Beginning Photo Editing

Since starting my Zazzle store, (and in keeping with my long-time goal of being “discovered” by the greeting card industry) I have started practicing with my photo editing program. For years I had used PaintShop Photo Pro Version 2 (I think it was new in 2006), but I recently upgraded it to the current version, Version 9. So I’m here to show you some of my “beginning” attempts at photo editing.

Foster original

This is the picture I started with. It’s Foster sitting on a stereo speaker at my mom’s house. When I was still using Version 2 of PaintShop, I decided to try isolating him out of the picture so I could experiment with different backgrounds.

computer 4

It took me awhile to figure out what I was doing, but finally I managed to erase the background around Foster.

You can see the edges are a little rough in places, but I was happy with it for my first try.

Then I figured out how to insert one picture on top of another. It has to do with creating different layers, something I didn’t understand at first. After I got that down, photo editing got much less frustrating!

I decided to see what it would have been like if Foster had gone with me on my adventure to Nevada. You may have to zoom in to see him in the picture on the left.

fosterbig no auto correctI thought this was pretty fun. But once I upgraded to Version 9, I was amazed at the features I now had at my disposal.

Of course Foster likes to help with all my projects, so he climbed up on my lap (yes, I take the word laptop literally!) to get a look at things. Sitting in a recliner with a laptop and a cat on your lap can be a bit precarious, just saying.

tiger by himself

Next I decided to see what it would look like if Foster was in the jungle. I found the above photo by doing a Google search for “jungle”, and the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the tiger was photoshopped in.

tiger and foster 640x360

So I photoshopped Foster in, but if you notice, he is now reversed so that his tail is on the right instead of the left.

jungle no tiger foster small

Then I decided to see what Foster would look like in the jungle by himself. I covered up the tiger by cloning in part of the plant that’s off to the left. You will notice on this one that Foster’s tail isn’t visible, and he’s flipped back the other way.

with spider plant

I recently got a couple more plants (that’s a story in itself). Spider plants are nontoxic to cats according to the ASPCA website, so here is Foster checking it out. It occurred to me to try something a little more complicated – could I cut both him and the spider plant out of this picture and put them both in the jungle?

spider plant in jungle 1

Again, the jungle picture was found by searching “jungle” on Google.  I know I can’t sell anything like this on a greeting card because the background photo isn’t mine. So I’m obviously not going to do that. I know there are royalty free photos out there somewhere, so that’s something I will look into, since I doubt I will be going to the jungle anytime soon to get my own!

foster jungle with butterflies inThen I saw this feature in PaintShop, called the Picture Tube tool. You can insert pre-made objects into your picture, then you can adjust the size and position of them. And if you drag your mouse while inserting the object it will make a whole line of them. The butterflies do come out randomly, and I haven’t seen where you can choose which color you want. But I think it is a super cool feature, don’t you? I could easily get carried away.

foster jungle with butterflies for blog

Below you can see another experiment. I got the window photo online. After learning about how to use layers, I figured I could make it look like Foster was in the jungle outside the window. It kind of worked.

ocean and window only small.png

Plus I tried putting the ocean outside the window. Amazing what you can do. If you look carefully you will see spots where I didn’t get all of the window panes erased, but you get the idea. Remember these are only experiments!

zebra backgroundTHEN I discovered that with Version 9 of PaintShop there are backgrounds you can use.sleep blue blog

Awww brown x480

And, below you can see that one of the daffodils in my “Whimsical Garden” has a whimsical butterfly on it!

daffodil cropped

I know I have a long way to go before becoming a proficient photo editor, but in the meantime I’m enjoying learning!