Created a Matte for an Image

OringialVeronicaFacing Sun
OringialVeronicaFacing Sun

I had this great image of High School senior Veronica from our senior photo session that I wanted to share on Instagram.  It is the image below.  The subject filled most of the vertical aspect of the image - from her gorgeous shoes to the her sunlit hair.

However, I had trouble making it appear correctly on Instagram because the app was cropping part of the image due to the 2:3 vertical ratio - forcing me to choose whether to crop out part of her head or her feet.  I found it to be unacceptable.  So I cranked up Photoshop and got to work.

Unacceptable crop from Instagram.
Unacceptable crop from Instagram.

The first thing I did was rotate the image the counter clockwise a little and had the content aware check box ticked on.  This generated some image info in the clipped areas created due to the rotation.  I duplicated the layer, then increased the canvas size to give it a 1:1 ratio which I know is Instagram's preferred ratio.  I duplicated the layer again and increased the image size 200% and applied a blur  to it.  I made sure to place the enlarged image layer that was blurred under the un-blurred image.  I went to layer's blending options and added a drop box a thin border around the image.  The result is what you see below - an image that has a custom matte that accents the photo nicely - in my opinion anyway.  Since I was in Photoshop, I took care of some more of the fly-away hairs too.

Final result of creating a custom matte for the image of Veronica facing the setting sun.
Final result of creating a custom matte for the image of Veronica facing the setting sun.