Playing with Layers

Richard Charpentier Photography, Photoshop, RLC Design, Tech Tips 8 Comments

Taxi!A few weeks ago I mentioned all the books I’ve been going through.  One of those books, an extremely useful one to say the least, is Matt Kloskowski’s “Layers.”  It’s a good one!  Actually, better than good, it was great!

I’ve actually re-read the book 3 times over now.  Takes a while for things to sink in you know!  😉

As the author lets you know through the title itself, layers are one of the most powerful tools in Photoshop.  You can retouch photos with layers, create cool flyer layouts, brochure layouts, or even dramatically alter your photos.  There are too many things to recount here.  You’ve got to read the book!

I decided to toy with one of my favorite shots from Bisbee for today’s post.  The Taxi, found in what’s left of the town of Lowell.

One of the lessons in the Layers book actually works through an example like the image presented here.  Personally I’d want to perfect this one a little more.  The taxi’s front end needs a little more work, the front tire got clipped a bit (hence the blur I tagged in).  But for a 5 minute effort I thought it would be good enough to share.

So, how did I get from the original image to this one?

  1. I selected only the taxi with the quick selection tool.
  2. I created a new layer from my taxi selection.
  3. I selected a portion of the photo from the original layer with the marquee tool, and created a new layer from it as well.  The selection was my “framed in” portion of the image.
  4. A stroke border was put around the marqueed selection.
  5. A little extra touch up on the taxi layer, and then I filled the original layer with white.

If you’re looking for the full detail step by step I’d really suggest checking out the book Layers.  This is only one of the many fun projects in the book.  In total, 3 layers and literally about 5 minutes of my time.  Oh, and a drop shadow here and there!

Comments 8

  1. I’m sure you already know this, but if you want cleaner edges when cutting items out try using the Pen tool. Loads more control. But it takes more than 5 minutes. 🙂

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    Oh yeah, I know I could have used the pen tool. And yes, more than 5 minutes. I was just whipping up a “concept” version. You comment popped up just as I’m editing the “real” thing now. Setting up a new web ad for my main site using a similar image, but greatly enhanced.

    No pen tools were harmed during the creation of the old or new image…..

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  4. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for mentioning the book and even more thanks for posting the photo. That’s a very cool use of that layer style technique. Works perfect here.

    Take care,
    Matt Kloskowski

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    Thanks for stopping by the blog! And thanks for the great book! Glad you liked the image. I’ve got a much better version I just finished up for an ad that will be running next month.


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    Thanks Josh! I am having fun. The final version is super cool. Did an ad / poster layout for the Giclee’ reproductions work at the gallery. I’ll use it in next month’s Pop Rocket.

    We gotta go shoot soon. Of course, weather seems to be turning sour today!

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