Quick Photoshop Tutorial – 52 Week Project: Week 37

I wanted to incorporate typography into the 52 week project, so it was ideal when thinking of an idea for week 37. The word of the week was fears so I decided to google my own fears and see which words would come up and trigger my inspiration. I discovered the word Kakorrhaphiophobia. Apparently by definition it means ‘an abnormal fear of failure and/or loosing’. My mac isn’t recognising it at the minute as I write this blog post out, so I’m not to sure if it is a real word. However I rolled with it and of course I still can’t pronounce it.

I wanted to incorporate my hair into it somehow, this was because a couple of years ago I did a project on insecurities which I will be writing up in a blog post soon. The project was called ‘insecure’ and it consisted of letters made out of hair. As a teenager I had a deep insecurity of my hair colour and the way I wanted my hair. I died it bleach blonde through school which was a naive thing to do. How I see it now after years of experience, was because I wanted to be blonde to attract people. My hair ended up falling out eventually, but I will explain more in the blog post soon. Almost 10 years on since I started dying my hair, my fears of the way my hair looks now has changed and gone full circle. I’m completely grateful for the hair on my head and I rarely touch it now because it’s super long and thick and I wouldn’t want to damage it like I did.

Anyway, the reason for me explaining all that is because I thought by incorporating the fear of hair, it may help me transition through the fear of failure. Yes, I fear to fail. It’s horrendous. I’m sure someone reading this fears failure too, because as the nature of human beings, we want to succeed. We want to be the best, we feel insignificant if we are inferior. I will openly admit that it gets me down every. single. day.

So, lets swiftly move on to the shooting and editing of this image!



I photographed this image on my living room wall (my all time favourite go to wall, everywhere I have lived I make sure I have a plane wall that has natural light next to it, and I love it!) – The light is coming from the left hand side as you can probably tell from the images. I also accidentally shot on the cloudy white balance setting (on D750) which ultimately warms the image up considerably. Looking back I probably should have changed this setting but its nothing that camera raw cannot fix!

I labeled the images that I liked and thought worked with a 5 star. I then label the images with yellow and green labels so that I can choose and narrow them down. As you can see from the image below, I have chosen the bottom right image to use as the base image.

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Once I had a base image I then photographed the hair. I was going to use some old extensions that I had years ago but for some reason I couldn’t find them. It probably would have been easier to use the external hair but as I couldn’t find it anywhere in my house, I decided to photograph my own hair. I used this little guide to make sure I photographed each letter in full. So for example for the ‘K’ I needed one long straight bit and two bits which were more of an angle, and so on for the rest of the letters. Once I had photographed each piece for the letters I moved onto editing!

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

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I started by using the existing image and expanding the frame. I did this by changing the canvas size. Canvas size can be found in the ‘Image’ tab on the menu bar in Photoshop.

Once I had changed the canvas size to a size which I thought appropriate for the image, I then picked up the background colour with the brush tool and painted it onto the background.

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To create the letters I used the images of the hair and merged them together by slowly erasing the background using layer masking.

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I accidentally spelt it wrong and just as I was about to post it to the world I realised. It was very easy to swap the ‘O’ and the ‘I’ around and took me around 2 minutes in photoshop using the lasso tool.

I then edited it using VSCO presets in Lightroom!


If you enjoyed reading this short photoshop tutorial, take a look at my others! 

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