Digital photographs are often used to illustrate projects, newsletters or catalogues and there are many ways to improve the presentation using image-editing software. One method is to change the edge of the picture so it frames the photo and makes it stand out more on the page.
Words & Pictures Peter Bargh ePHOTOzine
Adding an effect to the edge of a photograph not only makes it elevate form a page it can also make the photo look more impressive if its mounted in a borderless frame.
1 Open the photograph in Photo Impact or an alternative software program.
Select the Standard Selection tool from the toolbar (Rectangular Marquee in Photoshop) and make sure the rectangle option is selected from the menu strip running across the top. On this strip also set a soft selection (this is feather in any many other programs). The amount this needs to be set to depends on the size of the picture. On this tutorial photograph I selected figure that was about 5% of the total pixel length.
2 Now click in the top left corner where you want the selection to start hold down the mouse and drag to the bottom right where the selection should end. This creates a rectangle selection seen as a dotted line frame. In our example the area outside the frame is about 1cm, although on a portrait or other less tight crop of the main subject this could be thicker.
3 Currently if you made any adjustments to the selection it would affect whats inside the dotted frame the centre of the image - so we need to invert the selection. Go to the Selection drop down list and choose Invert to select the outer area only.
4 Now we will add a rough painterly effect to make the edges look rough. From the Effect menu choose Natural Painting and Charcoal.
Normally you would take care when using one of these filters to ensure the sliders are correctly positioned for best effect, but as this is a rough edge were after just slide all three controls across to the right for maximum impact.
5 Youll see the effect in the preview window but its hard to check out effectively so click on preview to see the effect applied to the main image.
Notice how the soft edge has allowed the Charcoal filter to bleed slightly into the main image giving a more graduated effect with a halo style inner border.
6 There are many other filters you could apply on an edge using the above method or an alternative is to fill the selection by going to edit-fill and using black as the fill-colour or delete with white as the background colour. Both these methods create a high-key vignette (below left) or low-key vignette (below right).
7 Another option is to select the lasso with the lock to pixels option selected to make it act like Photoshops magnetic lasso and draw roughly around the picture. Youll see the lasso creates a very rough and jerky path, which, if the soft is set to around 5 will give you a lovely ragged edge with a torn effect.
8 Once again when the selection is complete click invert the selection and click on delete to remove the edge.
|9 Now invert the selection and go to the Shadow mode and set a thin shadow to lift the ragged shape from the white background. Trial and error of the shadow sliders will create a soft or hard shadow I personally prefer the softer approach as its less intrusive but gives a subtle lift to the photo (below).|