If you have ever wanted to know how to make your photos look like this:
-all cut out and on a white background, and you have Photoshop Elements (a budget version of Photoshop) this is a technical tutorial from an utter amateur. All these photos link to Flickr where you can see them a little bigger. I have PSE 8, an older version but I am hoping the principle is the same with PSE 9 and 10.
1. Save the photo you want to edit to your desktop
2. Open Photoshop Elements, you do not need a new file just the programme open.
3. Drag your photo from the desktop and into the working space or grey area in Photoshop elements
4. The photo is quite small at this point and you need to zoom in. The short cut on a mac to do this is to press command cmd key and the + at the same time, the more you press+ the bigger your picture will get- much easier to work in detail on it. To reverse, press command and -. You can also chose the zoom options under the view menu selection at the top.
5. Choose the polygonal lasso tool from the tool bar at the side. you can see it highlighted as the 6th tool down on the top in my toolbar selection.
Now place your mouse where you want to start cutting out or outlining your shape. I have a spool block here that I want to cut out from the ironing board it is on and place on a white background. Click where you want to start, each drag and click continues the line. There is no 'undo' option with this tool so go slow! If you want your line to be perfectly straight, hold the shift key down whilst you click and drag.
6. The lasso needs to make a completed loop around the object. When you get close to this a tiny circle appears to show the loop is complete, click at this point and the line becomes active and will flash!
7. Go to Select from the menu bar at the top, and choose 'Inverse'
(Edited to add)OR- there is a very clever trick passed on from Alison at Little Island Quilting. Check the colour palette on the bottom, of your tool bar- you need the background colour- the right square on the colour picker to be on white- now instead of 'Inverse' press 'Delete'- white background! If you like method this you can skip stage 8- go straight to 9 and 'Save'.
8. From your tool bar on the left, the bottom icon in my tool bar choses colour- click on it and a palette of colours comes up. I chose white. There are 2 squares on this tool, the active colour is the square that is on top, make sure this is right, the little double arrow next to it will switch the squares around.
8. Now, go to Layer from the menu bar at the top, choose 'New fill layer'.
In the box I call this layer by the colour I have chosen, "white", check the opacity box at the bottom is set at 100%. and press OK
9. Your photo should now be cut out and on a white background
Now all you need to do is save. You can go to File and save as a photoshop file, or you can chose 'save for the web' and save as a jpeg/Gif- whatever is your preference.
I really hope that works for someone out there- Lynne, Angela, Lu, Katy or anyone else. That is how I do it- there may be much slicker ways, but this works for me!