One great use for Photoshop Lasso Tool is lifting your subject in order to make changes to it or to your background.

The Photoshop Lasso Tool is needed here.

I like this picture except for the background. It is in focus detracting from the real subject, the old truck. Also, there are newer cars in the picture. I’m thinking if the newest cars in the background were from the late ‘60s I’d be O.K.

But they're not. So- what I’m going to do is distort the background so that the only thing that really shows is the truck and the pump island lights. In order to do that I will need to lift the subject, the truck, from the picture. Using the Photoshop Lasso Tool I will...

Go from this...

to this.

And this is the finished image, after a little antiquing.

There are other options. I could lift the truck out of this picture and drop it into a completely different background. I don’t have one I want to use so I'll blur out the current background.

Choose a picture you want the background blurred. Open Photoshop and load the picture. If you don’t know how, click here to learn the first steps.

Once the picture is loaded, I almost always complete the quick fixes first. Now before we can use the Photoshop Lasso Tool, we have to make a copy of the “Background Layer.”

To make the copy, hover your mouse icon over the existing layer in the lower right hand corner of the Photoshop screen.

Click and drag it up to the little icon as shown. It will create a second layer and you will see this.

Click the little eye next to the original layer. You can identify the original by the padlock on the right. Well, plus it says “background” next to it as opposed to “background copy.” The padlock means it is a locked layer. Clicking on the eye will turn off the original background.

Now the original layer will never show in the main screen. I always turn off any layers I am not working with. It avoids confusion. One purpose for making a copy is there are certain effects you will not be able to use on the padlocked layer. They have to be applied to a copy.

Notice the background copy is highlighted in blue. Whenever you are working in Photoshop, the layer you are working on will be highlighted blue in the layers box. To switch layers, click in the box next to the desired layer. It will highlight in blue.

That means that any changes you make now, will be made only to that given layer. The exceptions are things like cropping and certain other stuff you will want done to the entire photo.

Let's recap. The eyeball left of the thumbnail is to turn on, or off, a layer. The area right of the thumbnail shows which layer you are working on.

O.K. in the upper left corner click on “Full Edit.”

You have to be in “Full Edit” in order to use the Photoshop Lasso Tool. Down the left hand column, click on the little lasso. The four matching lassos you see across the top Photoshop toolbar are the working tools for the Photoshop Lasso Tool.

"Lasso Tool" is 4 pages.

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