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Thread: Replacing a background

  1. Replacing a background

    I'm still learning to do extractions and such, but my question is what do you ladies do when a background is ruining the photo? I can delete the background, but then what? What do I put in its place, so that it looks right? Whenever I do a solid type colour it looks so cut and copied and I hate it. What would you put in its place to look more natural?

  2. #2
    I have not done too much of this, but I've been experimenting lately with using a textured/patterned paper so it doesn't look as "blank" as a plain color fill:

    http://www.designerdigitals.com/digi..._1_for_web.jpg

    I will post another example I like after I find it in my faves!
    Last edited by bluelemur01; 08-26-2008 at 06:06 PM. Reason: edit post

  3. #3
    here's one I like by donjing...love the way she altered her bg here!

    http://www.designerdigitals.com/digi...=66453&cat=fav

  4. you can also lasso your subject, select>inverse, and blur the background using one of the blur filters.

    Janice

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  5. #5
    I have often cloned out something distracting from the background when possible, or burned the background to make a distracting element darker. Sometimes these techniques help if its just one or two things in the background and not the whole background.
    Lynn (also known as Lynnie!)


  6. #6
    I've done the blur thing on the background.

    Example here, a very uninteresting background, but I wanted to use the photograph. Only a slight blur.
    http://www.designerdigitals.com/digi...23&ppuser=2689

    And then this one, it was a book signing but I've done a much bigger blur to blur out the books so it's just colour in the background.
    http://www.designerdigitals.com/digi...55&ppuser=2689
    Carol

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  7. All great ideas ladies, and I've yet to just blur the background like suggested...So I'm excited to try that. I have a few super great photos with backgrounds so distracting that I hope that would be enough...
    Thanks so much for the help!

  8. I am excited to try some of these things. I love extractions for the very reason amikasmom stated. The background can be so distracting. I always wanted to blur, but didn't know how. Thanks for the lessons.

    Another thing I have found is to just cut it out with the polygonal lasso. That way it looks like you cut it out quickly with a pair of scissors. Then you can paste it or tape it to any background and it doesn't have to look as natural. I did that in this layout:

  9. #9
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    This is such a great question!! I'm totally going to try the blur option...learning something new everyday.
    Heidi

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    Software: Photoshop Elements 5 & Lightroom 2.2



  10. #10
    Here's an example where I softened a BG using a technique by Scott Kelby:
    http://www.designerdigitals.com/digi...8&ppuser=14068


  11. #11
    A lot of times, not only do I blur the background, but I hike the saturation down a lot. That really lets the subject pop.

  12. #12
    If you have PScs3 or maybe PSE has this too...you can erase the background (with the background eraser tool) and it will leave an unusual mottled blended effected...sometimes.
    just call me Uma


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