Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Using the white space on your photos

I am not a professional photographer. I do not have a DSLR. I use my point and shoot and my phone. I don't think I take bad photos, but they are not always beautifully composed and lit (for the latter, I'm blaming my near-windowless house and the fact I live so far north).

I have found, though, that when my photo is not terrifically composed--specifically, when I have a lot of white space in it--that I can use that as a design element on my page.

Case in point:

I took this photo of my son coming out of the library. He'd finally checked out a book I'd been pushing him to read, Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. He read it from the library to the car and much of the rest of the day, and he's almost done. I sneaked out my phone and took the photo, then he noticed me taking his picture with the next few. This first one, of him reading unaware, is my favorite, even though he's barely in the shot, so I decided to scrap it.

What entranced me was the white space. I love designing on top of white space: overlapping a title or journaling, embellishing in it, and so on. I decided to print this photo 12x12 through Persnickety Prints and use it as the canvas for the whole page. Here's what I did (pardon the color, which differs from the one above; it was a little dark when I took the photo, and hey, almost no windows in my house!):

I pulled some embellishments from the August Studio Calico scrapbooking kit and started playing with layers: I overlapped a couple frames, put the pocket over it to house the journaling tag, then added the die cut and cork title on top. I finished this embellishment clustering with stickers, chipboard banner, and a button. I also cross-stitched down the pocket to make sure it stayed down. Since the pocket was vellum and the journaling on the tag interfered with the pocket's design, I turned the tag backward.

I next used the stitching template the came with the kit to embellish above the journaling. This follows my embellishment rules, to layer in three parts, not always in this order:
1) Something flat (die cuts, stickers, etc.)
2) Something dimensional (buttons, chipboard, dimensional stickers, etc.) and
3) Something textured (stitching, mist, paint, stamps, etc.). 
 The stitching template had wide stitches, so I added holes to make the stitches shorter, which I prefer.

The next time you are editing photos to print, don't crop out extra white space on poorly composed photos. Instead, think about how you can use the white space as a design element.

1 comment:

Aliza said...

This is great, as always. And, yay, Neil Gaiman.