These layout suggestion and layout re-do's were done as a part of Course 1, Lesson 8A, on Visual Weight. I invite you to be brave and participate by senidng me a layout. It is how I learned to grow in skills, with others giving me suggestions.
1. contrast - I can read the text fine, so the contrast on the text is good. However, I feel that the photo,although very large, is a little lost. I'll point out some things below, but my suggestion on contrast is to fix the levels. Just hit control L on the photo layer and move the right slider over to where the bump in the graph begins. This will brighten the photo and bring more contrast to it and the papers.
2. size - The photo is large and that is working well! However, the tag and the title are also large and my eye actually goes to them first. Our goal is usually to have the eye go to the photo first. Making the tag and title smaller may help.
3. color - As stated, my eye goes to the tag and the title first. The color of the title is good as it actually leads the eye to the boy's shirt. However, the bright ivory of the tag is only in one place in the layout and it is causing my eye to go straight to the tag first. To fix this, as suggested above, making thet title smaller would lesson the amount of area that the tag color is taking. In addition, adding two more places with that color (rule of thirds) would balance the color out. So, just add two small brads of the same color to the right of the title as if they are holding down parts of the mat. Maybe try a paperclip on the edge of the mat and a brad at the bottom? Use your imagination to find simple ways to make the rule of thirds on that color. Also, the gingham paper is only in one place--see below.
4. shape - not used in this layout.
5. texture - not used in this layout
6. isolation - In the photo, the boy is by himself at the top with the tree stretching upwards...he is actually isolated in the photo itself and this works very well. You could have zoomed in close to him in the tree, but leaving him in just one corner is good photography. See the isolation of ivory color mentioned above that is not working for you though.
7. value - not used in this layout
8. balance - Everything is balanced. However, you have the blue in two places, the title and the shirt. The rule of thirds would come into play if you added the blue in one more place. Just changing the color of the gingham paper so that it matches the other blues would add it in a third place.
I hope this helps you and do look forward to seeing your re-do!
Which slider did you use in the levels? There is a top and a bottom set. If you use the bottom set, it will make it looked washed out.
If you used the top set of sliders, then there are other things you can do for your photo.
Try duplicating it, applying the multipy blending mode, then duplicating it and applying the screen blending mode....do this in any number of combinations until the photo doesn't look washed out. Sometimes I have many layers and just play with the blending modes until it looks right.
Try adding an adjustment layer for saturation. Watch the two videos on making a photo pop in the fixing photos area of the subscriber area.
Otherwise, all of the other problems are gone that you had before and I think you are on the right track! You could add a low opacity solid color mat under the title to set it off. Just make a square and fill it in with white and lower the opacity.
If you cannot fix your photo, you could always e-mail it to me and let me play with it and then I'll share with you what I did to fix it.