January 29

Four Ways to Improve an Image

We snap thousands of images a year on our phones, but few of them go anywhere. And the ones that do could use some upgrades to make them more interesting. Here are five tech tools to change your boring image.

One: Take out the background

You take an Instagram-worthy family portrait in front of a pile of dirty dishes. Time to take out the mess. The fastest way to take out the background is to visit remove.bg, a site that, well, removes the background (bg). You simply upload your photo and wait, I don’t know, maybe 2 seconds? Then boom. You have a clean family cutout that you can paste into someone else’s clean kitchen.

Here’s a demo in real time (my sister and I a couple three years [decades] back).

Demo remove.bg

Two: Swap out/clean up the background

If Bernie Sanders taught us anything this month, it’s that placing a cutout of a person into tv and movie scenes will entertain us for days. Swapping out the background of an image is also easy. Some options:

  • Remove.bg has some basic options.
  • Canva can not only remove the background like Remove.bg, it also has thousands of stock images and backgrounds to make your cutout blend in.
  • The most magical tool in this category is TouchRetouch, an app with phenomenal powers. You can cut out objects, stray telephone wires, foregrounds, backgrounds and more.
  • PicsArt and PhotoRoom are also great for changing the backgrounds, and they have all kinds of extra editing and enhancement features as well. I used PhotoRoom to create these pics after I cut the hubby out of another image:

Three: Make a meme

I remember the first time I read the word “meme.” Was it pronounced me-me? According to Merriam-Webster, meme’s original intent was to signify “‘a unit of cultural transmission’ — the cultural equivalent of a gene.”

Yeah, no one really understood that. Memes are now the funny pictures with the big font that we text each other and share on Facebook. There’s even a site dedicated to researching the origin of trending memes (warning: not all memes are safe for work or people with opinions). Try these resources for easy, fast memes:

  • Imgflip is an insanely fast way to make a meme with your own image or a popular trend.
  • I use Memetic on my phone to create memes for presentations and promos. Fast and easy. This is a video I created from the memes I made:

Four: Resize

Ever upload an image into a document only to find that it’s a big fuzzy mess? The sticker printing site Sticker Mule created a quick image enlargement tool to help its customers get higher-res versions of their images for printing. It’s better than just dragging the image into an image editing tool and resizing because the new tool uses artificial intelligence to fix it. (Yes, they make you register, but you can use temporary emails if you don’t want to.)

Upscale by Sticker Mule comparison


graphics, just plain fun, utilities

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