Monday, June 16, 2008

How to eliminate the background in a photo

I was asked a couple times how I eliminate the background in a photo. It sure looks nice to do this when you take a shot of whatever craft you made with some ugly background like a messy room or something that could distract viewers' attention from the craft itself. The photoshop work for it is really simple! Many photoshop books have different methods for it, but I've come to find that this way that I am going to show works the best for me. So this is how I do....

In Adobe Photoshop CS series, there is Polygonal Lasso tool that allows you to make a selection in a photo which makes a straight line from a point to point. By making a point to point far away you can make a straight line whereas clicking many times on the line gives you more control in shaping the line. (Gosh, it's so tough to describe this. I'm sure you know what I mean once you try!)

When the first point and the last point are in the same spot, the selection is made. You'll see the selection line being active.

If you click Ctrl+Alt+D, this little window will be displayed. I usually set Feather Radius to be 1 pixel. The higher number you choose, the more blur the selection becomes. Just 1 px blur makes the finished cropped picture more realistic than the one feather radius not applied.


Ctrl+N and OK.


Ta-da!! You can just save this file in the format of Jpeg or Gif and upload on Flickr or blog or whatever. It's quite simple, isn't it? I know there are a ton more technical ways to do this with photoshop, but I'm pretty satisfied with this easy simple way;)


Started working on a new project! I like the fabric chosen for this project, so I am excited! Doesn't it make a big difference when you really like the fabric you chose for some project and when you are working with fabrics that you actually don't enjoy that much? When you are making a gift or something, you might consider the preference of whoever you are giving your craft to, and you might have to choose fabrics you don't like as much. In other times you are absolutely free in your selection of fabrics and are able to pick whatever you like. It gives me a healthier crafting time when it's a latter case. And this time, I was able to come up with fabric choices that I love and I know who I am making this for will also love. I love it when this happens!!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Hello,
    I just wanted to delurk to say hello and let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I will deffinitely share once I've made something from your tutorials.
    Thanks for the tip on making pics look better, it's something that I'm working on.
    Keep up the great work, it's very inspiring

  2. Ana-

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment;) It's always good to know that I am somehow entertaining people through my blog. Thanks for delurking;)
    Yeah, I would love to see your works if you make anything using my tutorials!

  3. Thanks again for the step by step instructions. I've been trying to make my blog photos a little more professional-looking and have struggled to find a good background. Eliminating the background would eliminate the problem.

  4. Ingo-

    Thanks for your comment;)
    I'm glad that you find it helpful. I know it is not easy to find the perfect background. My apartment is always messy and has bad lightening..

  5. Excellent! Thanks so much for this tutorial!

  6. Oh I'm so excited! I've been wanting to learn this step forever but was too lazy to find a book and learn it. So I kept doing without. Thanks so much for the steps by steps. I found you via Wonderful blog you have.

  7. thanks so much - I have been wanting to know how to do this for ages. You did it so simply so that even a dill like me could successfully edit.

  8. Thanks for your comments!

    I hope I answered your question;) Hope this helps!

    Contessa kris-
    There are many ways to do this but I hope this simple instruction gets you started!;)

    Glad it worked out for you;)

  9. I did it! your instructions were so helpfil!

  10. Good information, thanks, and all with a simple process!, I am using it! :)

  11. Ayumi,

    Thanks for the clear explanation.

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