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5 Digital Photo Editing Tips for Scrapbookers

Updated on October 13, 2014
Photograph of "Dad's Briefcase" - a scrapbook box.
Photograph of "Dad's Briefcase" - a scrapbook box. | Source

Five Tips to Liven up your Digital Photographs

This page demonstrates five editing tips to enhance a digital photo. You will see how to take off pounds, whiten teeth, remove unwanted blemishes, add text and do spot coloring for dramatic effects.

Even if you're not a scrapbooker, you are likely to find helpful and interesting tips to liven up your photographs or create those artistic effects you've admired.

You already know how to resize, remove redeye and correct color, but those techniques barely scratch the surface of what a good photo or graphics editing software application can do.

How About a Digital Diet?

Before and After photo showing how to remove pounds through photo editing .
Before and After photo showing how to remove pounds through photo editing . | Source

Tip 1: The Instant Weight Loss Solution

How to take off pounds digitally

With Photoshop Elements or Adobe Photoshop, its easy to take off those five pounds that the camera added. Heck, take off more than that if you want, but keep in mind that people will be suspicious if you suddenly become slim and trim in your photos!

Refer to the Duck Photo shown to the right. In the Before photo, the duck has a significant potbelly. It is considerably smaller in the After picture.

Here's how to do it.

1. Open the photograph in your photo editing software

2. Make a duplicate layer and work on this new layer.

3.Using the Polygonal Selection Tool, select the part of the photo that you want to shrink.

4. With this area selected, go to Edit>Transform>Distort. Click Okay. A draggable box with handles appears around your selection.

5. Grab one of the handles and resize the selection. Click the Enter key when ready.

6. Using the Clone Tool, fill in the missing background areas.

And Bingo! There you are. Instant weight loss.

To Enhance or Not to Enhance?

Do you agree with digitally editing photographs?

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Spot Coloring done on Statue using photo editing software
Spot Coloring done on Statue using photo editing software | Source

Tip 2: Add Instant Spot Color

Create the dramatic look of a colorized black and white photo in minutes using your Adobe software. In the Aboriginal statue photo, the "bright blue" background is converted to black and white, while the colorful statue appears in all its splendor.

Here's how to do it;

1. Open your image in your photo editing software

2. Create a new layer using Layer>New Layer>Duplicate.

3. Select the new layer, and convert that layer to Black and White. You can do this with the keyboard command of Alt+Control+B (on the PC).

4. Using the Eraser tool, erase the areas where you want the color to appear. Use the Zoom in tool for better vision while you are dong it.

And that's all there is too it.

This trick is particularly helpful in cases where you have a busy background and you want your main subject to stand out. You turn the "busy" into black and white and let your main element keep its full color.

Before and after photo showing teeth whitened by digital editing software
Before and after photo showing teeth whitened by digital editing software | Source

Tip 3: Digital Dentistry

Teeth looking a little yellow in the photograph? Whiten them instantly. Here's how:

1. Open your photograph in your photo editing software.

2. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool, select the teeth.

3. Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Select Yellow in the edit box. Desaturate the yellow slightly by dragging the marker to the left. Next, brighten the teeth by dragging the Lightness Marker to the right.

And there you have, whiter, brighter teeth without the use of chemical whiteners!

Tip: You can use this same technique to modify any area you want a color change.

Before and after photo of braces removed with photo editing software
Before and after photo of braces removed with photo editing software | Source

Tip 4: The Extreme Makeover

Embarrassed by a blemish or wrinkle on your skin, hair blowing in the breeze or a piece of spinach caught in your teeth?

Use the Clone Tool to graft over it with a piece of "skin" that pleases you. First, select the Clone tool. Then Windows users, Alt-Click and Mac users Option-Click on the area of "good skin" you want to graft. Next, click on the blemish or other trouble spot. As you move your mouse, the area will fill with the color from the area you selected by Alt Clicking.

In the picture shown, the boy had painted teeth for Halloween. I Alt clicked on the bottom teeth, then grafted that color to the top teeth.

Often you can use this technique to remove any unwanted element in a picture.

Photo of  cat with text added with photo editing software
Photo of cat with text added with photo editing software | Source

Tip 5: Add Text Captions to the Photograph

As you can see from the photographs on the other tips, you can add textual information to a photo. Naturally, you can add as much or as little as you want. You can use the Eyedropper Tool to pick up a color from the photograph, and use that color for the text, or you can use black or white or any color you choose. You can add an effect such as a drop shadow to the text, or you can stroke the layer to give a different color outline.

© 2008 June Campbell

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    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @TransplantedSoul: Absolutely. Great tip and thanks for the reminder.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 

      5 years ago

      My biggest tip: Always keep a copy of the original even if you edit it!

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks for visiting.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for the tips!

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @ViJuvenate: That is true. digital art is an entire new medium for creative people.

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 

      6 years ago

      Interesting things to do with photos. Digital technology is so amazing these days. Almost anyone can create beautiful photos and really have fun with creativity as well.

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Susan300: Great. You can amazing things with good photo editing software.

    • Susan300 profile image

      Susan300 

      7 years ago

      Very cool tips!! I can't wait to try these out. :)

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Gloriousconfusion: So glad that you found the tips useful. Yes, the principles are similar in most photo editing programs.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is great - I feel quite excited by it, because it answers some of the questions I wondered about, and in particular, what the cloning tool is for. I use Paint.net for my photo editing, but the principles are the same - thanks!

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you for commenting.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      8 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      very very informative and useful lens. thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      colhill 

      9 years ago

      Very nice. LOVE the instant weight-loss (pity it doesn't work when I look in the mirror).

      I don't know whether you have encounted Picasa? It is a free offering from Google, and has some neat features (such as the red-eye removal and so on. I put the newest download link into my lens http://www.squidoo.com/GooglePicasa3 to make it easy to find. Picasa has excellent stirage / filing / indexing features, so could be useful for big collections such as thise used in scrapbooking.

      Now......... where is that magic mirror?.............

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