LP Scrapbooking Designs

Photoshop Elements Tutorials - Cropping, Straightening and Sharpening

Posted by Lynne Phillips on

Let’s learn a few more techniques for getting your photos ready to scrapbook.


Cropping Photos

Let’s face it, sometimes our photos aren’t wonderful. This is where cropping comes in. You can eliminate an unwanted background, extra people, etc. Also by cropping a photo, you create a stronger focal point. Let’s crop a photo.

  •    Open the image that you want to crop. I like this picture of my husband. But I want to improve it.
  •   Select the Crop Tool (or press the C key).
  •   You will see the Crop Tool panel at the bottom of your screen.
  • I have chosen “Rule of Thirds” for my cropping area. Position your cursor on the top edge of the photo that you want to keep. Drag your mouse to the opposite bottom edge and release your mouse button. You can move the Crop Grid to adjust your crop area. Press the Green Checkmark to accept your crop. Click Save or Save As. (If you don’t like the outcome simply press Edit>Revert, and your image will be returned to its original state.)

  • I think this is a much better image, as far as cropping is concerned. The photo still needs work, but that will be done later.

Straightening An Image

Another tool for fixing those not-so-perfect photos is the Straightening Tool. With the use of this tool you can straighten your photo and then apply any other tools that will enhance your photo. Let’s try this tool on an image that needs straightened.

  •  Open the image that you want to straighten. I have selected a photo of my daughter on Christmas morning, many years ago.
  • Select the Straighten Tool (or press the P key).
  •  You will see the Straighten Tool panel at the bottom of your screen.
  •  I have chosen the “Grow or Shrink” option.
  •  Place your cursor on one edge of the area to straighten. Drag your cursor to the other edge in a straight line. When you release your cursor, your image will be straightened. You can repeat the process, if you are not pleased with your initial results.
  • Once I straighten my image, I applied the crop tool and now the photo looks much better.

Let’s try our hand at sharpening portions of an image. This tool is a little trickier to use. If you try to sharpen too much, the object might stand out too much, drawing more attention than you want. We are going to learn two processes - Sharpen Tool and Unsharp Mask Filter

Sharpen Tool

Open your image in expert mode. I have chosen a picture of one of my lilies. I am going to sharpen the flower to the right of the main image, so that you can see the results more easily.
  • Select the Sharpen Tool from the tools panel.
  • In the tools panel, select the sharpening strength. I have started with a smaller strength, about 20% and gradually increased to 38%, in order to show the sharpening effect. You can play with brush size and strength percentages to achieve the desired effect.
  • Continue sharpening, until you like the effect. I intentionally got a little carried away near the center of the flower, so you can see what not to do.

Let’s Get Scrapping!



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