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Reframing, Retouching, and Recomposing Images

Chapter Description

This sample chapter from Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019 Classroom in a Book teaches a range of techniques for cropping, retouching, and rearranging the composition of images.

Working with the image canvas

Think of the image canvas as the equivalent of the paper on which a photo is printed. While you’re working with a digital photo, image data may temporarily lie outside the canvas space, but it will be clipped to the canvas boundary as soon as the image is flattened. To extend our limited analogy just a little further, think of the layer data as the image projected by a photographic enlarger in the darkroom. Although the projected image may be offset or enlarged so that it falls outside the borders of the paper, the data still exists; you can continue to work with it right up until the moment that the photographic paper is exposed.

Adding a border to a photo

By default, the canvas is the same size as the image and is therefore not visible. If you increase the size of the image file, the canvas is enlarged automatically; however, you can also choose to enlarge the canvas independently of the image size, effectively adding a border around your photo—just as if you printed a photo on a sheet of paper larger than the image.

By default, the extended canvas, and therefore the border, takes on the Background color as set in the color swatches at the bottom of the toolbar.

  1. With the image 07_01_Cropped.jpg still open and the Editor in Expert mode, double-click the Hand tool (common47a.jpg) or choose View > Fit On Screen. Use the Window menu to hide the Panel Bin, if necessary; then, hide the tool options pane by clicking the Tool Options button (common39.jpg) at the left of the taskbar.

  2. If you don’t see a reasonable amount of the blank gray background surrounding the image, hold down the Ctrl / Command key and press the Minus key (−) on your keyboard or choose View > Zoom Out.

  3. Choose Image > Resize > Canvas Size. If necessary, move the Canvas Size dialog box aside so that you can see at least the left half of the image.

  4. Set the Canvas Size dialog box as shown in the illustration at the right. Activate the Relative option; then, set the units menus to Inches, if necessary, and type a new value of 1 for both Width and Height. Leave the Anchor control at the default centered setting. Choose Black from the Canvas Extension Color menu, and then click OK.

The new black border appears around the photo in the image window. For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll take it one step further and extend the canvas again to turn the border into an asymmetrical frame.

  1. Choose Image > Resize > Canvas Size. In the Canvas Size dialog box, confirm that the Relative check box is still activated. Leave the Width value at 0 and set the Height value to 2 inches. In the Anchor control grid diagram, click the central arrow in the top row. With this Anchor setting, the one-inch increase to the height of the canvas will be applied at the bottom edge of the image only. Leave the Canvas Extension Color setting unchanged and click OK.

    191fig02.jpg
  2. If you can’t see the entire border framing the image, double-click the Hand tool or choose View > Fit On Screen.

The extended border gives you space to add text to the image, making it an easy and effective way to create a postcard, a stylish cover page for a printed document, or a title screen for a slide show presentation.

4. Working with text | Next Section Previous Section

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