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I'm sure you're familiar with the rule of thirds, in photography, which among other things, suggests that you should have space for a subject to move. So in this case, I have a bird that's moving from right to left so I really should have a little bit more space to the left, so that bird has somewhere to go. You don't always have to obey the rule of thirds, of course, but in many cases it can be helpful. And in this situation, I think it would be nice to have at least a little bit more space on the left. To do that, I'll extend the canvas and then fill that canvas with pixels borrowed from the rest of the image. To get started, I'll convert my background image layer to a normal layer. So I'll double-click on the Thumbnail for the background image layer. That will bring up the new layer dialog because I'm essentially converting the background layer into a new image layer.
I'll go ahead and call this Egret since the subject of this photo is an egret. Clicking OK, I have my background image layer converted to my egret layer at this point. And now I can extend the size of the overall canvas. I actually could have done that without converting but then I would fill the new area with white, the current background color, and I'd rather it just be a transparent area. I'll go ahead and choose Image, Canvas size from the menu to bring up the canvas size dialog. I can adjust the unit of measure. I'll go ahead and set this to inches.
You can see that my current size is just about 14 inches by 21 inches. So I'd like to add maybe about 4 inches to the width here. So I'll set the width value to 4 inches. I'll make sure the relative check box is turned on because I'm specifying how much space I want to add, not what I want the new size to be. I'll then click the right most anchor button so that all of the extension for the canvas will occur out to the left on the image. I'll go ahead and click OK and you can see now that I have a canvas that has been extended over on the left side.
Next I'm going to create a selection that I can use as the basis of filling in this area. I'll zoom out just a little bit so I can see the entire image. And then I'll use the Rectangular marquee tool, clicking outside the top left corner of the image and dragging inward so that I can create a selection that overlaps with the rest of the image. Next I'll create a new layer. This will be my image clean up layer. So I'll click on the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then I'll double-click the name of the layer and I'll call this layer Extension since I'm using this layer as a clean up to extend my canvas. I'll go ahead then and choose the Patch tool from the tool box. It's found underneath the Spot Healing Brush tool so I'll click and hold my mouse button on the Spot Healing Brush tools button on the tool box. So that the fly out menu comes up and from there I can choose the Patch tool. With my selection already created, I can simply then point inside the selection and drag it elsewhere.
Notice that I have the Content Aware option set for the Patch tool. I'm also using the very loose adaptation method and that will allow a bit more variability. I am not going to literally copy pixels and try to keep them exactly as they are, but rather I want some change introduced in order to create a more random effect. And I'll also make sure the Sample All Layers check box is turned on since I am doing my clean up work on a separate layer. With all of those settings established, I'll go ahead and point inside of my selection.
And then click and drag it inward into the image, making sure not to overlap with the bird in this case. If I needed to, I could also come over to the other side of the bird. But I think in this situation, I can get a good result just by coming very, very close to the bird without quite coming in contact with it. That looks to be a good position, so I'll release the mouse and Photoshop will process the selection that I've created. And you can see that it's now filled that area in, based on the work of the Patch tool. I'll press Ctrl+D on Windows or Cmd+ D on Macintosh, in order to Deselect that selection.
And then I could continue doing additional clean-up work. For example, I could choose the Spot Healing brush tool and adjust my brush size as needed. Check the settings on the Options bar, and then clean up any additional blemishes or areas that look especially obvious. I think that's looking reasonably good, though. We could continue doing additional clean-up work, fixing any blemishes, any duplication areas, etcetera. But overall, I think we're in pretty good shape with this particular clean up. So you can see, just by extending the canvas and then filling in that area with new pixels.
In this case taking advantage of the Content Aware feature of the Patch tool, enables us to get a realistic extension of our frame.
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