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Techniques: Color Brush, Making Photos Partially Transparent (muting), Torn Edge Box cropping, Shadows

Partially Transparent Photos/ Muting/Color Brush: This LO uses lots of the Color Brush tool to make the photos a bit transparent. Despite the color name, you can use the slider to make a photo any level of transparency. This creates a more muted effect and allows you to overlap photos easily to create a montage. Also the background will show through the photo which can be a very interesting effect.

First, open a New Collage and select a background. Here I used a paper from the Girl Power kit by Clara Wallace which is included in FxFoto Creative.

Next select some photos. Now under the Correct button on the tool bar, click on Color Brush. Chose Set Transparency for Whole Picture. Now use the slider to select how much transparency you would like. At 255, the whole photo will disappear; I used about 120 but you can click on Undo and reset it until you get the effect you like. Now crop it if you would like. If you are planning to overlap photos then adding some featuring to the crop will help them blend better.

Torn Edge Box Crop: All the photos and papers here were cropped with the Torn Edge Box crop. To do this, click on Crop. Now click on Pull or Adjust Pattern, then click on the box down arrow to display the drop menu. From the menu, select Torn Edge Box. Place your cursor on your photo, and hold down the left button to drag out the box. You can adjust the box by moving your cursor over the rope until the directional arrows appear, then hold down the left mouse button to move that side of the crop rope. You can also move the whole crop box by moving you mouse over the crop until the move arrows appear and then hold the left button to move the whole box.

To crop the papers, simply add the papers to your collage and use the Torn Edge Box as above to crop. Now if you would like all of your cut papers (or photos) to be the same size you can keep the same crop rope and just move papers under it to crop. Choose the Keep Crop Rope option in the crop box and the rope will remain after you crop. Then change back to Correct mode and click on the cropped paper to move it out of the way. Select a new paper, bring it under the crop rope, click on Crop and crop it.

Drop Shadows: You can make the papers and other elements look more real by applying drop shadows. To do this click on Info aand then Image Placement and Shadow. Choose Add Shadow and then type a number in the box - the bigger the number, the longer the shadow. You should apply the shadow right after cropping and when you rotate the image, the shadow will move with it so apply it right away. For the papers I used a shadow of 20, for the slide mounts 15 and for the ribbons etc I used 5.

Credits: Girl Power by Clara Wallace of Matter of Scrap, font is Forte.