Blending Black and White Photos

Hi! Carolyn Amson here to show you one of my current favourite techniques. That is how to blend black and white photos into white paper so they appear to be imprinted on the paper with the paper texture showing through. Here is a layout that I created today, where I used the technique on the background photo with the tree.


Here is a closeup of the tree. There is no extraction, just simple blending that takes minutes.


1. Firstly select your photo and place it on your favourite white textured background. (I used one by Karla Dudley from her Dad’s Day Paper Pack).  Photos with one colour backgrounds work best as you only need to get rid of one colour. I selected this photo of my daughter with our dog at the beach. You can see the sky is a brilliant blue.


2. The first step is to increase the contrast of the photo. I usually do this by selecting Image/Adjustments/Brightness Contrast. I then usually duplicate the photo and hide the bottom layer. (This is only done in case I ever want to start back at the original photo. I also always link duplicates so that I can use other techniques on another layer.) Next go to Image/Adjustments/Black and White. This is the fun part!

This following screen shows the default settings.


3. Now we get to play with coloured filters to make the background turn white. The sky here was blue so I pushed the cyan setting to the right which turned the sky white. I did not use blue as this also turned the water in the distance white. I then pulled the yellow back a little so as not to lose texture on my daughter and dog.

This may sound complicated but is easy. You just play with the settings until you get a black and white photo that looks OK.

Here are my final settings:


The paper line is still visible. Don’t worry. We now use blending.

4. The next step is to blend the black and white photo into the background. I usually blend linear burn at 90-100% but in this case it worked better with Darker Colour at 100%. Just experiment to see what works best for your photo.  The paper line should now disappear or nearly does. If you can still see part of the line, then I just use a watercolour brush to erase the edges as you can see in the following image.


5. The last thing I usually need to do is increase the brightness of the image as it often darkens when using the colour filters to turn the photo into black/white. So here it is, a coloured image printed as black/white onto white textured paper.


Now you just need to add elements for a striking page.

And yes, I do use this technique all the time 🙂

Here are some of my pages:















This is such an easy technique! Please link me up to any pages you create.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. And to my friends in the States. Happy 4th July!



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