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Retouching and moving content

From: Enhancing a Travel Photo with Photoshop and Lightroom

Video: Retouching and moving content

There is a distracting item in the center of this photo, this post in the middle of the boat, that I haven't had luck removing, so what we're going to try to do in this movie is to move that post, so at least it's not on top of the boat, and to do that, we'll use the Clone Stamp tool, and the Content Aware Move tool in Photoshop CS6. Let's start by zooming into a 100% by double-clicking the Zoom tool, and then panning over to that post. I'm actually going to zoom in even more, so that we have a really good view of the post where it crosses the boat.

Retouching and moving content

There is a distracting item in the center of this photo, this post in the middle of the boat, that I haven't had luck removing, so what we're going to try to do in this movie is to move that post, so at least it's not on top of the boat, and to do that, we'll use the Clone Stamp tool, and the Content Aware Move tool in Photoshop CS6. Let's start by zooming into a 100% by double-clicking the Zoom tool, and then panning over to that post. I'm actually going to zoom in even more, so that we have a really good view of the post where it crosses the boat.

Then I'm going to go over to the Layers panel. Let's make a new layer by clicking the New Layer icon, and we'll name this one clone. With th,at layer selected, I'll go to the toolbar and I'll select the Clone Stamp tool. Up in the options bar for the Clone Stamp tool, it's important that we change this menu from Current Layer to either Current & Below ,or All Layers, so that Photoshop samples the content for the patch that we'll make from all the layers in the file. I'll leave Aligned checked, so that the sample point move with me as I work on this image, and I'll leave all the other options at their defaults.

Then I'll move into the photo, and I'm going to start by trying to cover up this area, which is a little bit complicated, because it means sampling content from different parts of the boat. I'll start maybe over here, because I want to have enough that I can cross over that entire post. I'll hold down the Option key, that's the Alt key in the PC, and I'll sample. Now when I move my cursor, you can see what I've sampled inside of the cursor. I'll move over to the beginning of the post, and I see that this really isn't going to work, because my brush is so soft that the content is fading out at the top.

So, I'm going to make my brush tip harder by holding the Shift key, and pressing the Right bracket key, and I'll sample again from about the same location, holding the Option key or Alt key to sample. Then I'll move over to the post, and that looks like it's going to be a better fit, so I'll click to lay down that part of the patch, and then I'll carefully move over to the left, and as I do this, I am keeping that rim of the boat lined up, and I'll click again. That's a pretty good result. Now I'll move to this section of the boat. I'll hold the Option or Alt key to sample, I'll move over to the post, and this time I think I can get away with click and drag.

For the next area, I'll hold the Option or Alt key, and sample here, I'll line that patch up with the boat, and I'll drag. Now I'm going to come over this way, and I'll sample from this side, and click and drag. I've double-clicked on the Zoom tool to go back to 100% view. I'm pretty happy with this result, but I'd like to do one more thing, and that is to try to move this post down, so there's more breathing room between the post and the boat. I'll go over to the Layers panel, where I'm going to make a new layer for that purpose.

I'll call this layer move, and next I'm going to make a selection around the post, including a little bit of sea around the post, because the Content Aware Move tool needs to see the surrounding area inside this selection. I can use any of the selection tools including the Content Aware Move tool itself, which acts like a Lasso tool. But because this is a pretty regular geometric shape, I think I'll do best using the Rectangular Marquee tool, so I'll select that in the toolbar, and then I'll click and drag a selection around the post, including a little bit of the sea.

I'd like to include some of the reflection down here as well, so I'll get the Lasso tool, I'll make sure that I have the Add to selection icon selected in the options bar, and I'll add a little bit of this area to my selection, just clicking and dragging around the reflection, and ending up back at the rectangular marquee selection to add that in. Now I'm going to select the Content Aware Move tool, which is here in the same place as the retouching tools. With this tool, I'll make sure in the options bar that Mode is set to Move, and Sample All Layers is checked.

I'll leave Adaptation at Medium, and see how that does. Then I'll move inside of the selection, and I'm going to click and drag down just a bit. You can't too far with this tool, but I will be able to move this post a bit, and when I do, Photoshop not only moves the post, but it also creates a patch that covers the area where the post used to be. I'll press Command+D or Ctrl+D to remove that selection. Now, I can see that this isn't a perfect blend. There is a little bit around the post that you can still see here.

To try to fix that, I'm going to add a layer mask to the move layer. So, I'll go to the bottom of the Layers panel, and I'll click the Add layer mask icon, which comes in white, and now I'll put some black paint on that layer mask to try to hide some of this area around the post. If black isn't your foreground color then, press X on your keyboard. I'm going to get my Brush tool, I'll move into the image, and I'm just going to carefully paint along the edge of this post to try to remove some of that surrounding area that didn't blend in very well.

When I'm satisfied, I'm going to double-click the hand tool to go back to see the entire image on my screen, and you can see the result here. The post is no longer on top of the boat. It's been moved down, so there is a little space around the boat, and I think that improves the composition. So, I'm now finished making changes to this image here in Photoshop. You're more than welcome to work on this image further in Photoshop. When you're done, as I am now, be sure to save the image with these changes. I'll press Command+S on my keyboard, or Ctrl+S on a PC keyboard.

So, that completes our work on this photo in Photoshop and in Lightroom. Stay tuned for the next movie, in which we'll compare the final photo with the original that we started with at the beginning of this project, and talk about potential next steps that you could take with this photo, and your own travel photos.

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Enhancing a Travel Photo with Photoshop and Lightroom

12 video lessons · 5787 viewers

Jan Kabili
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