The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

Photoshop Elements

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.

Spot Healing Brush to the Rescue!

Removing antennas and power lines

Ah, Paris. Just look at this famous view of the Eiffel Tower painted brilliantly by so many Masters of years past. But wait... what's that pointy thing toward the right?! Ugh, it's an antenna.

The Basics of Retouching People, Part 2

Banishing bags 'n blemishes

Continuing on in Part 2 of this series using the photo of Leslie and I, let's take care of a few minor (ahem!) imperfections on our faces. Luckily, Elements has a couple of brushes perfectly suited for this job: the Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush. In this tutorial, we'll use 'em both.

The Basics of Retouching People, Part 1

The secret to losing 5 pounds--digitally!

Summer is the time to get out and have fun. Enjoy the beautiful weather, maybe visit a family reunion or two (or not!), and take a wonderful vacation to an exotic locale (perhaps the next city over) with a friend or your significant other. Whatever gets you out and about taking people photos, it's important know what to do with those pictures once you have them.

Delicious Duotones

Creating duotones with Elements' QuickFix mode

You've seen the photo effect everywhere, but perhaps couldn't call it by name: The original color has been drained from the photo, and replaced by a dramatic blue-ish, yellow-ish, green-ish, or purple-ish color cast. This is called a duotone, and it's been a favorite of Photoshoppers for years.

In the full-blown version of Photoshop there's a specific command for this effect; however I'm here to tell you that it's easily recreated in Elements. Oh yes, dear grasshopper; let me show thee how :)

Swirls of Summer

Cookie Cutter tool + Custom Shapes = fun photo frames

I'm continually amazed at the functionality and goodies buried within Photoshop Elements. Take the Cookie Cutter tool for example. It's sole purpose in life is to place your photo inside a shape, just as if you'd taken a real-life cookie cutter and firmly pressed it onto your photo: you get a "cut-out" photo with that shape (scrapbooking, anyone?).

Now, at first glance the built-in Cookie Cutter shapes (which are really Custom Shapes) probably won't light your fire. There's a heart, a butterfly, a snowflake and 27 other non-exciting choices:

Quick Polaroid Frame

Using the Crop tool to make a 10-second frame

I have the attention span of a gnat. Seriously. I get bored easily, I rarely enjoy leftovers, and I make faces when I'm forced to do the same thing over and over again. That's why you'll see me using different frames -- edge effects, rather -- on photos throughout this site. I'll do the Black Hairline Pixel Edge thing for a bit, followed by the Soft Fluffy Feathery edge thing for a while, and I've even been known to hop over to iStockphoto and download real picture frames to plop photos into. Just anything to jazz things up.

Selective Color

How to create a grayscale image with just a touch of color

The weather is warming here in Nashville, TN, and back home in The Great Country of Texas the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes will soon be colorfully dotting the hillsides and medians. I do miss my home state, and with that in mind, a quick search on iStockphoto for "bluebonnets" yielded a gorgeous photo for use in today's tutorial.

In order to show off these bountiful blooms, I'm going to illustrate how to easily use Photoshop Elements to convert this image into grayscale, then bring back just a bit of color in the areas of your choice.

Classic Colorizing

Adding color to a grayscale image is a neat little effect you see all over the place. Recently I saw it on a congratulatory wedding card where two cute little kids were all dressed up in pastel formal wear, while the rest of the background was draped in shades of gray. I've also seen it in movie posters, like Schindler's List.