How to Cut Out a Photo Background

By Carl Hose

With photo editing software, removing backgrounds from a digital or scanned photo is easy to do and can allow you to create photographs that combine elements from more than a single image. Lasso software allows you to select specific elements from one image and remove them to make room for a new background or to place part of an image in another photographic setting. Using photo editing software, there is no limit to the photo images you can create.

Step 1

Open a digital or scanned photo in your photo editing software. The software you use doesn't matter as long as it has a lasso tool. The lasso tool allows you to select areas of your photograph for removal.

Step 2

Select an image that has a foreground image with distinct edges if possible. These are easier to define for removal. Open the image in your photo editing software and choose the lasso tool from the "Tools" menu. Find a starting point on the foreground image and click the edge of the image with your lasso tool to begin definition.

Step 3

Define the image you want to remove by clicking at various points along its edge with your lasso tool. With each click, you will see a line appear from one selection point to the next. This line will trace the outline of the image you want to remove. Place the selection points as evenly spaced as possible along the outline. Get as close to the lines as possible around curves in the image.

Step 4

Double click the background in the "layers" palette to create a new layer. Right click and select "Invert" from the pop-up menu or choose "Invert" from the "Selections" menu, then press the "Delete" key on the keyboard to remove the background.

About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.