Simple Drop Shadow Frame

 Creating a frame for your photographs is a great way to add a professional touch to your images.  They are easy to create, and with the help of Photoshop actions, they are easily repeatable. 

Here’s how I created mine:

1    First, I added two thin borders to the image, one black and one white to make the image stand out from the background.  To create this edge, go to “Image” and select “Canvas Size.”  Select “Relative,” set the “Canvas Extension Color” to white and input the amount of pixels you want the border to be.  Note that the size you input is the total expansion.  I chose 5 pixels which places 2.5 pixels on each side.  Repeat this step for the black border. 

2    To add the white background, create a new layer and move it under the image layer (If the image is on the background layer, you’ll need to create a copy of the background layer and then delete the original background layer).  Again, go to “Image” and select “Canvas Size.”  Select “Relative” and input the amount of pixels you want to add to the background (I chose 100 pixels). 

3    Use the paint bucket tool to fill the new layer with white. 

4    To add the drop shadow, right click on the image layer and select “Blending Options.” 

5    Select “Drop Shadow” and change the settings to suit your tastes. 


Once you’ve created a frame you like, record it as an action so you can use it to batch process your images. 

If you want to add text to your frame, you will need to create multiple actions because the action will place text in the exact same spot no matter how wide or tall the image is. 

My solution was to create an action outlined above to make the basic frame and then I created a separate action for each image orientation that I use (horizontal, vertical, square, etc.) that takes the full size JPEG image, resizes and sharpens it, runs the frame action, adds the text and flattens the image.  

Give it a try; I think you’ll like the results. 

simple framing tutorial

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simple framing tutorial

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simple framing tutorial

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simple framing tutorial

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simple framing tutorial

simple framing tutorial



The full Monty:   Purchase Abobe Photoshop CS4

Too expensive for you?   Purchase Adobe Photoshop Elements

Discuss this article in The Magic in Pixels Disney Photography Forum.  


Ed. note: Michael Summers is a frequent contributor to The Magic in Pixels Disney Photography Forum .

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