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Gradient Map Magic

Audience: Beginners
Category: Techniques
Operating System: Windows 8
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9

Gradient Map Magic
by Anna Mansfield

I love black-and-white photos and sepia photos for many reasons. Sometimes, a little less color helps to capture the mood of the moment better. Plus, some full color pictures are full of distractions. Removing the color helps us to focus on the expressions on the faces, the lines in the photo, etc.

This month’s Scrap Girls Club is the perfect backdrop for beautiful black-and-white and sepia. The vintage papers and embellishments just call out for simple, timeless photos.

There are about 52 million different ways to change a photo from color to black and white in Photoshop Elements (okay, maybe not quite that many, but there are a lot!). My favorite method uses the Adjustment Layers feature. I like Adjustment Layers because they don’t actually change the photo layer; they just alter how it looks. This makes it easy to add and remove effects and tweak colors until you get the exact combination you are looking for.

Let’s get started.

Step One: Create a new 12×12-inch document. Place a picture on it.

Step Two: Create a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. The Adjustment Layer icon is a small half-black, half-white circle at the bottom of the Layers palette. Click on it and you will see a list of different types of layers. Make sure to choose Gradient Map, not Gradient. You will see your photo change colors immediately. (If your picture doesn’t change color, make sure the adjustment layer is about the photo layer in the Layers palette.)

Depending on what colors you had your Color Palette set to, your picture may be black and white, or it may be a strange combination of shades. Don’t worry – it is all easy to fix.

Step Three: Click anywhere on the color bar in the Adjustments Layer Palette. This will open the Gradient Editor window.

You will see a variety of preset gradients and another color bar. This time, there are two boxes at each end of the color bar. These are called “Stops” and can be moved around to create custom gradient patterns, but for today, we will just use them to change colors.

Step Four: Double-click on the Color Stop on the far left. A window will open that allows you to select the Stop color.

The closer to black you select, the closer to black your image will be. You can exactly customize the shade you want. Click Okay to select your color, then repeat the process for the other stop. You will want this one to be white or cream.

Step Five: To keep the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer from altering the colors of all of the layers on your layout, use a Clipping Mask (Ctrl+G or Cmd+G) to clip it to the photo layer.

Add other Adjustment Layers to get other looks. I add a Levels Adjustment Layer to just about every picture I take. And the Hue/Saturation and Brightness/Contrast Layers are favorites also. If you haven’t played around with them, give it a shot! The nice thing is that you can always delete the layer if it doesn’t give you the look you want.

I’d love to see your black-and-white orsepia photos, so be sure to post them in the Scrap Girls Gallery!

PRODUCTS USED:
Article written by Anna Mansfield

Behind the Scenes: Jennifer Ziegler’s December Club!

Each month we get a glimpse behind the scenes of our Scrap Girls ScrapSimple Club designers, and this month’s designer is Jennifer Ziegler!
Click here to check out Jennifer’s Club at a great price!

When you started working on your club, what was the first thing you did?

A color, song, object, or phrase might be the starting point for a theme for any product I design. For the December Club (my very first one ever!!), I had been thinking for a while about birds, dreams and imagination. I collected images and colors that supported this theme and put them in a file on my computer. Then, I just spent a few days with this idea – thinking of patterns, textures, images and words that could be incorporated into a cohesive, versatile club. My goal was to make products that can be used across seasons and themes – this particular club will work in winter, spring and summer, for weddings, baby, and heritage layouts and for masculine or feminine themes.

What inspired the colors in your club?

Once I had a theme, I took a look at my inspiration folder. It contained a lot of blues and grays. This really worked, since blue echoed the color of the sky and tied into my bird theme. I wanted to add a contrasting color, so I pulled in the yellow as an accent color. You’ll notice that on my inspiration board that orange was my original accent color, but once I started working on it, yellow seemed to fall into place better.

Where did you find the inspiration for this club?

My initial planning stage started back in the fall when the migration of birds is at its peak in Pennsylvania. Thinking about those birds led to a stream of consciousness about flying, being free, dreaming and following an uncharted path.

The club includes several products. Did you start and complete each one before moving on to the next?

