Exploring Clipping Masks in Photoshop


My previous knowledge and approach surrounding  the development of my Photoshop designs were mostly comprised of following an entire tutorial online of how to create a certain style/design. Additionally, I would normally only use images from the internet to create my concepts as they were easier to access and would require less time than taking my own photographs. However, this task of creating and developing my Podcast design, encouraged me to have a more open and less restrictive way of thinking, when it comes to designing. The outcome of my design helped me to discover that I could effectively create a design of a good standard that included my own images and a mix of skills.

Design Ideas and Design Process

  • I started my design process by taking a picture of myself to edit in Photoshop.
  • Using the selection tool, I selected everything apart from the background, to then make the background a solid colour of light blue.
  • Using an image that I obtained from the website Pexels (https://www.pexels.com/photo/aerial-photography-of-pine-trees-on-the-mountain-9754/) I pasted the image in front of my photograph and created the clipping mask.
  • At this stage I decided to include a duplicate of the image from Pexels as it did not fit the entirety of my photograph, thus adding it to the bottom of my design.
  • Using the brush tool and adding a new mask, I reduced the flow to 50% to then gradually erased the image away from my photograph to show my face to specify that the clipping mask is of a person.
  • Using another mask layer added onto my photograph, I changed the tone of the original photograph to black and white for a more dynamic/rustic effect that would blend well with my selected image.
  • For the inclusion of my text, I decided to display the main topic of “Typography” at the top of my podcast cover, but I wanted to display “and Graphic Communication” in another method/format. Thus, I created a speech bubble using the shape tools to emphasise the word “communication” and had the bubble reside next to the mouth in the photograph to further connotate communication. After, creating my podcast cover I decided to make alternative designs to show different perspectives of my design as a whole, for example I did this by removing text and changing the colour of the background to show the outlines of my photograph.
    For this example I included a speech bubble to illustrate the “communication” in Graphic Communication.
    Here, I decided to shift the bottom image upward and centre my photograph, as well as add a different font for my text (Bauhaus 93).

    For this design, I decided to reveal the face of the photograph to further emphasise the reality of the shape that is being presented.

Software Tutorials

To make my design I used Youtube to find a tutorial that would help me decide on what style of design I could produce. Through research I found a tutorial that would develop a certain style that I liked and decided to base my podcast design off of it. The video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehup4zAFuYM) helped me to understand how to create my design, as well as refresh my memory on the tools that can be used while in Adobe Photoshop. I believed following this tutorial helped me as it encouraged me to use more advanced techniques in the software and produce a more detailed design. I followed this tutorial to prove that I could properly and confidently work with the software and develop a design for the podcast that was unique to the type of style I had chosen. I would like to improve my skills related to photo editing, as the possibilities in Photoshop are endless, constantly acquiring new knowledge about the system software will help me to build my confidence in this area.

Design Resources and Articles

One additional source that I used to develop my design ideas for my podcast idea for my project was from the official Adobe website, that helped to remind me of some general skills that I could apply to my designs (https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/how-to/edit-multiple-photos.html). Skills such as using the adjustment panel to change my original photograph to black and white for a more dynamic effect helped me to move on with my design processes. Furthermore, the addition of being able to edit photo’s brightness and colour contrast aided me to change how my alternative designs appeared and allowed me to develop my ideas further using these basic Photoshop techniques.


To conclude, I believe my final designs, as well as my design process helped me to further understand the intricacies of photoshop to help me develop my knowledge for future projects. Upon reflection, I would go back and research more tutorials and sources that would help me enhance my design ideas further to potentially improve my final design proposals.