Fix So-So Photos

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Problem: Too Many People In Background

Design by Erin Roe

Fix: Digitally blurring the area
A busy beach filled with people created a cluttered backdrop for this portrait taken just before a new member of the family was born. Erin Roe used Adobe Photoshop CS to blur the background area, making the subjects pop.

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  1. Use the Marquee tool to select the background. Erin chose only the top portion of the shot to make the blur feel more natural.
  2. From the Select menu, choose Feather to soften the selection line. Go to the Filters menu and choose the Lens Blur filter to give the shot a realistic softened background.
  3. Select the middle portion of the background and repeat the steps using less blur to create a gradual softening so the background and foreground blend naturally.

Tip: Less computer-savvy scrapbookers can try a variation of this technique. Have your photo developer print two copies of the photo -- one in color and the other in black-and-white. Ask the processor to lighten or darken the black-and-white copy so the details are hard to pick out. Then use a pair of micro-tip scissors to cut around the subject in the color copy, and layer the two to create a composite image.

Sources Patterned paper: Flair Designs. Fonts: Century Gothic (journaling), Patriot (title) by Autumn Leaves. Stickers: Flair Designs ("family" strip), American Crafts (numbers). Embroidered scroll: Autumn Leaves.

Continued on page 3:  Problem: Distracting Clutter


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