All of the papers for the Collection Biggie were completed first. Then, I pulled together the word art mini and the embellishment mini. Once those were done, the paper mini sets, the embellishments, alpha, etc. came together in stages, depending on my mood and creativity level on any particular day. I want to mention that I received a ton of great advice from Angie to make this club balanced and versatile.

About how long did it take you to design this club?

From inspiration to going-live in the store was about three months.

http://scrapgirls.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/quill-before-after.jpg
How did you come up with the name of your club?

Since birds were one of my main inspirations, I thought about flying. Adding creativity, imagination, and dreams to the mix came next and the phrase, “Flights of Fancy” just popped into my head.

 

Christmas Card Challenge Winners!

We had a great turn out for our Christmas Card challenge! Thank you so much to all of you who participated!
GRAND PRIZE Winner: Laraine (scrapgran)!
Christmas Card by Laraine (scrapgran)

Congratulations Laraine! She will receive digital and/or printable versions of the cards featured in this post, plus a $20 Gift Certificate to Scrapping Simply (the best custom printers on the Internet)

RUNNERS UP:

Merry Christmas from New Zealand by Jane in N.Z.

Christmas 2014 by Ande43

Jane and Carol have both won a $5 Gift Certificates to the Scrap Girls Boutique!

December 14th Weekly Layout Winner & Forum Schedule

WEEKLY LAYOUT WINNER
Falling Leaves by Laura YB
Outdoor Life Collection Biggie
Countryside Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Digital Layout Templates: Curled Paper
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?

Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.

Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!

Newsletter Challenge Winner:  

Christmas 1977 by VictoriaLamar1

See all the entries in our  Newsletter Challenge Gallery 

Tree of Doom Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt

The annual Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt, fondly referred to as “The Tree of Doom,” is back! Find the products used to create this tree in the Scrap Girls Boutique.

Be sure to check the Tree of Doom thread on Scrap Girls Forum for the complete instructions, the designer lists by product type and a few extra hints!

You don’t have to find them all to play the game, but anyone who does get them all correct will automatically win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!

If you get 25 or more correct answers, you will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Gift Certificate!

If you get 10-24 correct answers, you will be entered into a drawing for a $10 Gift Certificate!

If you get 5-9 correct answers, you will be entered into a drawing for a $5 Gift Certificate!

Upcoming Chats & Challenges

Monday, December 15th: Random Challenge by Conda (SodScrap)

Monday, December 15th: Art Journaling Chat & Challenge

It’s time for the Holiday edition of the Scrap Girls’ Art Journaling Chat.   Are you interested in learning digital Art Journaling? Excited about the layouts you’ve already created and anxious to make more? Join Marilyn (MariJ) and Jody (Jode2771) in the chat room on Monday, December 15th at 9 p.m. (ET) for an Art Journaling Chat and Challenge. We will discuss the basics of Art Journaling and provide a prompt for starting a page. Come join the fun and talk about Art Journaling — you might even  find yourself motivated to try a layout!

Tuesday, December16th: Newsletter Challenge hosted by Marilyn (MariJ)

Wednesday, December 17th: High Noon Crop and Challenge

Join April (April Showers) in the chat room at 12:00 p.m. (ET) for the High Noon Crop. This week we’re doing a Quote Challenge! Create a layout using a meaningful, inspiring or funny quote. You can use it in place of journaling, or you use a beloved quote as a starting point for your journaling. There are quotes in many of the collections and brush sets too. Any quote is OK! Upload your completed page to the special High Noon Crop & Challenge Gallery. We hope to see you in the chat room!

Thursday, December 18th: Blog Inspired Challenge by Carla (crs)

Friday, December 19th: : Freebie Challenge by Theresa (teecee)

Saturday, December 20th: Color Challenge by Valerie (ValerieT)

December Monthly Layout Contest: Magic

It’s December and whether cold and frosty up North or warm and balmy down South,  December brings with it Holiday Magic. Picture a child’s shiny eyes and excitement as he visits Santa or lights Channukah candles. Yes, the magic of the season is often associated with children, but in reality magical moments can be found all around us during this time. Maybe you feel it outside watching a snowfall or sunset or while listening to holiday music. You might feel it in the warm hug of giving,  smell it in your kitchen creating holiday treats or even consider some special relationships or people “magical”. For December, we’d love to see you scrap what this Season’s “magic” means to you.

