I’ve mentioned before that I like to add images to my notes that I keep using Word.  Usually, these are scaled down or cropped versions of census records or a birth record or a photo of a tombstone.  If I’m lucky, I have a picture of the person who is the focus of the notes.  But recently, I’ve decided that I’d also like to add images of objects or people that would be relevant to the time period for that person.  For example, I plan to add pictures of the president at that time or images of the area the person lived in.  But sometimes, I only have a picture of something that’s a modern version of what I’m looking for.  Maybe I know my grandmother grew up in a log cabin, but I don’t have a picture of THAT log cabin because it burned down when she was a teenager.  I’d like to have something to show what it was probably like, so I do a Google Images search and I find this.

I like the look and size of the cabin and I like the hanging pot outside, but it’s just too modern looking because of the modern house in the background and because of the brick sidewalk leading up to the house.  And I’d prefer to have something that looks like a sketch of her cabin to add to my notes.  (Which SOMEDAY will be like an illustrated book that I’ll pass on to my family…)  I’m going to use what little I know (just enough to be dangerous) of Photoshop along with a cool program that I found online.  First, I’ll use Photoshop to get rid of the modern house behind the cabin.  I don’t need this to look like a professional did it, just enough to make it look like trees in the background in a pencil sketch.  So I open the image in Photoshop and I click on the “Clone” icon.

After clicking on that, the cursor turns into a circle.  You can adjust the size of the circle by pressing Ctrl + or Ctrl – until it is the size you can work with easily.  Place the cursor in the area you’d like to copy, making sure that you have room to move around a little bit.  Whatever this circle touches is going to be copied onto another area of the photo.  When you have your cursor placed, then click Alt while clicking the left button on the mouse.  A small “bullseye” will appear when you do this.  Now move the cursor to the area you’d like to change.  Whenever you hold you mouse button down, the area that you originally chose will be copied over the image.  You can move your cursor around on the image (while holding down the mouse button) and the bullseye will move the same amount and direction – so your mouse is moving your original bullseye at the same time it is copying it onto a new area.  Again, I don’t need this to look like a professional did it (and it doesn’t, believe me!) I just want it to look like trees in the background.  You can change the location of the area that will be cloned as many times as necessary just by placing your cursor where you want and clicking Alt left button on mouse and then continuing on.  It’s fun to play around and see what can be done.  If you need to work in a very small area, zoom in on the image and make your cursor smaller.  Here’s my new image without the modern house.

The modern house has been covered with a copy of the trees on the right.

I save this image as a .jpg and then I’m ready to take it online.  There is a great (and free!) site at www.anymaking.com that allows you to upload a photo and make it look old, or make it into a puzzle or other fun things.  I really enjoy the pencil drawing effect.  Click on that button.  You may have to scroll down a bit to get past the ad that shows up at the top.  Click on the box that says “Upload Image” and then let the program work it’s magic.  After you see the image, you can adjust how dark the pencil marks are and how slanted they are.  You can also make a color image into a black and white image, if you’d like.  Here’s my log cabin after the conversion.

I chose the black and white version to disguise the brick sidewalk.

I chose to go with a black and white version to hide the brick sidewalk.  I’ve used this same technique to take words off of T-shirts before making a pencil sketch of my kids.  I put them in frames for family and they look great!  It hides alot of photo issues like faded colors or blemishes on faces.  For older photos, I can use this to do a quick fix on creases in photos before turning them into sketches.  It’s a nice effect that I enjoy using and I hope you will too!

Next Wednesday, I’m going to show how to put the images into Word and have them stay where you want them, plus a few effects you can do to your image from Word.