Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

June 30, 2009

Tuesday Tutorials : Katie Pertiet : Adding Emphasis With A Photo Mask

This week Tuesday Tutorials welcomes Katie Pertiet
. Katie's digital tutorial walks you through the steps in Photoshop to add emphasis to a layout using a "photo mask."

New to digital scrapbooking? Check out these links to get started.


Adding Emphasis with a Photo Mask

1. Begin with a blank 12 inch x 12 inch, 300dpi canvas in Photoshop.

2. Add a light green background paper (Katie used Going Away Solids).

3. Open a photo and drag your photo onto the new document (Photoshop will create a new layer).

4. With the move tool selected, "show transform controls" checked, and the shift key held down, scale your photo to fill the entire page.

5. To achieve the blended affect simply change the blend mode to "Soft Light" in the layer palette and adjust the opacity until you like the way it looks (no right or wrong).

6. Since this page is for an album about Jack, the youngest in the picture, I wanted to draw more attention to him. I chose a filmstrip photo mask and positioned it over Jack in the photo:

7. Turn off the visibility of the mask layer by clicking on the "eye" icon.

8. Click on your photo layer so that is your active layer.

9. Move your mouse over the mask layer in the layer palette and hold down the apple key on a mac [ctrl on a pc] and you'll see the cursor change. Click on the mask layer while holding that key down and you'll see 'marching ants' in the shape of the mask.

10. Making sure you're still on the photo layer, Edit > Copy

11. Create a new layer, Edit > Paste Into. It pastes the photo right in position:


12. Adjust the opacity to the strength you're happy with.

13. Add elements to round out your page and call it done. Simple as that!

Try adapting this technique with other ideas, like pasting inside a letter or other shape!

Complete layout details available here.

Apr09-1 Katie Pertiet is the owner and founder of She received her degree in graphic design nearly 25 years ago and has worked professionally as a graphic designer and art director before starting her own design firm in 1993. Her layouts have been published in Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Memory Makers, Legacy, and BHG Scrapbooks Etc. Katie has also designed products for Autumn Leaves as well as licensing her designs for stationary, fabric, wall paper, prints and home decor. You can find her digital scrapbook products at and her prints at For more inspiration check out her layout gallery.


  • 1.
    Heather said…

    I see Katie’s stuff in CK all the time and have really enjoyed her work. Thanks for putting a face to the name and sharing her with us.

  • 2.
    Rachel E said…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…I have struggled a bit with masks! So helpful!

  • 3.

    Great tutorial…….I love it!! Thanks you!
    Jessica Woodford

  • 4.
    Beth Holmes said…

    Will this work in Photoshop Elements as well?

  • 5.
    Amy Zarrella said…

    great technique!!!!Thank you Katie!

  • 6.
    katie said…

    Thanks–glad you like it & yes, works in elements too! Edit > Paste Into Selection! :)

  • 7.
    Mary Rogers said…

    fabulous tutorial katie! I learn something new everyday : )

  • 8.
    Linda said…


  • 9.
    Suzzi said…

    Love this tutorial. I so look forward to Tuesdays. Thanks for rotating between techniques.
    Can’t wait to try.

  • 10.
    Tracy (aka jazzmatazz) said…

    Wonderful effect, Katie! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  • 11.
    Maureen said…

    That is sooo good Katie. I finally Get It! two techniques in one tutorial.

  • 12.
    Elizabeth said…

    Is this done in photoshop Elements, or the full fledged photoshop? (I can’t afford the one that costs $500+)

  • 13.
    Ali Edwards said…

    You can do this in Elements too! Use Edit > Paste Into Selection.

  • 14.
    Sarah Martina said…

    Wow Katie is so accomplished! What a great treat to see one of her tutorials! :-) TFS!

  • 15.
    Michelle said…

    Fantastic Katie! I use photo masks a lot but not in this way. I love your simple tutorials and would really enjoy more digi stuff in these tutorials—it’s great!!

  • 16.

    Awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  • 17.
    Chris Chapman said…

    Love this tutorial. Makes me realize I’ve gotta get back to my digital scrapping. Paper’s been taking up way toooo much of my time lately!

  • 18.
    Sarah George said…

    Yeah…I can’t believe I did it the first try!
    Thanks for the tutorial Ali and Katie.

  • 19.
    nic said…

    awesome tutorial – thanks!

  • 20.
    Rani said…

    thanks for this great easy tutorial!!!!

  • 21.

    Hi there. I have given you an award on my blog if you’d like to come check it out! :) P.S. You share some of the coolest stuff on your blog! Thank you for that. Corinna

  • 22.
    Melanie said…

    Did you see the two peas warehouse walk video on youtube? I saw the Starwars stuff and immediately thought of Simon! My little guy isn’t quite old enough yet, but some day… ;)

  • 23.
    Marty said…

    Ali — I wish to thank you for your latest great gift to your blog readers – tuesday tutorials. I have loved ALL of them so far. It is wonderful learning new techniques or a twist on a technique that I hadn’t thought of yet. In addition, I love being introduced to new creative people for additional inspiration. What a great idea. THANKS. Tuesday Tutorials is much better than

  • 24.
    tracy said…

    Ok, this is totally awesome. Inspired me to make a page:
    And I am with you, the desire is there to scrap but the pages are just not being completed. Totally caught up in enjoying my girls + summer.

  • 25.

    Wow, love this and of course Designer Digitials is a fav place on the net. So many options in this one lesson :)

  • 26.
    Kathleen D said…

    Designer Digitals rocks! Thanks Katie for another awesome tutorial and thanks Ali for hosting it.

  • 27.
    h seever said…

    hey ali, you may not be “producing as many layouts and projects” right now, but you are producing LIFE for you and your family. as fun and meaningful as the projects are, this is the most important thing to do. good job! keep making that minute by minute choice to nurture the present moment. thanks for inspiring the rest of us to do the same. =)

  • 28.
    Kathleen said…

    Oh, that is just SO. COOL.
    Thanks Ali, for putting this on your blog. And Katie… you TOTALLY ROCK!!

  • 29.
    Nicky Hurt said…

    That’s very neat! It’s interesting to know a little more about Katie, too. I have been admiring her digital work for a while now.

  • 30.
    anna said…

    katie is soooo talented! thanks for sharing with us!!!

  • 31.
    Jill Sprott said…

    Thanks! This is great.

  • 32.

    Blogs are so interactive where we get lots of informative on any topics nice job keep it up !!

  • 33.
    image masking said…

    This is absolutely great!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • 34.
    Sherry Amorocho said…

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I wanted to learn more about using masks & this is easy to follow.

  • 35.

    Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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