Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WFMW: Photoshop Trick

I am giving away coupons for a free box of cereal (up to $6 value) from General Mills. Go to and leave me a comment naming your favorite General Mills cereal to enter.

And my WFMW tip...

I am far from a professional photographer. But I love to take snaps of my kids with my little point and shoot Kodak. Most of the times I get a really average shot, but at least it's a nice memory of our family life.

Occasionally, I get a really good picture of one of the kids. It's a moment where the light is just right or the smile is contagious or the dimples are flashing adorably. All of these great shots seem to have something in common... somewhere in the background is a mound of laundry waiting to be put away, a very messily unmade bed, a flickering TV screen (proving that I let my kids watch too often), or something else that I don't want to show off to the world!

But I don't want to ignore that wonderful picture for fear of showing off my messy house. Photoshop to the rescue!
  • Use the lasso tool (or even better, the magnetic lasso tool) to trace carefully around the part of the picture you want to keep.

  • Invert your selection (ctrl + shift + I) so that you now have selected everything you don't want to keep.

  • Under your Filters menu, find the blur options. Experiment with blurring out the messy background until you find a look you like. I tend to like the Gaussian blur... but that's just habit. Any blur filter can help you get the look you want.

  • Finish up with the blur tool in the toolbar. Use it to smooth any edges that are too abrupt. You want the subject (in my case, the kids) to stand out crisply, but not too abrupt or jagged.

  • Voila! Cute pictures of the kids without a (visibly) messy house in the background!

So this week Photoshop is working for me. To see what works for others, head over to for more WFMW ideas!


Melissa said...

Great shots!

Raise Them Up said...

I definitely need to experiment with this! Thanks for the tips!

Ticia said...

how very cool. I'll have to see if I have that tool.

SkylarKD said...

Great tip, thanks!