The Lensa Theme, Simple Layer Overlay in Photoshop
A few months ago, we released a free WordPress theme, Lensa, that we especially tailored for hardcore photographers. Lensa is quite a popular theme as it has been downloaded nearly 5,000 times when this blog post is written. A image layering trick that we implemented on Lensa was meant to add a dramatic feel on the photographs being showcased. That overlaying process is done automatically by the theme using a simple CSS technique, which won’t be covered in this post. This post, however, explains how the whole process can be simply done in a Photoshop environment. Hopefully you’re able to pull off this simple trick by the end of the tutorial. The one tool that you need is Adobe Photoshop, any version, preferably CS4.
This is a screen capture of the theme with 2x zoom. If you look closely, there are many dots overlaid on the picture in the background.
This dotted pattern, besides its function to add a dramatic feel, also manages to make lower quality photographs look sharper. To create such a pattern, start up your Adobe Photoshop and click File > New. Define the size, 2px in width and 2px in height, and set a transparent background.
Zoom it using Zoom Tool to the maximum limit, so the canvas will look like this.
The next step is creating a pattern from this black rectangle. On the main navigation, click Edit > Define Pattern then give a name to your pattern and click OK.
After creating a pattern, you will need to add it onto a photograph. On the Photoshop main menu, click File > Open As Smart Object then choose one image file that will be overlaid by the pattern you’ve created.
The new smart object has been created. On the right navigation, click Layers. There is only one layer and right click on it. Choose Blending Option, tick the Pattern Overlay, then choose the pattern you have made before. Set the opacity to 30%. Click OK.
That’s it! Using this basic technique, you should be able to start creating another kind of pattern for your images in an Adobe Photoshop environment.