• After adding and positioning the AREA text, reselect the Horizontal Type tool in the Tools panel so you’re ready to add the 271 type layer.
• After adding the text, you may have to scale it down to fit your cropped image.
If so, Ctrl-click/Command-click to select both the AREA and 271 type layers in the Layers panel. With the Move tool selected, a transform box appears around all the text. (If you are using Arial Black Regular, make the text smaller by holding the Shift key as you drag from a corner anchor point of the transform box toward the center of the text.)
A selection is made of the sky and a layer mask is added to hide the text over the sky. Then a Drop Shadow layer style is added to the text. After setting options for the drop shadow, click OK to close the Layer Style dialog. A Color Fill layer is added, and its layer mask is adjusted in the Properties panel. To open the Properties panel, click its icon in the inner panel bar or choose Window > Properties. The next steps teach a useful technique for filling text with a photograph. The AREA type layer is used as a clipping mask that makes the razorwire photograph visible only inside the letters of the word AREA. The File > Save command is applied again at the end of this section. This updates the edited TIFF composite displayed in Lightroom. Students should leave this image open in Photoshop for the next section of the exercise.
Adding a vector graphic In this section, students practice adding a graphic on a Shape layer. This kind of graphic is vector based, so it has smooth edges and can be resized without degrading its quality. Photoshop comes with lots of custom shapes to choose from, including the radioactive warning shape used in this exercise. Students select the Custom Shape tool from a flyout menu of shape tools in the Tools panel. Then they choose a custom shape and other options in the options bar. Be sure they follow the instruction to set the first menu on the left side of the options bar to the Shape option. That will cause Photoshop to create a separate, editable Shape layer automatically when they drag in the image to create the shape. Students then fine-tune the shape, using the Move tool to position it in the design, adding a blend mode to the Shape layer, applying the Free Transform command to resize the shape, and copying the Drop Shadow layer style from the AREA type layer to the Shape layer. Next, students make a selection and add a Color Fill layer by clicking the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choosing Solid Color, and choosing black in the Color Picker that opens.