Friday, November 25, 2016


photo, how-to, mixed-media-manic
Scratched first, then the color was enhanced with markers.
Got any old processed prints that just aren't the best? Did'ja go through old albums with relatives at Thanksgiving (or maybe you WILL, at Christmas), and found or will find some duplicates or just plain bad shots? Here's some ways to have PHUN WITH PHOTOS! Even with kids (see my caveat below)! One or two can even be done with inkjet prints, while a couple of others require commercially-processed pics.

First, for the scratching activity (the photo above with the leaded glass), dip a processed print in lukewarm water about a minute, blot, and use scratch tools or even sandpaper on the parts you wish to lighten or remove. If the emulsion hardens too quickly, just run warm water over the picture again.
If you want, add color back in with markers, watercolors, or inks. This project is a great way to re-work photos that contain distracting elements! Here's a link to another scratched example.

Next, bleaching the print is best done on a commercially-printed photo, since rinsing afterward is a good idea. Inkjet prints would run with a water rinse.) Try a bleach pen if you want to write words or numbers or symbols. Then wipe with a damp paper towel, rinse under water, and dry. Young children should not attempt this project.
tute, how-to, mixedmediamanic
Shot inside an old house to "frame."
In the photo above, there was just too much dark and my view wasn't great anyway.
BUT, here's another way to use household laundry bleach with photos! Mix a solution with half water, half Hilex in a tray. Dip part of the photo in and watch the colors change! You can even protect parts of the photo with a wax resist product first if desired, and then dip the entire thing into the tray of bleach solution. See example below. Also see "Dodg" at this link.

tutorial, photos, Guhin
Partially bleached in a tray.
Cutting and rearranging the parts is nothing new, but it IS easy and sometimes the results are striking. I've also previously discussed stretching two similar pictures into one, discarding the most boring strips. (See another example here.)

how-to, photo, art
Of COURSE it works with either
horizontal or vertical strips, even
angled pieces!
Finally, coloring photos the easy way, with markers: Try buffing or smoothing out the streaks with cotton balls. Go for unreal colors and psychedelic effects.
tute, photography, how-to
Markers are just so easy!
Thanks for viewing this post! I appreciate it.


  1. A few months ago was cleaning out my boxes of stuff and came across quite a few out of focus photos and have been messing with them -- you are giving me more fun ideas :)

  2. Thanks again, Meera, you are kind to comment!


Your kindness in leaving a message is greatly appreciated!