Ever take a picture of a large group, but can’t seem to get one where everyone is looking at the camera, with their eyes open and a flattering look on their face? It’s inevitable—the more people you’re taking a picture of, the greater the probability that someone will blink at just the wrong moment. You can solve this problem without any complex Photoshopping or calling everyone back for a redo. Using Windows Live Photo Gallery, which comes free with the Windows Live Essentials pack, you can simply take the best parts of several shots and stitch them together into one perfect photograph. Here’s how:
1. Take several photos from the same position. This is important. When taking your photos, make sure that you do not change your position or the zoom angle. Take three, four or more photos with everyone in the exact same position. The more pictures you take, the more alternate faces and poses you’ll have to choose from later.
2. Import your photos into Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can get it for free at http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials.
3. Select the photos you took in step one. Go through each one and check the box in the top-left corner of the thumbnail. Or, simply click each one while holding the CTRL key.
4. Click the Create ribbon. Click the PhotoFuse icon.
5. Look for faces where people are squinting, blinking or looking in the wrong direction. Draw a box around their face to select it.
6. Choose an alternate pose or face for the selected person.
7. Repeat these steps for each face that you want to change.
8. Click “Save” when you are finished. Give your composite photo a new name.
And there you have it. Now that you have the power of PhotoFuse on your side, you don’t have to stress about getting a picture perfect group photo right off the bat. Take some time to get familiar with PhotoFuse so you can create the most natural looking composite photos possible. Keep these additional tips in mind as you create PhotoFuse pictures:
Remember to always take pictures from the same vantage point. This will give you better results when swapping faces.
Make sure you select the entire face in PhotoFuse. Otherwise, there may be residual images from the previous picture (such as extra ears, disembodied hair, etc.).
The more pictures you take, the more poses you’ll have to choose from. You may want to set your camera to “rapid fire” or “multiple shot” mode. This will take several pictures in succession, allowing you to choose the best one.
You can also use PhotoFuse to get an unimpeded view of a landscape or landmark. Simply take multiple photos and then remove each interfering pedestrian, car or other moving object.
Have some fun with PhotoFuse. Try taking multiple photos of the same person standing in different areas in the shot. Later, you can splice them in so it looks like they are clones.