If you need a passport photo for your job application or other sorts of forms but you don’t have any, you can take a good portrait shot of yourself and alter the background to make it look like a studio backdrop. With Photoshop Elements, you can even print a picture package that is a collection of the same picture in different sizes.
- Select [File]-[Open] from the menu bar. The open dialog box appears.
- Open the image. It is best to take portraits indoors. Pictures taken outdoors are generally brighter, and the exposure is difficult to adjust when retouching.
- Select the Crop Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar, set Width to 5 cm, Height to 7 cm. and Resolution to 200 pixels/inch.
- Click and drag over the image to produce a wallet-sized picture. Press enter to crop the picture to the specified size.
- Configuring the Crop Tool’s options before cropping the image will save the settings so that the same settings can be used with the Crop tool the next time. To clear the tool settings, click the Clear button [Clear] in the options bar.
- Now, we will remove any blemishes from the skin. Select the Clone Stamp Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar, set Size to 25 pixels.
- Hold down the [Alt] key and click on a patch of clear skin below the right eye to make a clone. Next, release the [Alt] key and stamp over the spots below the right eye. Try to create the clone from a nearby spot for a close fit in terms of lighting and skin tone. Zoom in on the Image for delicate retouching work.
- Hold down Spacebar to activate the Hand tool. Move the image to see the forehead. Repeat step 6 to remove the spot on the forehead.
- Repeat the step until all the blemishes are removed from the face. Avoid correcting large areas using the same clone patch. Make the changes progressively: change the brush size and use the [Alt] key to make a new clone each time.
- Select the Dodge Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar, set Size to 100 pixels.
- Click and drag the tool over the face and the hair to brighten up the entire image. As the left side of the face is darker, click and drag the tool over it a few more times to match the brightness on the right side. The Dodge Tool is useful for adjusting different areas of an image to different levels of brightness, while the Levels menu applies the same brightness to the entire image.
- Select [Layer]-[Duplicate Layer] from the menu bar to duplicate the Background layer. Click OK.
- Select the Smudge Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar, set Brush to Soft Round, Size to 70 pixels, and Strength to 50%.
- Click on the background some dis¬tance away from the subject, and drag outward to blur the background.
- Repeat the process to smudge the area close to the subject. The Smudge Tool simplifies the background by combining surrounding pixels. If you accidentally smudged the image of the subject, press [Ctrl] + [z] to undo.
- We will now select the smudged background. First, select the Magic Wand Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar, set Tolerance to 70.
- Click on the background to select it.
Filed Under: Computers & Technology
About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.