The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

Photoshop Elements

Creative Combinations, Pt. 1

It's the holiday season and your digital cameras are bursting at the seams with cute kid photos (okay for me, it's cute cat photos). The question becomes, how does one get the maximum number of aforementioned photos in front of their friends and family while at the same time showing off their creative prowess? Well, if you're the proud owner of either Photoshop CS2 or Elements, the answer is easy: make a creative combination!


The other night I had the immense pleasure of presenting to the Apple Dayton group, a right proper little MUG about 45 minutes outside of Cincinnati, OH. During my Elements tips & tricks session, a gentleman asked me how to stick a photo inside text. I could have *sworn* I had a tutorial on that already so I popped upon my website confidently, grinned smugly as the Elements Tutorial index loaded, and guess what? It wasn't there. Turns out, I had written one in Photoshop CS2, but not Elements. Yipes!

Fall Digital Scrapbooking Fun, Part 2

Stacked paper background

It seems I've had a rather macabre theme to my tutorials lately (turning people to stone, given them green skin (node#187), and vampire eyes) so I thought I'd lighten the mood this week and go with a quick little ditty about how to create a stacked paper background effect for your holiday photos.

Halloween Fun with Elements

How to create black teeth, red eyes, and green skin

Nothing says I love you like time spent doctoring a friend or loved one's photo... especially near Halloween! Take the photo of this innocent girl plucked from the bowels of iStockphoto.com, for example. It's a good thing I've no clue who she is because I'm about to make her look really... well, odd.

Today I'm going to share with you a few fun techniques that are sure to win you friends and help you influence people. They're time honored tricks, like how to blacken teeth, how to redden eyes, and how to create green skin. You know, basic stuff we all need to know. Here we go!

Fall Digital Scrapbooking Fun, Part 1

The leaves are turning, the weather is cooling (at least in some areas), and the Internet is just brimming with cute and fun holiday artwork. Take these cute Halloween, clip-arty illustrations I found over at iStockphoto.com. They practically *scream* digital scrapbooking.

Fading Color

Creating a beautiful fade from original color to grayscale

To commemorate the first day of Fall, I thought I'd take this gorgeous photo of colorful leaves (plucked from iStockphoto of course!) and show you how to easily create a fade from the photo's original color to grayscale. Sound interesting?

Color Cast Be Gone!

Warp speed color cast correction

Who knew that a one-step color cast fixer-upper lived deep within Elements' menu structure? The next time you pop open a photo with a visible cast—such as the photo below taken during a fabulously rich and gastronomically challenging meal my husband and I had recently at Aureole, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas—you'll know exactly what to do.

Fall Painterly Effect

Turning a photo into an illustration or watercolor

Ever look at a photo and not be able to tell if it's an illustration or painting? Well that's what today's technique is all about. With a well-chosen filter here, and adjustment layer there, you can create an effect in Elements that's unique, beautiful, and gloriously creative. I've officially dubbed this effect the Fall Painterly Effect because depending upon the image, this technique can produce something like an illustration or something more like a watercolor. That title sounded better than Fall Illustration and/or Watercolor Effect; or, at least it did in my head.

The Basics of Retouching People, Part 3

How to whiten teeth

Do Crest Whitening Strips make you gag? Do you lack the money to have molds made of your teeth for bleaching? No worries, my friends. In this third installment of The Basics of Retouching People series, I'm going to show you how to whiten your teeth (or anyone elses) with nary a trip to that evil sharp-tool wielding, white coat wearin' man we call the dentist.

We'll use the same photo of my girlfriend Leslie and I, so when this tutorial series is complete you can see how much digital surgery we've really done.

Creating Cartoon Art

Posterizing your way to creativity

Just go on and admit it, you know you want to. Since the first time you cast your tender eyes upon the newspaper comic section -- I call it "the funnies", though these days it's more "the sorta funnies" -- you've wondered what you'd look like as a cartoon character. That's okay; there are million who quietly harbor the exact same fantasy.