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May 9, 2011 / arthill

Put the best face on it

It happens to all of us.  You take those group shots and as you go through them there is always somebody with eyes closed or looking away or frowning.  Well there are some pretty easy to use software tricks that let you combine several photos to get the best picture of each person.

To illustrate I’ll take these two pictures that I took on Mother’s Day.



Scarlett’s eyes are partly closed in the first one and Lindsey is making a funny face in the second one.

I open up both photos in Photoshop Elements and Choose Group Merge from Guided Activities.

  I chose the image with Lindsey making a funny face as my base because I like all of the faces in that one except Lindsey’s.  Next I draw a circle around Lindsey’s face from the other picture


As soon as I do this the software transfers her smiling face to the other picture and I end up with this.

wilsons pse group merge Untitled-2

Windows Live Photo Gallery calls this feature Photo Fuse.  I highlight two or more pictures and then click the Photo Fuse button


I don’t even have to draw a line around Lindsey’s face, the program automatically pops up a comparison box and asks me which I like best


I could do this for each face in the picture but I’m okay with the other three so this is what I get.

wilsons IMG_1160 Fuse

There are two other things that bother me a little shown in the red circles below


but a quick application of the Stamp tool –aka cloning brush fixes those right up

wilsons pse group merge with cloning

This works best if you concentrate on keeping the camera in exactly the same spot.  If your camera will shoot several shots in rapid succession, do that.  I kind of forgot that yesterday and was moving the camera around too much on most of my shots.



Leave a Comment
  1. Maryann Goldman / May 10 2011 6:17 am

    Wow! I’m impressed. I really must try this sometime!

  2. Susan Wilde / May 10 2011 7:55 am

    Impressive work. Excellent tutorial.

  3. Debbie / May 10 2011 9:08 am

    You’ve convinced me. I am going to order the software.
    Thanks, Art!

  4. Ed Spadoni / May 10 2011 11:42 am

    It seems too easy! Thanks Art, I’ll be trying this.

  5. Howard Hull / May 11 2011 12:48 pm

    Really neat stuff, great tutorial. Will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks Art!

  6. Randi / May 19 2011 10:21 pm

    I have just started (for the first time) using Windows Live Photo Gallery with my new PC. Where can I find the stamp tool/clone tool you describe above? The retouch button just doesn’t work as well – in some editing situations – than a clone brush would. (I used to use MS Digital Image Suite for years and loved that editing program’s clone brush). Thanks for any help!

    • arthill / May 19 2011 10:43 pm

      Windows Live Photo Gallery and, as far as I know, Picasa do not have stamp/clone brushes. I also used Digital Image Suite for years. One free program that has this feature is at

      • Randi / May 20 2011 3:48 pm

        Thank you!!

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