The Photoshop Edition, Vol. 2

Even if you’re not a Photoshopper, you are going to want to skim through this if only for the before and afters. Stay with me, now. Here we go.

Photoshopping. It’s not just for doctoring anorexic, highly compensated, arrogant supermodels anymore.

No, I’ve come up with the next best use of Photoshopping talent. Let me paint you a picture.

Have you ever done a family portrait sitting? It’s a nightmare. A dozen shots, and in every single one, somebody’s eyes are closed, or there’s a finger up the nose, or someone’s looking for UFOs, or doing a ninja stealth karate chop, or crossing their eyes, or sticking out their tongue, or baring their teeth like a rabid Doberman, or sporting an inappropriate maniacal poop-consuming grin.

Allow me to show you a small example of how Family Portraits + Photoshopping = Millionaire. How has no one come up with this yet?

Here’s a picture of Slim (he’s the more equine of the two) and Rocky.
I like Slim’s expression, but Rocky looks ticked off.
Here’s another picture of them, but in this one,
Slim has a rather unflattering face and Rocky looks pretty content.

Gosh, I sure wish I had gone to school to learn to use Photoshop and borrowed tons of money that I would be repaying for the rest of my natural life. Or at least spent the equivalent of our nation’s yearly defense budget on Photoshop text books. Which, by the way, were obsolete five minutes after the UPS guy delivered them. Oh, wait, I’ve done both of those things!

Alright; let’s get to work.

Take a look at the shots and decide which will be the target and which will be the source. It’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be much quicker and less pain to decapitate and reattach Rocky’s head than Slim’s.

I grabbed the Marquee tool (shortcut ‘M’) to select Rocky’s contented expression. If you want to switch Marquee Shapes, Sh+M cycles through. I love to use the keyboard shortcuts because it’s so much quicker than a sweep of the mouse. Wow, now that I just re-read that sentence, I realized I’m just the typical product of our gotta-have-it-now, every-millisecond-counts American culture. ANYwaaaay… next I hit Cmd-C to copy the selection…


…and then switched to the other shot and hit Cmd-V to paste.
Alternately, you could drag and drop if you’re so inclined.

Next, I used the Move tool (shortcut ‘V’) to drag Rocky’s happy head to cover the cranky head.


With the Move tool still selected, I rotated his head to line it up with his shoulders.


Then I remembered a little trick to line stuff up easily…
change the Opacity to 50%, it’s hiding right under the Layers tab.


Wow, I was waaaaay off! I nudged it with my directional arrows keys.
I think I’ve got it lined up as close as it’s gonna get.


I changed the Opacity back to 100%. So far so good!


Next, I grabbed the Eraser tool. I made the size 100 pixels, and Hardness 0% to make the edges of the brush super fuzzy.


Click the Eraser tool all around the hard edge that the selection left behind to blend it softly into the target.


I back up and take a look to make sure that it’s blended and natural…


Annndddd Tah-daaaaaah!


Now that I’ve shown you how I did it, let me show you how I put it into practice on my Family Portrait scenario.

At first glance, these next three shots would seem to be all outtakes, completely unsuitable for display up on the refrigerator, let alone the fireplace mantel.

Everyone except Dino was looking away.

Rocky looks great, but everyone else was looking away.

Rocky’s looking away, and I can’t wait to show this to Dino’s first girlfriend. What exactly is he doing?!

Yet, using these three seemingly throw-away shots and the formidable powers of Photoshop, I submit for your approval…


For that shot, I didn’t use the Eraser tool, I used layer masks because it was a little trickier with the more complicated background. If you want, I’ll show you this non-destructive technique another day. But we’re gonna need a fifth of your favorite alcohol and a shot glass, a whisk, super glue, a plunger, an aardvark, a blowtorch, and a crane. You round up all those items, and let me know when you’re ready.

Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude. Family Portraits + Photoshopping = Millionaire.

Author: Dory

Believer. Wife. Mom. Deaf chick. ADD-addled. Photographer. Graphic designer. Blogger. Guano whacknut. Not necessarily in that order.

2 thoughts on “The Photoshop Edition, Vol. 2”

  1. “Take a look at the shots and decide which will be the target and which will be the source. It’s pretty obvious that it’s going to be much quicker and less pain to decapitate and reattach Rocky’s head than Slim’s.”

    I still think having you show us how to move Slims head would have been slightly more entertaining!!!!! :mrgreen:

    And who said anything about your kids dating dont they have to follow the 30+ yr old rule before they date? or do I have some catching up to do on kid rules before january ❓

  2. Very nice. Photoshop is a wonderful thing sometimes and a royal pain in the ass others. but its a love hate relationship for me. just like illustrator is probly for you.

    Now on the subjects of the kids getting girlfriends and such….for everyone that missed seeing this……I was at Dory’s the other day and Rocky was Playing with my kid (lets call her band geek this week) anyhoo, she was beating his ass like a good umm girlfriend might. I said ” omg what if they get a lil older and actually date!!!” Dory’s face went blank..ya know the one where she blinks all the time. 😯 it messed her up so bad that she hit some weird keys on her puter and couldn’t figure out what she did! Then we laughed so hard. Man that was kinda a scary thought! :mrgreen:

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