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Have you ever taken a photo as a horizontal or landscape orientation photo and wished that you taken it as a vertical or a portrait orientation, maybe because you have a special vertical frame that you want to use with the photo? Well, there is a new tool in Elements 8, the Recompose tool, that can help you to change the orientation of a photo and it does that by cropping away areas inside the photo as opposed to the Crop tool which can only crop away around the edge of a photo. I have actually dragged out the document window so you can see where the edge of this photograph is.
I am going to select the Recompose tool, which is located behind the Crop tool here. Then I am going to go up to the Options bar for the Recompose tool. I am going to select this first icon, which looks like a green paintbrush. With this brush, I am going to identify for Elements the areas that I want to retain in the photo. So I am just going to scribble over this flag here and if I need to make my brush bigger, I can press the Right Bracket key on my keyboard to do that. I am also going to paint with green over the calf and then I am going to go to another tool, the red brush icon, in the Options bar, select that and with that one I am going to indicate which areas could be removed during the process of changing the orientation of the photo.
And I am going to make a little mistake there and paint over onto the flag because I want to show you yet another option here in the Options bar and that is this Eraser icon. I will select that one and I will come in and I will erase the red that I added on top of the flag because I do want to protect the flag as I change the orientation of the photo. If there were any people in this image, I would make sure that this icon was enabled so that the people would be protected as the orientation of the photo changes. From the Preset menu, I could choose a set size for the final image or I could just choose Use Photo Ratio to create a final image that's in a typical ratio for a photograph.
Now I am going to click on the right anchor point here and I am going to drag to the left to start recomposing the photo. And notice, as I do, Elements is cropping away areas in middle between the flag and the cow. And it does a pretty good job, although there are some little jagged edges here and if I was going to be really fastidious about this, I would undo and try to redraw in this area with the red brush icon.
But I am just going to leave that for now. I think this is an acceptable result and I am going to click the green checkmark here and I have now changed the orientation of the photo from horizontal to vertical. There is only one thing left to do and that's to remove this gray and white checkerboard, which represents the leftover transparent area from the original image. To do that, I am going to go to the Recompose tool, click and hold and choose the Crop tool instead. And then with the Crop tool, I'll start outside of the top-left corner and drag down and to the right to surround the vertical photo and then I'll click the green checkmark to crop down to that vertical shape, removing the transparent pixels that were left over after use of the Recompose tool.
I might come into this area and try to retouch that with the Healing Brush or perhaps with the Clone Stamp tool. So that's how to use the new Recompose tool to change the orientation of an image from horizontal to vertical.
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