Extending a Photo

Okay, it seems I am always apologizing, but…sorry it has been so long (again)!  I wanted to get back and post (like I promised) about how I extended the photo in this LO.

The original photo looked like this:

Great photo (IMHO), but not long enough on the left to fit the template.  So…first thing I had to do was to flip the photo horizontally.  To do this, first you must unlock the layer by double clicking on the layer name and either renaming it, or just hitting OK and it will automatically rename it “layer 0.”  Next, go to Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal.  Your image should now look like this:

Next, I moved the photo to a new 8×8 document and resized it to about 40%.  To do this, I pressed Ctrl T (Cmd T) and typed in 40 in the height and width boxes in the menu bar and pressed enter to commit.

Next, I used the rectangular marquee to select the left side of the photo to duplicate as seen here.

I duplicated the selection by pressing Cmd J (Windows:  Ctrl J).  Next I moved it to the left using the move tool.   Now the left side of my page (zoomed in) looks like this:

Finally, I merged the layers (Mac:  Cmd E or Windows:  Ctrl E).

Now, notice how the grass under the bushes starts, then stops with an abrupt straight line!  That’s not acceptable!  So, here comes the fun part — the clone tool!  The clone tool will copy a section of your photo and place that copy wherever you click.  The clone tool looks like an old fashioned stamp.  Hover over a few tools until you find it.    Here’s how it works:

Option (Alt) click on an area that you would like to clone or copy.  Next, using a large, soft brush (mine was set at a diameter of 70 and a hardness of 0%), click on the areas that you want to fix.  You will notice that the selection area keeps changing.  This is because the selection area moves in relation to where you click. So, if you find that at some point you are placing black areas where you want green, it is time to reselect an area by (Alt) clicking a new selection area.  I continued this process until I thought it looked seamless.

Now, since I needed even more room to the left, I repeated this entire process until I had enough room for the photo to fit the template.

Hope you learned something today.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away!

Be good!


Hi.  Sorry it’s been a few days.  Life can get pretty hectic in the spring with two budding athletes.

Anyway, today I’d like to show you a photo that needed some work.  It was a family photo in which not everybody was looking at the camera.  I know…hard to believe.  Anyway, in this case it was Dad.  Here’s the original:

Since Dad wasn’t looking, but all the kids were, I decided to merge this photo with Dad’s head from this photo:

Here’s what I did:

I opened up the first photo and unlocked the layer by double clicking on its name (“background”).  A pop up opens and in it I typed a new name.  In this case I renamed it 1st photo.  The lock disappears!

Next, I opened up the second photo and zoomed in (Ctrl  and the + symbol repeatedly) to get in real close to my husband’s head.  Then, using the lasso tool with a feather of 20 px and my trusty Wacom pen, I made a very loose selection around my husband’s  head.

Next, using the move tool (the arrow with the cross next to it), I clicked inside the selection and dragged it onto the 1st photo and placed it over my husband’s head.

Now, although I often tease my husband about the size of his rather large noggin, it’s not that big!  It needs to be resized.  So, the next thing I did was to select the move tool and click on his face.  This should highlight the top layer (“layer 1”).  Pressing Ctrl +T (Mac: Cmd +T), we are going to transform the size of his head.  This puts a bounding box around his head.  Clicking on a corner anchor (while holding the shift key to maintain the proportions), I shrank the size of his head.  Using the arrow keys, I then nudged it into place.  However, there was a “halo” around his head and some of his head from the bottom layer was visible:

So, next I selected the eraser tool and using a soft brush (a hardness of around 22%), I erased around the right side of his head.  The left side did not need it.  However, the left side did need the lower photo to be cloned.  The clone tool takes a sample of a photo and copies it over another area of a photo that you want erased.

The clone tool looks like a rubber stamp.  Click on it and adjust its size and hardness by clicking on the brush preset picker in the top option bar.  I changed the size of the brush as needed. First, you Alt + Click (Mac: Opt + Click) on an area that you would like to copy.  In this case, I clicked on the reeds behind us.  Then I clicked on the areas of the photo that needed to disappear like the shadow of his head .  I just played around until I got something that I liked.

As a final touch, I used the blur tool, which looks like a giant rain drop.  In the options bar, I adjusted the strength to 39% and painted over the edge where my husband’s head met the background to remove any harsh edges.  Here’s the final result:

Not perfect, but better than the original shot.

Once you get comfortable, you will never stress over family photos again.  Just take multiple shots and let Photoshop work its magic!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to help you through it.

CT Call Submission

Today I am posting an image that I am submitting for Jessica Sprague’s CT call.  The image is rather large because it was a poster I created for my son when he was the “Star Student” in his kindergarten class.  I need a  URL because the image is too large to upload to that gallery.  Therefore, this will be the first LO I use to share some techniques with you.

Jack's Kindergarten Star Student Poster

Today I will tell you how I did the “Out of Bounds” extraction.  There are many ways to do this, mine is just one way.  If you have another way you’d like to share, please leave me a comment.

First, I opened my picture and moved it to a new document at 300 dpi, with a transparent background.  I always work in 8×8, so that is the default new document that opens for me.  It is irrelevant because you will be cropping your photo in the next step.

Next, select the crop tool and click and drag on your photo to crop your photo to whatever size looks good to you.  Hit enter and your canvas will be resized.

Next, open the frame you will be using.  Mine was from Little Dreamer Designs.  Place it on top of your photo.  (Hint:  if you select the layer in the layers palette that you want to place an item on top of before you drag the new layer over, it will always be placed on top of the highlighted layer!)  You can resize it by pressing Ctrl + T (Mac:  Cmd +T).  A bounding box will come up.  If you hold down shift while clicking and dragging on the corner anchor, it will maintain the image’s proportions.  This is very important!

Size your frame so that your subject is popping out of the frame.  In this case, I placed the frame so that my son’s head and hands are outside the confines of the frame.

Next, I made a copy of the frame layer, Ctrl +J (Mac: Cmd +J), and placed it below the photo layer.  Then I selected a large hard brush and, using the eraser tool, erased most of the large areas outside the frame.  Then I switched to a smaller brush and selected the top frame layer.  I erased the portions of the frame that were covering my son’s head and hand.  Finally, I switched to a small, soft brush and, selecting the photo layer again (and zooming in real close Ctrl [Mac: Cmd] and the + symbol) cleaned up the background of the photo that were still outside the frame around my son’s head and hands.

It’s somewhat tedious, but the results are so much fun!

Drop me a line if you have any questions.  I’d be happy to help.