► Quicktip

To fill with a color from the background of your photograph, select the Paint Bucket tool from the toolbox—it is behind the Gradient tool. Then, hold down the ALT key (Windows) or OPTION key (Mac) and click the color in the background of your photograph that you want to fill with, to place that color in your foreground swatch. Make sure the Background layer is selected in the Layers palette and click with the Paint Bucket tool anywhere in the blank space to fill with that color.

4. Click the layer in the Layers palette with your photograph and select the Smudge tool from the toolbox—it's behind the Blur tool.

Figure 4-4 I used the Paint Bucket to fill my Background layer with a color selected from the background of my photograph.

Figure 4-4 I used the Paint Bucket to fill my Background layer with a color selected from the background of my photograph.

5. Use the Smudge tool to smudge the bottom and right edges of the photograph, so when you eventually erase some of the photo, you aren't left with any hard edges. I like to pick a fairly large, round brush for smudging edges like this and I usually use the soft, round 65-pixel brush, as shown in Figure 4-5.

6. Click the second button from the left in the bottom of the Layers palette to add a layer mask to the layer containing your photograph. (Another way to add a layer mask is to choose Layer | Add Layer Mask | Reveal All from the top menu.) After adding the layer mask, your Layers palette should look like the following:

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( Normal ^ Opacity: |100M | ► |

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Figure 4-5 I typically select a large, round brush from the Brushes palette when smudging edges of a photograph.

7. Now that you have a layer mask, you can begin "erasing" some of the edges of the photograph, to give it a softer edge. To do this, first make sure your foreground color swatch is filled with black:

8. Select a large, soft, round brush and begin "painting" away the bottom and right edges of the photograph.

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