Adobe Photoshop Elements is a scaled down version of Adobe Photoshop, which is the software graphic designers and professional photographers use to edit their images. However, the sheer number of effects you can accomplish in this program often make it seem intimidating to busy parents who are struggling to organize their baby photos.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on 5 simple ways to enhance special baby snapshots using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. If you would like more information, About Graphics Software has a Photoshop Elements Tutorials page that covers this program in greater depth.
1. Lighting Effects
A vignette is a reduction of the brightness and saturation of an image’s edges that serves to help “frame” the focal point of the photo. Many people associate vignettes with vintage photographs, but this technique can give an interesting look to modern baby scrapbook layouts. To make a vignette using Adobe Photoshop Elements, go to the top “Filter” menu and select “Render.” Choose “Lighting Effects” to open a box that will let you adjust the size of the vignette, as well as the intensity and focus of the light. When you find a look you like, click “OK” to return to your photo.
One trend in the scrapbooking world is to print your photos on textured cardstock to give them a worn, slightly shabby look. You can quickly duplicate this effect in Adobe Photoshop Elements with the Texturizer filter. Go to the top “Filter” menu and select “Texture.” Choose “Texturizer” to open a box that will let you select various options for this look. The default setting is a canvas texture, which closely mimics the look of printing a baby photo on textured cardstock. Other options include brick, burlap, and sandstone. When you find a look you like, click “OK” to return to your photo.
3. Poster Edges
Have you ever looked at your baby and wished you knew how to paint well enough to create a formal portrait? Mimic the look of a painting by using the Poster Edges filter. Go to the top “Filter” menu and select “Artistic.” Choose “Poster Edges” to open a box that will let you select the options for this look. Play with the various settings until you find a look that is suitable for your picture. When you find a look you like, click “OK” to return to your baby photo.
4. Dark Strokes
Dark Strokes is a Photoshop filter that adds contrast to your picture and makes it slightly resemble a pastel drawing. For this look, go to the top “Filter” menu and select “Brush Strokes.” Choose “Dark Strokes” to open a box that will allow you to adjust the color balance and the intensity of both the black and white parts of the image. When you find a look you like, click “OK” to return to your baby picture.
Do you pride yourself on being a hip parent? Turn your favorite photo of your baby into an Andy Warhol style print by using the Cutout filter in Adobe Photoshop Elements. Go to the top “Filter” menu and select “Artistic.” Choose “Cutout” to open a box that will let you adjust the look to suit your preferences. Your colors will remain close to what is in the original photo. If you want to create a more abstract look, go to the top “Enhance” menu and select “Adjust Color.” Choose “Adjust Hue/Saturation” to open a box with a sliding menu that will let you tint the photo to the color of your choice. When you find a look you like, click “OK” to return to your baby picture.