Please post your completed layouts in the December Contest Gallery by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on December 31st to be eligible for a $10 gift certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Be sure to add your product credits to the description area or in the EXIF properties to be considered for the prize.   Good Luck!

December Forum Game: Holiday BINGO

Join us for an exciting game of Holiday BINGO on the Scrap Girls Forum!!
Find out the details and how to play here.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!

 

 

Christmas Card Challenge & a FREEBIE!

Wouldn’t it be great to make custom Christmas cards to send to family and friends this year? If you are like most of us, there just isn’t time. We are happy if we pick up a box of pretty cards, get them addressed, add a little note, and get them mailed! That’s where digital cards can make our lives easier, and allow us to email or snail mail a personalized card from the heart. With the wide variety of digital kit styles in the Scrap Girls Boutique, you are sure to find something that speaks to you! And to make it even easier to create your holiday cards, try one of our ScrapSimple card template sets!

We are happy to announce our Christmas Card Challenge! Just create a Christmas card using Scrap Girls supplies and upload it to our Greeting Cards Gallery by Midnight ET on December 15th, to participate! We will award three prizes on December 16th:

GRAND PRIZE:

1 – The grand prize winner will receive digital and/or printable versions of the cards featured in this post (including a few not shown). How cool is that?! Just add your own personalization and either email, print at home, or have Scrapping Simply print them for you. Then send them on their way to family and friends!

2 – A $20 Gift Certificate to Scrapping Simply (the best custom printers on the Internet)

RUNNERS UP:

We will be awarding two (2) $5 Gift Certificates to the Scrap Girls Boutique for two runners up!

Card by Melanie Cockshott
Chalkboard Christmas Nano Collection
Kitschy Christmas Collection Mini
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Shadow Me 6301
Card by Andrea-Rose Hutton
Madison County_Collection_Biggie
Cottage Christmas Collection
Card by Karen Webb
Noella-4×8 Holiday Photo Cards
Noella Embellishment Mini
Card by Monica Lesack
HoHo Holidays Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Tools – Shapes: Tags 8302 Biggie
ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Patterned Ribbons
Card by Amy Flanagan
Scrap Simple Card Templates: 4x6Vertical 1
Winter Trimmings Collection Mini
Snowed In Collection Biggie
Card by Melanie Cockshott
YuleTime Joy Collection Mini
ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: On A Whim Frames
ScrapSimple Tools – Actions: Photo Basics PSE 5001
Card by Monica Lesack
It’s Christmas! Collection Biggie 
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: ATC Shadows 12601
Card by Valerie Tuffrey
Lilly’s Christmas Collection Biggie
Card by Karen Webb
ScrapSimple Card Template 5×7 Holiday
A Jolly Holiday Collection
Noella Embellishment Mini
Here’s a special card template freebie just for you! Includes both layered PSD and separate PNG files!
Sample cards using the Freebie template!
Hybrid card by Carla Shute
North Pole Friends Collection
Merry & Bright Solids Paper Mini 
Card by Pam Zeman
Cottage Christmas Collection
Festive Elegance Collection Biggie
Card by Theresa Guyer
Golden Memories Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Gold 8501
ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Shadow Me 6301
 

 

December 7th Weekly Layout Winner & Forum Schedule

Weekly Layout Contest Winner
Beautiful View by scrapgran
Digital scrapbooking products used:
Altered Life Word Art Mini
Adagio Collection Biggie
ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Art Diary
Brush Set: Altered Pages
Brush Set: Ink It Up
ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Tied Tags
ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Tie It Up
Want a chance to win Scrap Girls’ Weekly Layout Contest?

Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery; if we choose yours, you’ll win a prize! To be considered, don’t forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.

Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners Gallery on our Forum!

Newsletter Challenge Winner:  
Let Your Heart be Light by vlflair

See all the entries in our Newsletter Challenge Gallery !

