Expressions Repository Exercise:
Add Pop to Your Photos

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PhotoShop Lesson: Add Pop to Your Photos

Objective: In this lesson you will apply special effects to photos by de-emphasizing the background in different ways.

  1. Open or paste a picture in Photoshop.
  2. Use the Rectangular Marquee to select the portion to be framed.
  3. Choose SELECT/Transform Selection. 
    Then point to a corner and tilt it about 5 to 8˚
  4. Click Apply or press ENTER
  5. Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer.
    Now look on your Layers palette and notice that the top layer is a cut-out.
  6. To add a stroke and drop shadow to the top layer, choose LAYER/Layer Style/Stroke.
    - Change Color as desired.
    - Change Position to Insid.e
    - Increase the Stroke as desired

    - Then add a Drop Shadow (About 130˚ places the shadow on the right/bottom.)

  7. To add the darkened effect, click on the bottom layer.
  8. Choose IMAGE/Adjustment/Levels.  Slide the Shadows/dark level over to about 120. (See the 3 little triangles) Make sure your Preview is checked so that you can see the live results.

  9. Try different effects:
    • Undo the Levels effect.
      Then choose IMAGE/Adjustment/Desaturate (You now have a grayscale background)
    • Undo the Desaturation effect. Then choose FILTER/Blur/Radial Blur. Set to 36 and Zoom.


Save the file with the prefix "pop" and submit any version you'd like to the Expressions Repository dropbox.