Photoshop: Painting A Sunset for Facebook

I was recently asked to create the banner for the largest Photoshop and Lightroom group on Facebook. Quite an honour.

I wanted to do something special and came up with a dozen clever ideas, some of which will form their own mini-projects in the future, but in the end I went for simplicity.

The members of this Facebook group (in excess of 210,000 and climbing daily) come from all nations, and joined for a wide range of reasons.┬áSome want to share their work. Some seek praise. Some want help or advice. Others want to critique (or be critiqued), and still others are simply seeking inspiration. Some are professional photographers. Some just bought their first camera. It’s quite the mix of skill levels, styles, nationalities and cultures.

Searching for a theme

With such diversity, creating something that appeals to all could be a challenge. So I went back to basics and looked for common ground. Regardless of background, styles, or skill levels, the one thing we have in common is the love of editing photos.

Whether they use Lightroom, or Photoshop, or both, everyone in the group in one way or another paints with pixels. So, I reasoned, what could be more representative of the group than an image showing exactly that?

This image was shot from the deck of the Chi-Cheemaun ferry on the way from Tobermory, Ontario to Manitoulin Island last year. That was a road trip worthy of many blog posts. My wife and I returned with some amazing memories… but that’s another dozen stories.

The hand holding the graphic pen is my own, photographed with my iPhone while sitting here at my desk. I placed it into the image as a separate layer and masked out the tablet and other parts that I didn’t need.

I used the pen tool to draw a vector mask around the sunset image, which reveals the white background layer I added below it. This now looks like a blank canvas being filled as I digitally paint in the sunset.

It’s a simple but powerful concept that, I feel, resonates with everyone. I’m happy, and so is the owner of the group. Win!Painting A Sunset in Photoshop