How to Virtually Place Yourself in Front of Any Landmark With Free Image Editing Tools
Remove.bg is a free tool that will automatically remove the background from selfie-style pictures. Pixabay and Unsplash are good places to find free pictures of world landmarks. Google Slides is an easy-to-use tool for layering two pictures together to create a new one. Combine all three of those tools and you can virtually place yourself in front of any world landmark.
How to use Remove.bg
Remove.bg is a free tool that I learned about from Tony Vincent. To use Remove.bg simply upload a picture of yourself or yourself and one or two other people (it doesn’t work well with large group pictures) to the site. After you upload your picture Remove.bg will show a preview of your new picture with the background removed. If you like it, you can download it for free without any watermark or other identifier on it.
Find Pictures of Landmarks on Pixabay or Unsplash
Pixabay and Unsplash host hundreds of thousands of pictures that have been placed into the public domain. You’ll find pictures of just about any significant world landmark on one or both of those sites. You can download pictures for free from both sites without having to register on them.
Use Google Slides to Layer or Blend Images
Google Slides has a lot of handy image editing tools including some that make it easy to blend images and layer images on top of each other. This video provides and overview of how to do that.
Remove.bg + Pixabay + Google Slides = Picture Yourself in Front of Landmarks
Now that you know what Remove.bg, Pixabay, and Google Slides can do, let’s combine all three to create a new picture. That’s exactly what I demonstrate in this video.
Alternatives to Remove.bg
After I shared my tutorial video on Twitter last Friday, I had some teachers express concern about the cover image on Remove.bg’s website. If that’s a concern for you, consider using Photo Scissors to remove the background from images. Those of you who have access to PowerPoint can utilize the background removal tool that is built into it. Finally, GIMP also has tools for removing the background from images, but you’ll need to be able to install software on your computer in order to use GIMP.
An Idea for Classroom Use
As I mention in the video, your students can use these tools to virtually place themselves into any setting. I can see having students do that to support stories they write about traveling to see various landmarks. Have students write about the history and significance of the landmarks while inserting themselves into the scene.