Sometimes no border or a simple stroked border falls short of enhancing photographs. In this situation, consider adding organic edges to give extra dimension and more effectively present your subject. Adobe Photoshop offers some great tools for altering your frames through its masking and filter options. With just a few steps, you can change and manipulate the borders of your photographs with ease–all without changing your original image. If you’re comfortable with Photoshop actions, consider recording your steps to preserve your framing techniques for the future.
How-to Make Creative Borders Instructions:
- Open your image
- Duplicate the background layer: Ctrl+J (Win)/Command+J (Mac)
- Add a little extra space around the image by increasing the canvas size: Image > Canvas size. You will need to play with the numbers a bit to come up with the amount of extra you want.
- Add a new blank layer between the two layers. Fill this new layer with white: Make sure the foreground and background are set to the default by pressing D. Then Ctrl+Backspace (Win)/Command+Delete (Mac) to fill with background color, which is white.
- Go to the duplicate background layer. Hold the Command (Mac) or Control (Win) key and click on the layer to select just the image. Then choose Select > Modify > Contract. You want an area that’s inside the image a bit; this will define the mask you will create. Add a layer mask. Notice that the mask has a black edge on it.
- You will now create some effects that will be applied to the mask, not the actual image. Select the layer mask. Then go to the menu bar and choose Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter. You will then see a preview on the left of how the mask will look. Click OK to apply the effect.
- Try adding some additional brush strokes to make more texture.
Click on the mask. Filter > Brush Strokes > Cross Hatch.
- Get even crazier and apply a texture (you will need to have some pre-made textures).
Filter > Distort > Displace. Go to the Adobe Photoshop folder (Presets > Textures) and select a preset/texture to apply to the mask.
Play with the opacity: Edit > Fade Displace.
Play with the blending mode (at the bottom of the menu)
- Additional options:
–Change the color of the outside border area by clicking on the white fill layer and selecting a different color from the color chooser.
–Play with the blending mode of the solid color layer for interesting effects.
–Trim excess outside space around the photo: Image > Trim > Select: Top Left Pixel Color and all four options at the bottom. Click OK.