Cookie Exchange
It’s time for our 9th Annual Cookie Recipe Card Exchange and you’re invited! We have a special, free recipe card template to help you get started. We love cookies, and we love getting new cookie recipes to try, so all participants will receive a sweet little Scrap Girls Boutique gift just for joining in. Cards MUST be received by Midnight (ET) on Thursday, December 11th, You can find all the details on how to participate here.

Upcoming Chats and Challenges

  • Monday, December8th: Random Challenge by Conda (SodScrap)
  • Tuesday, December9th: Newsletter Challenge hosted by Marilyn (MariJ)
  • Wednesday, December 10th:High Noon Crop and Challenge

Join April (April Showers) in the chat room at 12:00 p.m. (ET) for the High Noon Crop. This week we’re doing a Stripes Challenge! Create a layout on any theme, any topic and any colors using stripes! The stripes can be from paper, paper strips or in your photo. It is up to you. Upload your completed page to the special High Noon Crop & Challenge Gallery. We hope to see you in the chat room!

    • Thursday, December 11th: Blog Inspired Challenge by Carla (crs)
    • Friday, December 12th: : Freebie Challenge by Theresa (teecee)
    • Saturday, December 13th: Color Challenge by Valerie (ValerieT)
    • Monday, December 15th: Art Journaling Chat & Challenge

It’s time for the Holiday edition of the Scrap Girls’ Art Journaling Chat.   Are you interested in learning digital Art Journaling? Excited about the layouts you’ve already created and anxious to make more? Join Marilyn (MariJ) and Jody (Jode2771) in the chat room on Monday, December 15th at 9 p.m. (ET) for an Art Journaling Chat and Challenge. We will discuss the basics of Art Journaling and provide a prompt for starting a page. Come join the fun and talk about Art Journaling — you might even  find yourself motivated to try a layout!

Member of the Month: December 2014

      We’re sending a big Scrap Girls Congratulations to member lindarobin! The team has chosen lindarobin as the Member of the Month for December! She will receive a $10 gift certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique and has the honor of wearing the Member of the Month blinkie!Lindarobin joined Scrap Girls in October 2007. She is active in the Monthly Layout Contests, Challenges and Games. She is quick to answer questions and help fellow members out. Thank you lindarobin, for everything you have done to make Scrap Girls the fun, happy purple place it is. Scrap Girls would not be the place it is today without special members like you!

November Monthly Layout Contest Winner:

Home for 25 Years by Boatlady
Congratulations to Boatlady, the winner of the December Layout Contest! The winning layout was the perfect example of our theme, Home Sweet Home. Debby will receive a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique for her effort.

Congratulations Debby! You may claim your gift certificate by emailing prizes@scrapgirls.com.

November Forum Game – Styles & Techniques Winners:

Participants earned points in the drawing for five $5.00 Scrap Girls Boutique Gift Certificates by using certain techniques in their layouts. Congratulations to the winners!

  • AubreyD
  • roocmc
  • LauraYB
  • Marie_Christine
  • Jane in N.Z

Send an email to prizes@scrapgirls.com to claim your certificate.

December Monthly Layout Contest: Magic

It’s December and whether cold and frosty up North or warm and balmy down South,  December brings with it Holiday Magic. Picture a child’s shiny eyes and excitement as he visits Santa or lights Channukah candles. Yes, the magic of the season is often associated with children, but in reality magical moments can be found all around us during this time. Maybe you feel it outside watching a snowfall or sunset or while listening to holiday music. You might feel it in the warm hug of giving,  smell it in your kitchen creating holiday treats or even consider some special relationships or people “magical”. For December, we’d love to see you scrap what this Season’s “magic” means to you.

Please post your completed layouts in the December Contest Gallery by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on December 31st to be eligible for a $10 gift certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Be sure to add your product credits to the description area or in the EXIF properties to be considered for the prize.   Good Luck!

December Forum Game: Holiday BINGO

Join us for an exciting game of Holiday BINGO on the Scrap Girls Forum!!
Find out the details and how to play here.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!

 

 

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