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Epson Computer Tip – Erase, Erase
(Using the Gradient Tool for Fading Effects)
By Barbara Kotsos

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Your journaling is the heart of your scrapbook pages. Recording who, what, when, where and why keeps the memory behind the photo from fading away. With a graphics editing program such as Photoshop Elements, your journaling can be recorded directly on top of your special photo, keeping the viewer's attention focused on what's important. To make the text more readable on a busy background, try gradually fading the edge of your photo to create a blank space for the wording.
1. Open PSE 5.0, click on Edit & Enhance Photos. Select a photo that has plenty of background surrounding your subject.
2. Set the Foreground color to white.

a. The small paint chips at the bottom of the toolbar set the foreground and background colors. The top color (left) is the foreground. The bottom (right) chip is the background color. Double click on the top color. (Here it is set to black.) This causes the Color Picker box to pop up. Select white by dragging the slider to the top and clicking on a white area in the rainbow section. The foreground chip should change to white.


Select the Gradient Tool from the toolbar (shortcut: hit the letter G.)
The Gradient Tool is found right below the Paint Bucket tool.


Locate the Options Bar situated across the top of the editing window. Click on the gradient box to bring up the Gradient Editor window.

a. In the Gradient Editor, select Foreground to Transparent. It is the second gradient from the top left. Then make the selection by clicking OK.


Create a new layer by clicking on the "post-it" note icon in the Layers Palette on the bottom right side of the screen.

6. Make sure that your Gradient Tool is still selected (shortcut: G) Click and drag a straight line from the outside of your image toward the center of the photo. As you release, you will notice that your photo fades to white. This white area is the perfect spot to place your journaling.
7. To add journaling, change the foreground color to select a text color. Select the Text Tool (shortcut: T) and begin typing. You can see that by fading a portion of the photo, your journaling "pops" allowing the story to blend into the scheme of the layout.

Barbara Kotsos

Sponsor: Epson America, Inc.

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