You See? by Marilyn
Look out your door – what do you see outside?
July Monthly Game Challenge:
Join us on the forum in July for a Retreat, Scrap Girls style.
1. Add dimension and texture to your clusters.
Ribbons are an essential part of my clusters. Whether you’re creating a cluster with flowers, leaves or photos, you can use a ribbon to tie the embellishments together visually. Try wrapping a curled ribbon around another embellishment using a layer mask. To create the look below, place the branch layer above the ribbon layer in the Layers palette. Create a layer mask on the branch layer and brush away the parts of the branch that intersect the outer curls of the ribbon.
Hint: To get the branch’s drop shadow to look right, be sure to check “Layer Mask Hides Effects” in Blending Options of the Layer Style Panel.
When used this way, the ribbon creates a border that can visually anchor your photo and embellishments to the page. Try layering different ribbons or even tucking photos under the ribbon border to add even more depth to your layout. In the screenshot below, you can see that I used the masking technique mentioned earlier to wrap the twine around the ribbon.
To create the photo corner, I placed the ribbon at the desired angle over my photo. Next, I made a direct selection of the photo layer. Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail of the photo in the Layers palette to get the selection. With the ribbon layer active, create a layer mask. You will have a photo corner-shaped piece of ribbon. Nudge it up or down and to the side a few pixels to make it sit slightly outside the photo’s frame.
Hint: Use the Dodge and Burn tools to make a ribbon edge look like it is curling around the edge of the photo. Use the Burn tool to darken the curved edge and then use the Dodge tool to add a smaller highlight.
When you need to add the name, date, or place to your page, add the text right on top of the ribbon. To make the lettering look like it is printed on, try using a Blending mode or reducing the opacity of the text layer.
First, create a custom shape or type a letter using a clear, bold font. Next, choose a variety of straight ribbons and line them up parallel to each other on your page. Make sure all the ribbon layers are above your shape or letter in the Layers palette. Select all the ribbon layers and then clip them to your shape or letter using a clipping mask.