How to Extensively Stretch the Background of Your Images

We all have photos that we wish had a wider composition, either because we didn’t own the right lens or because we saw new potential for it in post-processing. With this easy Photoshop tip, learn how to greatly stretch the edges of an image without distorting the subject.

In this video, Unmesh Dinda for PiXimperfect shares a simple but effective way to use the Content-Aware Scale tool inside Photoshop to widen images without targeting the subject. His method is very simple to do, so don’t be discouraged if you are just starting out in Photoshop.

As you may pick up from Dinda’s example photos, this technique probably won’t work for every background. His photos have a simple, low-detail background which helps to sell the effect. If the background is largely in focus and has recognizable objects in it, it’s going to be hard to use the Content-Aware Scale and get away with it looking normal. With how simple this tool is to use, however, I think trying it first to see how it manages the job before moving onto something more complicated is a good first step.

What are your own tricks you use to make background stretching easy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Rex Larsen's picture

Thanks, Ryan, for the helpful post.

Oleh Brevus's picture

very simple and useful!!!! thanks

Jay Jay's picture

Great great trick, thanks for this tip!

S Bloom's picture

Fascinating! Newbie question: RAW or can this be done with jpg?

Sam Hood's picture

I would think it can only be done to a JPEG as you can't do this level of editing with CameraRaw or Lightroom

Ryan Mense's picture

I’d use a lossless format like TIFF over JPEG