Adding a border in Photoshop

by | Royal Photographic Society, Tutorials

There are occasions where you don’t want to add a mount to an image but still give the illusion of one being there. This can be done in Photoshop by extending the size of the canvas to create and border and then adding a keyline to distinguish the two.

Open the image you want to work with and make a duplicate layer.

Using the menu – Layer – Duplicate Layer OR use the shortcuts – Ctrl J / Cmd J

Next you need to increase the size of the canvas:

Image – Canvas Size and in the dialogue box TICK the relative box, this will ensure that there is an even increase all around the image. Select your choice of measurement, I use inches. At the top you will notice that the current size of the image is 16 x 12, as you dial in the amount you want to increase the canvas to you should see these numbers change too giving you total control over the end size. To fit a 20 x 16 backing board, I have dialed in 4 inches on the width and 4 inches on the height. Select the background colour. For this image I have used black so as not to detract from the background of the existing image. When using this method for a qualification panel use the same colour throughout as this will add cohesion to the panel, it will also make the eye focus on the main image rather than a myriad of colours confusing the eye.

If you look over to the layers palette, you’ll notice Layer 1 now has a transparent border around the main image

To add a keyline, remain on Layer 1 and using the menu:

Edit – Stroke

In the dialogue box enter the size you want the keyline stroke to be and choose a colour. I usually stick to white or black depending on what colour my border is.

As the background and the new canvas border are both the same colour I could have picked one a colour from within the image using the colour picker but decided that white is crisper.

A simple, effective and cheaper alternative to buying mounts to present your images.


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