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Give dad a custom photo project with a modern twist this Father's Day

A “Manly” Photo Project for Father’s Day

I already lamented earlier this week about the hard time I had coming up with a good Father’s Day gift last year.  In the end I was successful, read all about it here, but a whole year has gone by and I’m having the same problem.  I always seem to default to a photo gift of some sort.  Maybe it’s because my kids are still so young that they change A LOT from year to year and I like to give the hubs mementos of how small they once were.


This year I’m once again going the photo route but I’m trying to do something a little more “manly”.  So I went to the web for inspiration and came across the, now iconic, Obama “Hope” poster.  I thought it would be cool to do something similar with a photo of my husband and each kid.


I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do with the photos yet – poster, ipad case with one on each side, calendar??  If you have any bright ideas, please share them in the comments!  In the meantime I’ll share with you the step-by-step of how I made the above picture using Photoshop Elements.  Click through for the goods.

Once you’ve opened your photo in PSE Elements, go to the “Filter” tab at the top of the screen.  Select “Artistic” and then “Poster Edges”.
The only slider I played around with was the one on the bottom called “Posterization”.  I went with a value of “1″ and hit “OK”.
Next select the “create new layer” button on the right had side of the screen (the one that’s a half white and half gray circle above).  Then select “Hue/Saturation”.

Check the “Colorize” button at the bottom.

Now the fun part – choose your color by moving the “Hue” slider to the left or right.  If you want the exact color that I used, type “227″ in the value box.  It’s also a good idea to play with the “Saturation” and “Lightness” values a little until you get the effect you’re going for. (I used “25″ for Saturation and “0″ for Lightness).
Now we’re gonna add the text to the bottom.  Select the “custom shape” tool in the left tool bar (looks like a heart).
At the top of the screen you can change which shape you’re using.  Select either a square or a rectangle.
You can also select the color (I chose black).  Once you’ve made your selections, draw a square in the bottom corner of the photo.

Then select the “move” tool (looks like a cursor arrow) and stretch the square into a rectangle that covers the bottom of the photo.

Select the “Horizontal Type” tool (looks like a “T”).  Again, you can change the font, color, and size at the top of the screen.  Once your selections are made, type in your words.
If the text isn’t showing up, highlight the text layer on the right of the screen.  Then select the “Layer” tab up top and go to “Arrange” and “Bring to Front”.
One last, optional, step is to play around with the brightness and contrast sliders.  To do this, once again click on the “create new layer tab” and select “Brightness/Contrast”.
That’s it!  Now just save your photo and use it to make a T-shirt… coffee mug?… mouse pad?  Seriously guys – someone please help me!


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tania June 10, 2011 at 6:46 am

Love it, I have a similar photo from my husband and my son in Camp Nou, Barcelona Soccer team. And definetily a Mug, last more than the other options. Love your blog.


Amanda @ Gratefully Growing in Grace June 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

You are more creative than I. On my husband’s first father’s day I gave him a photo of him and our son together in a special frame. I wrote a message on the back of the photo. Each year after that I’ve given him a new photo of him and the kids to put in the frame. I write messages on the back, now dictated by my older son. As the years go on, the kids will write their own messages. It costs $.30 each year and is no muss, no fuss. I think my husband likes it – the frame is on his dresser – and I don’t have to rack my brains or spend a fortune on trinkets every year.


Mary Ann June 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I would have your print made into a “gallery wrap” – a canvas print on a wooden frame.

Go to http://www.mpix.com or a similar online photo lab and check it out. I did that for my husband a couple of years ago, and he has the print hanging in his cube at work.

The only thing I think in looking at your layout is that it might not work for a wrap – there’s not enough margin around the edges. But you could use it for what Mpix calls a “standout” – a print on photo paper attached to a box frame. Still cool.


Lindsay Satchell June 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Wow, that was fun to do! I have PSE but don’t really know how to do much with it. But this was super easy and I learned a few things. Thanks for sharing this fun tutorial!


Deceptively Educational June 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm

What a great idea! This is way cooler than the typical “picture in a frame for your office” gift I’ve done far too many times (it’s a wonder my husband has any room on his desk to work). I’d love to make one of these and print it on canvas to hang on the wall. I don’t have PSE, but remember having used BeFunky.com to cartoonize some images for free awhile back. (Perhaps I can do that again.) Thanks for sharing!!


www.StarHughes.com June 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Great idea!!! I’m sure my dad would love this!
Star Hughes Living


Curly Birds June 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm

This is really cool – and a great tutorial. I need to improve my photoshop skills.


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