I love sending cards to everyone, but it’s easier for me to create for women (lots of flowers) and children (animals) than teenage boys and men. They are harder though cars and sports are a place to start.  Sometimes even architecture or ocean scene are appreciated.  But for a real masculine look, type your sentiment over stripes.  Here is how to create the stripes.


Open New document of 1 inch by 1 inch

Pull guide to ½” line to divide the area in 2 equal parts

Use Rectangular marquee to select an area of 1” by ½” and Fill with Black, gray or whatever color you want

Now Ctrl/Cmd D to deselect

Ctrl/Cmd A to select the whole area and Fill – Define Pattern  –  I called it Stripes

Now open New document for your card – ie. 5×7

Layer – New Fill Layer – Pattern (it will use the last pattern created)

You can adjust the width of stripes by the % dropdown

Fonts in this card – Arial for “Happy” and “Day” – Magnolia for “Father’s”

Outline Your Text

I haven’t been adding as many blog posts recently as I have a Facebook group now for people interested in creating greeting cards and other printed materials with their photos.  For detailed how-tos I refer them to the blog.  Please go to Facebook – Groups and search for PhotoGraphics to join!

text outline examplestext outline

Text Outline

1.Start with a blank layer and some text, this will work for shapes too.

2. Right click/Cmd click on the layer name in the layers palette. Select rasterize layer. Ctrl/Cmd click on the layer thumbnail to select the type. Create a new blank layer.

3. Edit>stroke. Try 3-10 pixel stroke depending on the resolution of your image. Pick your color. Click Center in the Location dropdown.

Click ok.



Lighting adjustments





I photographed this little house at Brookgreen Gardens recently in midday light.  The flowers that frame the scene were quite bright and the house darker than I wanted. In just a few minutes I created the image I had in mind, highlighting the house.

Open Image and crop if desired

Add new layer – create new layer icon on Layers pallet next to garbage can

Edit – Fill – 50% gray and change the Blending Mode to Overlay

Clicked on the brush and using black and white paint on the 50% gray layer I darkened around the edges and brightened the house.


Very simple and non-destructive on its own layer!

Keep Learning

_3260032I attended Art Wolfe’s Photography as Art seminar the day before leaving for a Charleston springtime photo trip.  He covered many topics but I worked on finding and defining the negative space in images (rather than just concentrating on the subject) that he discussed.

Normally I shoot the live oak alley with all the azaleas at Magnolia Plantation (and I did those too) but actually like this different view.  I found a shape between the trees that reminded me of a temple and moved to frame the 3rd live oak.

I found my photography going along an exciting path while in Charleston working in this way.

Keep being inspired and learning from others!


Sailboat at Sunset

I photographed this sailboat at sunset a few years ago on the Outer Banks. It was such a peaceful scene but I’ve never really had the same feeling I had that evening. (see original below)

Today I brought it back to Photoshop and used a cooling filter and now feel the serenity I felt that evening.

You may have some favorites on your computer worth revisiting too!


Sailboat at Sunset original


Quiet Thoughts

_3210011What a glorious morning!  Light snow falling as Spring tries to come forth. My power went out along with all the sounds of the house. So I sat by an open window near my dogwood and bird feeders to take in the sights and sounds of the outdoors.  This wasn’t about taking a fabulous photo… it was about embracing the moment.

I wrote down some thoughts and took a few photos but mostly just enjoyed the serenity.


A feeling of disappointment came over me when I heard everything chug back on and the stillness was gone. My posts are usually about technique and such but perhaps this is the most important one… take time to sit in the silence and just take in all that Nature offers.


PS  I post every weekend but just didn’t have anything in particular that I thought was worth bothering your inbox this past weekend.  Now I am glad I waited and hope you appreciate these thoughts.  And I am happy to have power back of course!

Photoshop Glow

This is an easy method to add mood to your images.

Duplicate Background Layer

Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur – I used 100-130 on these images but it depends on the look you want, so have fun experimenting

Then change your blending mode on the Layers palette to Multiply. You may want to reduce opacity on the top layer.

This can work on scenes too.

Light colored subjects can give a nice, ethereal impression.