Taking a Picture of a Picture

Kids these days have it so easy. My young daughter rolls her eyes when I remind her of that fact. Of course, I did the same thing when my dad took strolls down memory lane and regaled us with stories about having to walk home from school uphill both ways. Still, the perpetual hill has nothing on today’s computers. Advancements in technology have simplified just about every aspect of life, including photography.

I thought about this the other day when I was taking screen shots of webpages. No longer does one have to possess a fancy camera and mad photo skills to capture an image from a computer screen. Rather, these days, taking a picture of a picture requires little more than a few simple keystrokes.

Both Mac OS and Windows allow users to create digital images of the computer screen minus a camera. For example, if you are running Mac OS you have several options for taking a photo of your computer screen, including pressing Command-Shift-3. Using this key combination takes a shot of the entire screen and saves it to your desktop as a digital file. You can also hit, Command-Shift-4 and select the area of the screen you would like to capture, and then hold down Command-Shift-3 to capture that part of the screen and save it to a file on your desktop. Finally, is you want to capture a window, hit Command-Shift-4, Space, Select a Window, then hold down Command-Shift-3 to take a shot of that window and save it to a window on your desktop.

Windows users simply need to press the Print Screen Key on the computer keyboard. On my keyboard the key is labeled PrtScn. When you press this key, the entire computer screen is copied to your clipboard. If you want to capture just the active window, then hold down the Alt key on your computer while pressing the PrtScn key. After you press PrtScn, you can then paste the image from your clipboard into an image-editing program, such as Photoshop. From there you can crop, rotate or edit the image to your heart’s content.

Related Articles:

Basic Photo Tips for Digital Camera Owners

Getting Rid of Red-Eye and Saying Bye-Bye to Blurry Shots

Tips for Improving Your Shots

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.