The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.


Intensifying Color

How to add Lab Pop

Color is such an important part of your image, and happily Photoshop gives us many ways to intensify it so your picture pops right off the page.

In today's tutorial (yet another teaser from the forthcoming Photoshop: The Missing Manual--well, parts of it anyhow), you'll learn three distinct ways for creating more vibrant color in your image. And as a bonus, the first two methods also work in Photoshop Elements. Read on!

Get Sharp!

How to sharpen individual channels

You’ve probably learned the hard way that sharpening an image that contains noise or grain means that the noise and grain gets sharpened too. Instead of making the photo look better, it ends up looking ten times worse than it did. Bummer!

Photoshopping People

Pinching Flabby Chins

Welcome to part "I have no frackin' idea" of the "Photoshop: The Missing Manual" teaser series. In the super wee hours of the morn I finished up yet another chapter on Photoshopping people (yay!). Culled from its depths is a real treat which I'm happy to say works exactly the same in Photoshop Elements as well. Whee!

Hollow Text

How to make your text see-through

Layer styles are great for adding finishing touches to your designs and they can really make text and graphical elements pop off your page. They’re also extremely flexible—they change as your layer content changes, they’re fully editable, savable, and so on. Since they appear on their own layer, they’re nondestructive and when you edit the content of your layer, the style updates automatically.

Type Tricks

Rotating individual letters and intersecting text

Welcome to part 3 of the Photoshop: The Missing Maual Teaser series. Since I've been going back and forth with my editor getting the typography chapter in tip-top shape, I have yet another text tutorial for you. Unfortunately there's no equivalent in Elements, so this one is for Photoshop only.

There are a multitude of special effects that can be created with type that has been converted into a vector shape or path. Though the text becomes uneditable, the former type layer is morphed into a living, breathing, and resizable, distortable piece of art or editable path.

Get it Straight!

How to Crop and Straighten Multiple Photos

Welcome to the second installment of the Photoshop Missing Manual teaser series. This week's chapter was all about the Crop tool, and so is this week's tip. Enjoy!

There’s a reason professional photos look so darn good. Besides the fancy camera, expensive lenses, titanium tripod, artificial lighting, and post-processing voodoo, they’re composed and/or cropped extremely well. Cropping is a means of eliminating distracting elements by repositioning the subject. Good crops accentuate the subject, drawing the viewer’s eye; and bad crops, well, are just bad.

Fade to White

This week I thought I'd share the super simple technique of fading a photo to white. We'll take a photo snatched from over at iStockphoto.com and add a plain white color fade to one side. It's just the ticket for creating a backdrop for text, resulting in a very personalized invitation and/or postcard. Because we'll add the white on its very own layer, the technique is non-destructive. As a bonus, the steps are identical in both Photoshop and Elements.

Let's get started!

Give Your Photos an Edge

When it comes to adding a bit-o-class to your images, few effects beat a thin black rule. It's such a simple little thing but it makes a huge difference. In fact, this technique is one of the first tutorials I wrote for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, and for this very web site, back in late 2004. The reason I'm repeating it today is both to serve as a reminder and to get it in front of Elements users (though the steps are the same in Photoshop). By the way, outlining is referred to as a "stroke" in image editing software.

Fixing Fringe

Filtering away edge haloes or fringe

I’ve been chief evangelist of iStockphoto.com for a couple of years now, though only last fall did I become an actual contributor to the stock library. My photography skills are really coming along and it’s thrilling when someone purchases one of my images (plus I get a kickback). The problem, however, is that it’s extremely frustrating/discouraging/heartbreaking to have a well-composed image rejected, especially for a problem I could have fixed before submitting.

Faux Finished Photo Edges

Creating a painted look with an edge mask

This past week while teaching at Photoshop World in Orlando, FL, I noticed one technique in particular that made audiences sit up and pay attention. It involves using a seldom-used set of brushes together with the Brush tool and painting the edges of a photo. It's a quick and easy way to give your photo a very creative edge. And because we'll use a layer mask to get it done, the technique is as non-destructive as could be.