Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy INSD!

Happy INSD everyone!  For my non scrapping friends, INSD stands for International Scrapbooking Day.
A lot of fun things are happening at MScraps this week, lots of challenges, games and awesome sales.  Make sure to check them out.
Here is my part of the blog train at MSsraps, I've made a template for you.  I hope you like it and find good use for it.  Click here to download.
And here is a page I made with it using the beautiful Sonny {Heart}s Candy Collab that the designers at MScraps made especially for INSD.  It's free with a $10 purchase at the store.

*******And your next stop on the blog train is Polly&Rufus Designs**********
Thank you so much for stopping by and have fun scrapping!

Sharpening photos

This was previously a post at A5D that I am posting here now.
Hi everyone!  It’s Sasha here with my first blog post.  Tiki talked about sharpening your layout for web last week and today I would like to focus specifically on sharpening your photos to make them look great on your page.  Do you ever look at a layout and think “Wow those photos look so crisp, I wish mine would look like that”.    There are many different methods that are used, I will focus on three of them here.
                                                               Sharpening with the the unsharp mask filter
Go to Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp mask.

Once you open it you'll see three sliders.  The amount controls the amount of sharpening of course.For higher resolution images a value between 150% to 200% is usually enough.  Next you can play with the radius.  Usually a value between 1 and 2 is recommended for high resolution photos.  I used 2 for my photo.  Finally you can adjust the threshhold. When the slider is set at 0 every little part of the image is sharpened and when it's at its highest value of 255 nothing happens.  Usually a setting between 5-20 is good for a high resolution photo. Here are my final settings.

And here is the before and after picture.  I boosted the brightness and contrast a little at the end too.  This always helps with making the photo look crisper too.

Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen Filter
This is the method I use the most.  Unfortunately this filter is only available in Photoshop CS2 and up. Go to Filter/Sharpen/Smart Sharpen.

Just like the unsharp mask you can control the amount and the radius of sharpening.  I usually set the radius between 1 and 5 pixels.  You can adjust the amount to get the effect you want. Unlike the unsharp mask this filter has the ability to remove some of the blur on your photos. I usually select "remove lens blur"  but you can also have fun and play with the other ones.  So here is the values I used on my photo. 

Here is the before and after photos:

Sharpening using Hi Pass Filter
First duplicate your background layer. Next Go to Filter/Other/Hi Pass.
You'll see a gray covered area.  Enter a value between 5-10. I used 10 on my photo. Next change the blending mode to Hard Light
You can play with the other blending modes to see how your photo will look but this is the one I usually use.  Linear light and Soft light work really nicely too.  You can lower the opacity of that layer if it's too strong for you. So here is my before and after high pass sharpening photos.

You have to be careful with this method because you can easily go overboard and your image may look over sharpened. There is one more thing you can do to enhance the hi pass effect on your photo. Go back to your background layer. Duplicate it one more time and change the blending mode to screen. This is what you should have
 And now my photo looks even brighter and more vivid. 
I hope this was helpful and that you would find the sharpening method that best suits you.  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

New week

I am feeling a little under the weather right now, woke up with a nasty sore throat this morning.  I just hope the girls don't get it because Alexis is still recovering from another virus.  She and Sophie were supposed to get shots last week but weren't allowed to by the doctor because of being sick.  I hope they can get them this week though.
Anyway I have some pages to share with you all again. In this first one I used a template by Tiny Toes Designs.

I used a kit here called Anne with an E by Creashens.

This is for Lexi's alphabet album.

Here is another page I made with a kit by Creashens: Sweetnenss

 Kristin Cronin-Barrow released a beautiful new kit on Saturday- Good Morning Sunshine

And I love this new kit by Shabby Miss Jehh-Spring Gardens.  It just screams spring to me. I love it so much I made two pages with it:

Here is a super cute kit I had the pleasure to work with-Smooches by Cinnamon Designs at A5D.
And one more page with this gorgeous kit -Chocolate Sunday by JBDesigns at Pickleberrypop

 Have a great week!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  We don't have much planned this weekend.  Dinner with friends tomorrow and a family lunch on Sunday.  I hope we have nice weather so the girls can go egg hunting outside.  I would really love to take some cute pictures. 
I just want to share real quick a couple of adorable easter kits. The first one is by Kitty Designs who is a guest at MScraps in April.  I am a big fan of her work and really enjoyed working with her new Easter kit New Spirit
here is my page:

and the second kit is this adorable full of color and fun element kit by Fruitloop Sally called Egg Huntin'
I had so much fun with it and it was nice to finally scrap those pictures from last year.  Our lawn looks awful but we had just come back from the States after being there for 7 months so no one really took care of it. Anyway, here is a preview of the kit:

And one more page I made with a kit called Sunshine of my life by Jazzmin Designs who is also a guest at MScraps this month. I also used a template for this page from a pack First steps vol. 2 by Tiny Toes Designs who is a brand new and super talented designer selling at Catscrap and ZigZap Scrap.
That's all for now.  Have a wonderful weekend!