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Photo Enhancements 101

Martha Stewart Living, May 2006

While it's true that any of your photographs can be used for the projects featured here, some inevitably look better than others. Whether choosing an old photograph or taking a new one, pay attention to the background: It should be pretty, of course, but not overly busy. For head shots, a solid-color backdrop is often best. Once you've scanned or uploaded the image into the computer, basic editing software lets you make the following enhancements:

Adjust the Color
Or remove it altogether, as we did with many of our photographs. The nostalgic feel of black-and-white -- achieved with a simple click of the mouse -- lends itself to photo crafting. Sepia tones also give images an old-world quality that's similar to cyanotype.

Make Corrections
Most editing software programs allow you to erase red-eye, eliminate cracks in old prints, and even brush away unwanted objects from the background of a photograph.

Change the Format
Just because you snapped the photograph one way doesn't mean that's how it has to appear on your pillow, jewelry, or tote bag. Play around with the size, zooming in and out until you achieve the desired balance, and crop out background distractions.

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