how to censor a photo

Im going to show you a very fast way to censor a photo using Adobe Photoshop cs4.

Censoring photos can be good for people that would like to do anything from posting a funny picture online without fully mortifying a friend, to journalist who cover protests that would like to portray the mood and energy of an event without publishing potentially incriminating evidence.

here is a NY Times article with a sample of the debate over police use of photos at protests.

So for whatever reason you now need to censor a photo.


1- Digital Photo, can be any file that Photoshop will open because we will save it as a JPEG anyway

2- Photoshop cs4, ( earlier versions will work, but i am using cs4 so this tutorial is catered to that)

3- i am using a mac, you can get the gist of it if your on pc but it will be a little different

(ie: your computer could crash)

step ONE open your file

step TWO zoom into the area of the photo you would like to work on

(I chose to work on the guy in front without a mask on)

the hotkey in cs4 is (z) or click the magnifying glass icon.

step THREE is to select the area to be censored with the Marquee tool (hotkey M)

i like the round marquee tool over the square but either works

step FOUR with the marquee tool selected select the area to be censored, to select multiple areas hold down shift.

If selections overlap they will merge so it is ok. for my photo i chose to block out the face and shoes of the person because those are the generally the most identifiable areas.

step FIVE with everything selected goto the FILTER MENU>Pixelate>Mosaic and set the square size to what you see fit  (I like to use 7)

Now you can save your file and post it anywhere you choose without the risk of incriminating or embarrassing anyone!!!

this is one of my first tutorials, thanks for checking it out i hope it helped you!


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