Stamping on Photos
One thing you can do to add dimension or interest to photos is to stamp on them using background stamps. I take digital photos so I can play with the photos using editing software, but stamping on them can add dimensional interest you cannot get with the use of the best software. I do not recommend ever trying this technique on your original photos. You do not want to ruin your originals in this process.
In my winter photos I love to stamp a background image using a clear embossing pad, such as the Perfect Medium pad by Ranger or a Versa Mark pad. After I stamp the clear image I use clear glossy embossing powder to give it a wonderful icy look. This effect can be seen with my Ice Storm photo I am using for this demonstration.
Another great technique is to use a crackle background stamp and a very light antique color dye ink to give the picture an old look. The advantage to doing this with a background stamp instead of photo editing software is again the texture it adds. If used on glossy paper, the inks do not soak into the paper and will tend to give just a hint of dimension. It gives the effect the photo actually has the crackle in it and not just added in. In this sample you will also notice the dimensional effect the ice itself has. I achieved this effect by using Glossy Accents, another great Ranger product.
You can also add a punch of color to the picture with the stamps. In the next example I used a merlot colored ink to help punch up the color of the berries and let it dry. When it was almost dry I covered the entire picture with embossing ink and then coated that completely with clear embossing enamel. As you can see in this photo, the merlot color actually was smeared onto the picture as the embossing ink was added. I loved the look, but if you let the inks dry completely you will not have this. After the enamel is heated you will find that it has a bumpy, textured surface, kind of like an orange peel. I again love this texture for the icy feel it gives the piece. If you want a smoother finish simply repeat the process by adding more embossing ink and powder. The more you add, the thicker and smoother the finished product will become. After about three layers you will also find the finish is brittle, and you can actually bend the piece to add cracks to the piece.
Go ahead and play with your photos. You will find as you turn the tables and use your background stamps as foreground accents it will open up a whole new world for both your photos and your stamps.