Getting Creative with Digital Scrapbooking

October 6th, 2014

Aloha! Natacha here, just hanging out and surfing around the Internet. Today, I would like to share with you a new way to compose or design your page using a lens flare filter.  No, we’re not going to use it as an overlay on a photo, the way filters such as this are typically used. Instead, we’re going to use the filter as the base for designing our own page template. Unusual, right?  I really love the light effects from lens filters, and I find them very inspiring, which led me to try to create a page with circles, repeating those original positions.  This is digital folks – have fun with it!

Here’s a page I created using the lens filter as the base for my design:

JenAllison CT-Solysombra - solaire

Credits: Vanity Fair Persimmon Collection and Truly-Madly Flourishes — both Jen Allyson Digital Designs (with a touch of blue elements since I made this page for a color challenge)

Let me show you, in just a few easy steps, how I made this page.


Jen CT - Solysombra -tuto2b

Step 1: Create your template

  • Start with a colored layer, not white or transparent. You’ll need the color in order to see the filter results. The Paint Bucket tool is a great way to color your layer with one quick click of your mouse.
  • Select Filter > Render > Lens Flare
  • Using the default lens (50-300mm Zoom), click inside the preview area to determine the main focus of your lens effect. You can move this where you want the focus to be – just follow the little black “X” around the screen. As you move your mouse around on the preview box, you’ll see the angles and size of the circles in your result change. If you’re having trouble seeing the results, try using a darker color for your layer base to add more contrast – a black or dark blue work really well.
  • Click okay. Now you have the basic design and a template on which to build your page.


Jen CT - Solysombra-tuto2a


Step 2: Use your template to create base shapes

  • Using the Shape Tool, create circle layers that mimic the lens flare design. There are many circles here, so pick and choose which ones you’d like to keep, and which ones to discard.  I started with the larger circle towards the bottom of the flare.
  • Add a photo directly above your circle layer.
  • Click on “Ctrl+ G” to associate the two layers – your photo will now take on the circular shape immediately below it.

For added interest, I chose to cut away a piece of the photo to add some patterned paper. There are a few ways to do this, but here’s how I did it: Using my Marquee Tool and the square shape, I selected the part of the circle layer (not the photo) where I wanted the paper to be. Once I have that section identified, it’s Ctrl-C (copy) and Ctrl-V (paste). Alternatively, you can use Ctrl-J to duplicate that portion of the layer. Move the new piece above your photo layer and associate a piece of patterned paper. Could I have just added the paper to the photo layer and nudged it in place? Yes – but I wanted the flexibility to move or re-arrange things, and having items on their own layers gives me that option.

  • Repeat to add circles to the rest of your page. For the largest circle in my design (the pale green), I set the circle layer opacity to 25%, giving it a more see-through or vellum look.


Once your base is done, it’s just a matter of adding embellishments. As a fan of the clean and simple style, I tend to add very few elements, but feel free to create clusters based on the other circles. When you’re finished, hide or delete the lens flare layer.

Well, that’s all folks! Will you give it a try? I’d love for you to link me up with your interpretation of using lens flares as the basis for your layout design.

Happy scrapping! Joy and light be with you…


One response to “Getting Creative with Digital Scrapbooking”

  1. Kat says:

    Awesome tutorial – and so easy to do! I used your method to create my Round #2 layout for the Pixels and Company Cropped competition! 🙂

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