Doing an Image Extraction and Addition Makeover

Zeroing in on an image to isolate (through selection) a portion you want to use is a key skill in extraction makeovers — performing soft-edged extractions and placing the extracted image segments in other images. Fussiness counts: Pay special attention to the edges of your selection to make sure that the extraction will blend seamlessly into its new background.

1 Open Arches_Juniper.tif.

This image is available for download from the Web site associated with this book.

The idea here is to remove a juniper tree from one image ("Arches_Juniper") with the intent of placing it in another ("Red_ Rocks") — without making a royal mess of things.

2 Choose ImageoDuplicate to make a duplicate copy.

You're doing some radical editing here, so work only on copies.

3 Using Spacebar+^/Ctrl, zoom in on the juniper tree so you can see what kind of selection job you've gotten yourself into.

Okay, the juniper tree looks like a fairly difficult extract — the tree has all those open spaces of varying sizes and opacities. Add to that the patches of sky (and those clouds with various colors and luminance values showing through the branches) and you've got yourself a bit of a selection headache.

Luckily for you, Photoshop provides several tools you can use to select the juniper tree. You could use the Magic Wand tool to get started, or perhaps the Color Range tool — and Photoshop even has a specific Extraction tool (FilterO Extract) — all of which you might, and

could, use here. For this particular makeover, however, you'll want to use one of my favorite tools for making selections and extractions of complex images: the Background Eraser tool.

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