Photoshop SIG Notes for November 2016

You can find these notes online at the Photoshop SIG website:

Bill Ellemor was the presenter at the November Photoshop SIG. He was given these questions before hand to use as a starting point for discussion during the SIG. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to go through all of these.

What follows is two things:
– some of the points that Bill went over during the SIG.
– my notes to go along with what Bill explained to us.

Question 1 – How do you put a frame around a photo?
– Bill Ellemor’s method
(1) Duplicate the layer using Control + J.
(2) Create a new layer by clicking on Layer/New/Layer.
(3) Select all by pressing control + A.
(4) Edit stroke. Here is the image that I am using.


Click on the image to see in full size.

(4) Set these as your choices in the Stroke Box:
Width – 200 pixels
Colour – white (or click on this and chose another color to suit you and your photos).
Location – tick the Inside radio button.
Blending Mode – Normal
Opacity – 100%
(5) Click on OK. Voila! Sort of a frame appears around your image.
(6) If you don’t like it, then press Control +Z to Undo it and have another go.


Click on the image to see in full size.

For more info try here – (An oldie but a goodie.)

Question 2 – How can you change the background of a portrait?
Bill Ellemor gave a concise explanation of how to do this.

I feel that this really needs a few minutes spent on revising how to use the PS selection tools before we can get into the changing of the background of the image. This will be the first topic for the December SIG.

Question 3 – How much processing do you do in Camera Raw before importing it into Photoshop?
Bill Ellemor made the following points:
– set your camera to save in both raw and jpg format (RTM).
– PS will open any raw images in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).
– if your image is in jpg format, then click on File/Open As and then choose the Camera Raw format as shown in the image below:


Click on the image to see in full size.

– use the sliders in the first panel that opens in ACR. You can probably do 80% of your image editing in ACR.

If you have raw format, then use the ACR in PS
Bill Oldham added:
– You can download the latest version of ACR for your computer and OS.  Here is one website that seems to be trustworthy:
– Google “Adobe Camera Raw tutorials” to find out all the different thing that you can do with ACR.
– This website was helpful to me when I started using ACR:

Question 4 – What actions would you recommend for LR and PS?
This was one that we skipped because we were running short on time. My suggestions would be:
– Download and install the free NIK effects for Photoshop ( and access these through the filters menu. Tons of fun and will keep you busy for six months.
– With Lightroom just use the existing presets to get started with.
– I have deliberately left out any discussion of Actions for now. These will be covered in the new Lightroom SIG starting in 2017.

Question 5 – Is there an inexpensive way to do colour calibration of camera, monitor and printer so that they look the same?
I really cannot remember if we had any time for this topic. But here are two websites that you may find helpful:
– Spyder5EXPRESS sells for about $AUS 200

Turns out that Questions 6 and 7 are two sides of the same coin.
Question 6 – How do you replace the part of a photo, for example, on a mirror that is part of a photo? I think this means how do you replace part of an image with something else.
Question 7 – Suggestions for simple ways to combine two or three images to create a composite.
Both of these will be the main part of the discussion for the December SIG.

More ways to create frames for your photos
The following is a gathering of some answers from the internet that you might be able to use if you were not able to attend the SIG on November 5, 2016 at New Hope Baptist Church.

Photo Frames
Method 1 – Increase the canvas size to get a white frame
(1) Pick an image that you are happy to work with. No sense in opening an image that you think is a piece of junk.
(2) Do the usual procedure to ensure that you are not working on an original (Copy the file, rename the file, close the original file, write down where you saved the copy to if need be).
(3) Click on Image /Canvas Size.
(4) Change the Inches to percent.


Click on the image to see in full size.

(5) Change the number from 100 to 120 in both the width and the height.
(6) Choose White for the Canvas Extension color at the bottom of the dialogue box.


Click on the image to see in full size.

(6) Press OK. You should get a nice white border around your image.


Click on the image to see in full size.

If it looks out of balance to you, then go back to Inches from Percent and try several different values until you find one that you are satisfied with.

Variation 1 – Change the colour of the frame
(7) Start over again until you get back to Step 5.
(8) Click on the tick box next to where it says Canvas extension colour.


Click on the image to see in full size.

(9) Use the dialogue box to pick a colour that you want to use for the border.
(10) Click OK on the Colour Picker.
(11) Click on the Canvas Size. Voila!


Click on the image to see in full size.

Variation 2 – Add a fancy border on top of the green canvas border.
(12) Do a Google image search for frames png. Pick one that is a good size (say 4 MP) to avoid your frame looking pixellated. Here is the one that I am going to use here:

Now I know that you remember how to do this. But just in case, here it is again for a bit of revision.
(13) Save your image from Google.
(14) Open the image in PS.
(15) Press the V key to open up the Move tool. Remember, keyboard short cuts are your friend!
(16) Click and drag the border image down into the work area.


Click on the image to see in full size.

(17) Now click on the tinkerbell border and drag it up into the flower image.
(18) Release the mouse. The flower border appears now as Layer 1 in the Layers panel on the right.
(19) Click the close box on the flower border image .
(20) Press Control + T to bring up the Transform tool.
(21) Drag out the corners of the flower border to match up with the green canvas around the flower image. Looks like this
(22) Well, that is not quite what I expected. Try the different blend modes. I settled for the Lighter Color blend mode so that the green extended canvas can be seen with tinkerbell on top.


Click on the image to see in full size.


Challenge for December
Use one of your own still life floral images as the basis. Then carefully follow each step in this tutorial –

Send your before and after jpgs to me to post on to the website. My email is

I would like to say thanks to Bill Ellemor for his entertaining and informative presentation at the November Photoshop SIG.

I hope that you will go home and try some of the ideas presented.

That’s all, folks!


About woldham

Concise! Retired and loving it!
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