Capture Your Buttons

With each trip we take, we seem to bring home more buttons.  Sometimes the buttons tell part of the magical story of our trip.  Here are a few tips for adding those buttons to your digital memories by taking a photograph & extracting the button.

Photographing Buttons Tips:

  • Place the button flat, face up on a well-lit surface.  I had to use something thick to help the button lay flat despite the pin back.
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Outside on an overcast day or in front of a bright window
  • Use a tripod aimed straight down toward the button
Extracting Buttons in Photoshop Elements:
Step 1:  View>Show Rulers.  With the move tool selected, click on the ruler and drag out a guideline to SLIGHTLY INSIDE the edge of the button.  Repeat for all 4 sides of the button.
Step 2:  View>Snap to> Guides.  (Note:  This is a toggle function.  If you see the check mark, snap-to is already turned on.)
Using the ellipse marquee tool (it is found “under” the rectangular marquee tool…
Click near the upper left spot where the guidelines intersect and drag down to the bottom right place where the guidelines intersect.
Step 3:  Ctrl(Cmd on a Mac) – J to duplicate just the button portion of the photo.  Now you can turn off the “whole photo” layer and either save the button as a .png file or drag it onto your layout.
Here's my most recent “button” memory: