The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.


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.

Combining Images

Quick Creative Collage

I'm in the throes of creating some killer new video training on both Photoshop CS3 and Elements 6 for the good folks at KelbyTraining.com. That being said, I'm spending a ton of time parked in front of the computer and very little time perched atop my motorcycle. I obviously have no choice but to start using photos of my motorcycle in tutorials (I do hope you understand!).

Paint it Blue

How to turn a photo into a blueprint

Not too awfully long ago I showed you how to turn a photo into a pencil sketch, then a painting, so in keeping with the whole "Things You Can Turn A Photo Into" idea, today I thought we'd shape-shift a photo into a blueprint. Sound exciting? Actually, it really is. Though the tutorial itself is a little long in the tooth, you'll learn several extremely useful editing techniques that will serve you well over your pixel pushing career.

Serious Red-Eye Fixer Upper

Using the Color Replacement brush to zap stubborn red-eye

I don't know about you, but I really hate it when the light of my camera flash occurs too fast for the iris of my subject's eye to close the pupil, making the light pass through the blood-rich area alongside the iris (called the choroid) and strike the retina. Then some of the light is reflected back out through the iris, and the camera records it, even though that light has now passed through the reddish choroid twice.

Arg :)

A Stroll Down Blend Mode Lane, Pt. 5

Making a macabre collage with Darker Color

After having a bit of a "holiday themed tutorial" break, it's time to continue on into the wide world of blending modes. Therefore, I would like to welcome you to the fifth installment of our journey which focuses on a brand new blending mode called Darker Color. It's new in Photoshop CS3, though it doesn't yet live within Elements.

Let It Snow!

Filter your way to a flurry of snowflakes

Mother Nature is a finicky creature and quite frankly, not to be trusted. When you want it to snow it will not, and when you don't there is sure to be a blizzard of epic proportions. Thankfully, Photoshop and Elements owners don't have to rely upon the weather for snowy photos. That's right, nestled snuggly in the Filter menu of both programs are two filters which can generate some of the most beautiful flakes you've ever seen. And thankfully, it takes all of five minutes to get it done. Plus, the steps are identical in both programs.

Protecting Your Photos Online, Pt. 1

Using vector shapes to add a watermark

One of the many challenges facing today's photographer is how to protect their photos online; that is, once the photo has been uploaded to a gallery for viewing on the Internet. We don't live in the safest of worlds these days, especially when it comes to being online, and it's frighteningly easy for a thief to download your photo from your very own web site and try to sell it as their own. I know it's shocking but people really do steal... often.

Zapping Edge Haloes

Using the Minimum filter to fix edges

Today I'd like to share with you a special little time saver I picked up from the Great Kelby. I've affectionately dubbed it the Halo Zapper because it has an amazing power to blast the heck out of edge haloes leftover from removing a background.