Squirrel; 9.23.2010; 3:17 p.m.; Rexburg, ID; f/4.0; 1/640; Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
For this cutout I first edited the photo in Camera Raw and slightly adjusted vibrance and blacks. I then brought the image into Photoshop and adjusted levels slightly. I used the QuickSelect tool to select that part of the image I wanted to remove. I created a new layer (Shift Command N) and filled it with white by hitting option delete. I deselected and then hid that layer. I then switched to the image layer and used the QuickSelect tool again to select the squirrel. I made sure to zoom in a great deal to clean up the selection. Next I went to Select-Refine Edge. I added some feathering to soften the edges and the selection a bit. Once it was refined, I copied the selection to a new layer (Command J) and revealed the hidden layer to get the final result.
Mickey Balloon; 9.18.2010; 2:28 p.m.; Richland, WA; f/3.5; 1/400; Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
For this cutout I used the QuickSelect tool in Photoshop to select the balloon. I then went to Select Inverse, to select everything except what I had manually selected. I pressed delete to leave just the image of the balloon and then refilled the background with this solid blue color. I refined the edges of the balloon by going to Select, Refine Edge and adjusting the feathering of the image. I also added a slight shadow to help the edges blend better.