"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Adding Space To A Image In Photoshop Using The “Free Transform” Tool

Ever wished that you had just a touch more room on the side, or maybe even the top of a image but you just did not know what you could do about it?
The “Free Transform” tool in Photoshop could do the trick for you, helping you to possibly save a few images that you just might normally trash.
Here is just two examples of what you can do with portraits, nature images, product images, etc., and some of the steps needed to transform and save some of your images.

© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.


“Free Transforming” in Photoshop is simply taking a image that you need some additional room, and transforming or adding some space to the top or sides of the image. It is sort of like a quick clone in Photoshop.
This works very well if you have a fairly smooth, clean area that does not show much detail and/or features. I am using this image of a flower with some slightly blurred details in the background just to show you how it can work with some hint of blurred features/details.
The last example used is of a insect, one that had a smooth, clean background for its expansion.

Now, select your image.


In Photoshop, (I use Photoshop CS), go to “Image” and down to “Canvas Size”.
Select the width, then add the size you want in inches or pixels.
Click on your anchor point, directing which side the canvas addition will move to.
Click OK.


When you click OK, you will see the additional canvas that you added appear to the right side of the image.


In your toolbar area, (left side), select the “Rectangular Marquee Tool” that should be at the top.
Select a area of your image with the Marquee tool, and making sure you do not select any of the main subject, or an area with lots of details. Select a area that is clean.
On your keyboard, use “control – T” while clicking inside of your marquee selection.
A box will appear, and you move down to “Free Transform”. Click on that.
Small boxes will appear on the lines of your marquee selection. Grab one and pull/drag it in the direction that you would like to transform that area to.
Double click inside the transformed area. After that, you may need to click one time outside of your selected/transformed area.


Here you can see how easy you can extend a image, and how it can stretch your image and how it effects a background with hints of details in the background.

© 2006 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.


This next image is one with a much smoother, cleaner background. With a image such as this one, you could add lots of space on the right side, making this image into an extreme pano, … if one would wish to do so that is!
This one is a simple example, … and so easy to do.

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.


© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.


So, if you ever find yourself wishing that the petal was not so close to the edge and need more room, or you nearly cut your childs ear off and need some additional room on the side to make the image more pleasing to look at, … this can really help!

Hope this Photoshop tip works for you, and maybe it can help save some of those images that might need just a wee bit of help!

Take care gang!

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website


May 22, 2006 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife, wordpress | , , , , ,


  1. nice tutorial

    i’m guessing it would be alot harder to do without the shallow dof

    Comment by Anonymous | May 22, 2006

  2. Yes, that would certainly be hard to do.
    Something like this works great if you have a smooth/clean background, or a background that is heavily blurred with only hints of details or depth.
    I may use it on occassion when I need less than a inch, … usually it is no more than 1/4 inch added.

    Thanks again!

    Comment by MBrown | May 22, 2006

  3. Wow, that’s a great tip and tutorial, Michael. I was just wondering the other day how to do something like this with a photo where the main subject was really not placed well within the frame. I’m going to try it and let you know how it works out. Thanks so much, and lovely shots as always! :)

    Comment by Judith Polakoff | May 22, 2006

  4. That is a great tip, I’ve not seen that tool before in PS. Thanks Michael :)

    Comment by owen | May 22, 2006

  5. Great tip….thank you!!

    Comment by CRO_PO | May 22, 2006

  6. You got a fantastic blog here : and I love your shots.
    Btw if you want to protect your images from being stolen use a script at dynamicdrive.com to prevent right clicking on images.
    Take care,
    Azhar (came via gorin)

    Comment by Azhar | May 23, 2006

  7. thanks for the tip Mike! I think this would useful for somw of my images! cheers :)

    Comment by david kleinert | May 23, 2006

  8. Thatnk for all the tips. I need to take the time and try some of them…

    Comment by j | May 24, 2006

  9. thanks for that! i do end up either taking another picture or deleting it everytime that happens.

    Comment by kristine | May 24, 2006

  10. Michael, I have to say i love your style. i have recently updated my gallery/ blog and would love to here what you think the main page is C.Yoder Photography then you just navigate around from that page. If i can figure out how to do it would it be okay to link you to my blog?


    Comment by Christina | May 25, 2006

  11. Wow – thanks for the tip! Great advice and photos.

    Comment by Charlotte | May 25, 2006

  12. Hey Micheal,
    You made my they buddy, because I learnt something. Wonderful tutorial, can’t wait for thenext one. Just kidding, I knew how hard is to write something in that order. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    Comment by Arash Sharifi | May 25, 2006

  13. Thanks for the tip and great fly shot.

    Comment by AirBete | May 25, 2006

  14. Thanks for the clear step-by-step tip on using the Transform tool. Great tutorial!

    Comment by MacroMoments | May 29, 2006

  15. Some beautiful photography here. If you’re interested, we’d love to use your tutorial on PhotographyCorner.com in our photography resource center.

    Comment by Tim L. Walker | May 31, 2006

  16. I just learned about this technique recently – a superior way to add a bit of background canvas. Nice clear explanation! And great images as always.

    Comment by tomwhelan | June 14, 2007

  17. That’s a great technique, Michael. I’ve never tried it but I will have to go experiment.

    Comment by Christopher Scholl | June 14, 2007

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