Photoshop Framing Made Easy

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Adding a matted “frame” to your on-line photographs creates a touch of professionalism and showcases your work in a way that draws the viewer’s attention. It’s a very quick and simple process to add a frame in Photoshop.

For the purposes of this demonstration, I’ll use a photo that I took in Scottsdale, Arizona, late last year:

First, open the photograph that you’re going to frame in Photoshop (version CS3 is used for this demonstration, but the same steps apply to any version of Photoshop, and similarly in many other photo editing programs). Go to the “Image” menu and choose “Canvas Size”.

The canvas size of my photo is 16.2 inches by 10.8 inches. I wish to create a beveled effect to the matting (which will be applied in the second step), so I need to add alternating canvas layers to achieve this. I begin by adding a very thin outline to the photo. To do this, I change the canvas size very slightly on the width and height. In this case, I made it 16.3 by 10.9, and used the background color “gray”.

Next I want a wider, white background to create the “matting”. I change the canvas size again, this time making it 16.8 by 11.4 (adding a half-inch “matting”, though more would be good too). I choose the background color “white”. The frame now looks like this:

I add another gray-edged “bevel”:

And finally, I make a thick black border to represent the “frame”. In this case I added two full inches to the height and width.

Here is the final picture:

You can play around with different widths and colors of the “bevel”, “matting”, and “frame” to achieve the look you want. Soon you will find yourself adding this effect to all of your pictures! You’ll probably want to save an “unframed” version, though, in case you want to print out the picture some day and put it in an actual, real frame.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Show us your examples of framing! Contribute to the BMP Flickr Group, or add a link in the comments. Have fun!

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  • barrynash