Quick and easy edge effects

Need some way to make your images stand out? Try this:
  1. Add a new layer to your image by clicking the New Layer button in the Layers palette.
    To avoid making any permanent change to your image (primarily so you can change your mind about the border later), work on a new layer.

  2. Select a border area around the image. Choose Select => All and then choose Select => Modify => Border. Enter a value twice the width that you want for your edge effect.

  3. Fill the selection with black, gray, or white.
    • Black: Makes your image look brighter and more saturated.
    • Gray: Minimizes any perceived color shift.
    • White: Mutes the image somewhat but allows it to stand on its own.

    Alternatively, use any color from the image (or its inverse).

  4. Apply filters to the layer. Open the Filter Gallery and apply one or more filters to the border to create an interesting edge effect. Remember, too, that you can convert this layer to a Smart Object before applying filters so that you can later change your settings.

Filtering a border area creates interesting edge effects for your images.

Not that this counts as an additional tip in this tutorial, but remember that you can open this image, open another image of the same size, and drag the frame layer from the Layers palette of the first image to the window of the second image to duplicate it. Reusable frames.

Professional-looking Contact Sheets

You can use this trick to produce a more traditional-looking contact sheet with a black background and white type:

  1. Set up Contact Sheet II. Choose File => Automate => Contact Sheet II to open the dialog box. Select your source folder, make decisions on page size and layout, pick a font for the filenames, and so on.

  2. Clear the Flatten All Layers check box. Before running Contact Sheet II, make sure you clear this check box to ensure that your contact sheet retains its layers.

  3. Generate the contact sheets. Select your page size, source folder, and other setting. Click OK.

  4. Fill the Background layer with black. In the Layers palette, select the layer named Background, press D to set your foreground color to black, and then press Option+Delete/Alt+ Backspace to fill the layer with black.

  5. Change the type to white. In the Layers palette, Ctrl+click each of the type layers to select them all, click the Link Layers button at the bottom of the Layers palette, and then Shift+click the color swatch in the Character palette to open the Color Picker. Set the color to white (or bright yellow or whatever color suits your fancy) and then click OK. You can now flatten the image (if desired).


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