Easy Photoshop Tip I Promised

If you liked the quick post I did on Garden Walk Garden Talk for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, here is how I did it. The only thing different is I did all the letters in one file, on different layers. Here we just look at one.

First we create a new blank file in Photoshop. My file is 10 inches by 10 inches at 300 ppi. I always start with the resolution higher than I prepare the resulting jpg. It is just a habit, but it is easier to work with. Our next step is to pick a large, bold font. I used Gil Sans Ultra Bold at 800 pt. None of the other character settings matter since you are typing only one capital letter in the text box. The color of the letter is white, so I added a stroke just to see the letter on the white background. The stroke can stay or be turned off after, your choice. I chose D for Donna….

The next step is selecting an image you want to see placed inside the letter. And I like lilies…..

Do whatever you need to the image to make it sharper and cleaner. I did much more than I had to, but wanted to show you in the history panel what I can do to clean up an image.  The next step will amaze you how simple it is.

Drag your photo into the Photoshop file with the letter. It will be automatically placed above your layer containing the letter D, and this is exactly where we want it. Enlarge the photo to completely cover the letter.

The next thing you do, is go to the layers palette drop down menu, and go to Create Clipping Mask or use the keyboard shortcut option (alt),command (control) G. The image is now clipped inside the layer below.

Since the layers are ‘separate’, you can still move the clipped layer and position it how you think works with your letter.  I chose the selection tool and moved it to the left. Now I prepare it for the web.

Remember, the resolution was 300 ppi. I reduce that to 96 and keep the same 10 inch size. You can reduce this if you are conserving on storage space in your blog .  Next I go to File>Save for Web & Devices, or the shortcut of Shift,Option (alt),Command (control) S. It brings up the options below. Choose a size and click Save.

We can stop here or add the plant name.If you choose to continue, I would add the word Asiatic Lily with the text tool on a curve to name the plant pictured. Do this before saving as a jpg like above. To add the name, I draw a simple curved path with the pen tool.

I select the text tool and click on the beginning of the path to set where the text will follow. I pick a font, here, Lucinda Calligraphy Italic, 30 pt. and type out Asiatic Lily.

Then save as a jpg and you are ready to post.

So darn easy and fast. If you have a word or date in a layer, it works the same way; drag, drop, clip. Just drag the handle bars of the image to size to cover the whole word.

Note in the image above I have the background color f1f1f1 of GWGT. I do this to float my images. If I ever decide to change from f1f1f1 as a background color on the blog, I would have a gray background on all these images. That is why if you look at past posts, images have white (ffffff) color against the gray background. I changed the CSS of my blog.

Anyway, you can do the same thing with shapes and text inside too. Let’s all do the Happy Dance. If it is raining in your locale, I bet you are doing just that.

The creative options are endless once you know this simple technique.


10 thoughts on “Easy Photoshop Tip I Promised

  1. OMG, I have an older version of Photoshop and I NEVER use it! Yikes! I LOVED what you did but had no idea it was so easy! I’m motivated to update!

    Thanks so much for walking us through this. The applications are endless.

  2. This is absolutely FABULOUS! Nothing is more fun than playing with electronic “toys” and photography; and you make it user-friendly. Very cool! (the photograph inset into the alphabet looks like a million bucks)

  3. Thanks! I will definitely share this with my wife and daughter. They do the post processing for me. I’m sure my daughter will love the curved text part. I don’t think I’ve seen her do something like that yet. I just hope our software has it. She keeps asking me to upgrade her photoshop.

    • It should be in all versions of Photoshop that I can remember, Bom. The pen tool has been around awhile. The Clipping Mask was different though. If I remember, it was Layer > Group with Previous. See if that is in the menus. I may have to use an oder computer that I still have PS7 on to see.

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