How to Modify Photographs of Familiar Objects and People for Students with Low Vision and/or Cortical Visual Impairment

Date Posted: 06/28/2011

If your students are using two-dimensional photographs within their program, it will be important to have a set of images that meet their visual needs. Cluttered, busy backgrounds can make viewing simple images quite difficult. In many cases, it is not the size of the image that is most important, but the complexity of the image that is of greatest concern.

What Types of Photographs Are Best?

  • In most cases, the best photographs to use with students who have low vision or cortical visual impairment (CVI) are images with clear, crisp details in a solid background.
  • If you can, photograph objects and people against a solid background (either white or black). In any case, you want to have contrast between the item you photograph and the background. You can do any of these things to help the image pop out on the page:
    • Fill the frame with the image
    • Surround the image with a white or black background
    • Use a contrasting border
    How to Modify Photographs Using a Pair of Scissors and a Scanner at Your Local Drugstore

    Don’t have expertise in Photoshop? Here is a way for you to have great photographs without picking up a mouse!

    1. Print your photograph at your local drugstore.
    2. Use a pair of scissors and cut around your image, discarding the busy background.
    3. Tape or glue the cut image on to a 4 x 6 inch piece of white or black paper.
    4. Go to the "Photo Kiosk" at your local drugstore (i.e., Walgreens, CVS, etc.). Ask for the machine with the scanner.
    5. Lift the cover of the scanner and place your image face down on the scanner bed. Close the cover.
    6. Using the screen of the "Photo Kiosk," press the "Scan photo" button. Your image will be scanned in to the system.
    7. Continue to follow the instructions on the screen. Choose the size you would like your new photo to be. For example, 4 x 6 inches and press that button on the screen.
    8. To add a border to your image, press "Modify/Edit" and then select "Borders."
    9. Finally, print your photos right there from the "Photo Kiosk"!
    10. Use your new photo with your student!
    Let Us Know How It Goes!

    Gail Feld, BESB Preschool TVI, (800) 842-4510 x4232

    Gigi Whitford, BESB Special Services TVI, (800) 842-4510 x4185

    Contact: Gigi Whitford and Gail Feld, TVIs, Connecticut State Board of Education and Services

    Phone: (800) 842-4510 ext. 4232

    Email: or gail.feld@ct,gov

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