One of the creative ways you can use an image is to create a custom brush shape in just a few simple steps. This allows you to “paint” or add that shape to any of your post-processing.
For example, I created my own brush preset which acts like a stamp so I could easily add these cranes (shown below) to any image and at whatever size I want.
Here is how created these brushes:
- I select an image that I think will make a good black and white silhouette.
- I open the image in Photoshop and select Image > Adjustments > Threshold. This renders the image completely black and white, kind of like a stamper. You should have a black silhouette with a white background. The white background is important to create the necessary cut-out look.
- Use the slider to adjust the silhouette to make it look the way you want it to look.
- Once the silhouette is adjusted, make sure that your image is no larger than 2500 pixels on the longest side. To do this, go to Image > Image Size. Make adjustments to the image size, if necessary and then close the Image Size box.
- Select Edit > Define Brush Preset. In the dialogue box, type in a name for your brush present and then click OK.
Your new brush is located in the brush tools.
You can change the color and size in the same way you can change the other brushes in Photoshop. For my final image above, I chose to create two brush presets so that I could place each bird onto the background separately.
Original image of colorful sky before adding my new brush preset
So… the next time you take a dull photo, try to see if you can use it to create a custom brush shape.