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When removing elements from an image, the best rule to follow is that you should only remove things that aren't part of the central image, a permanent part in the landscape, or are historically relevant to the time period. For instance, if a period car is in the background, it should probably be kept, because it's historically relevant and can help actually date a photograph; but if, as in this image for instance, there's a stack of amplifiers behind a bride and groom, that's not relevant to the image, and they can be removed.
Let's begin by adding a new blank layer, by going to the bottom of the Layers panel and selecting the Create a new layer icon. Then let's go over and get our zoom tool and move in a little closer on the distraction itself. Now we'll go over to the toolbar again and select the Clone Stamp tool, hold down Alt on a PC, Option on a Mac, and select a place to begin your cloning. This first attempt is very, very important, and have your brush big enough, so that you can see this line that shows you what it'll be cloning, and then you can place it where you want.
This is important, because you have to get this lined up to set the tone for the rest of the cloning. If you get that first one off, then the rest of the pattern will be off. Of course, that's especially relevant when you've a pattern like this. Just keep that in mind. Everything under it will be mis-aligned or aligned, according to that first set-down of the clone stamp tool. And it's all right to go over, see, I am going over the sleeve.
I am going into the dress. That's okay. We'll be removing that. And it's better to go over than to have to go back and try to add more later. Let's get the rest of this really quickly. It's a little wiggly right here. Just go and get to a point where it's not terribly obvious. We'll see how this looks when we zoom out here in a minute.
I might not be as careful as I need to be here because of time constraints, but I'm going to try to do the best I can always. Now let's zoom out here a second. Hold down Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus. That might be a little wobbly here. Let's see if we can't fix that a little bit. Pick up these little pieces. It's all in the details, but overall that looks pretty good. I'm not terribly unhappy with that.
Now your next step: you want to actually add a mask to this clone stamp layer, by going down here and adding your mask. Now we want to come back to our color picker and invert the color, so black is your foreground. Select your Brush tool and now we'll lower the Opacity of our mask layer, so we can see underneath it. Let's zoom back in, Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus and begin to brush away where you went over the dress.
It's much easier to do this, like I said, than try to add it later, and align everything up again; it can be a real mess. So another benefit of the mask, if you go over and back into the bricks, then you can just invert your color again and fix it, like right here. We'll do that in a second. Okay, now let's invert our color and clean up this little area right here, and right here. Okay, now we want to soften this little line right here.
We don't want any sharp edges, so we can go and take our Opacity back up, go up to Filter > Blur and Gaussian blur. We just want a very, very slight blur. Now if you get it too much, so you can blow out all you've done--you see this over here. Now it's going to look not good. It had blurry bricks. So we'll bring this down so it's aligned, but still not a sharp line. About 3, 3.5, 3.3 is good. Click OK.
Let's zoom out again. Now you can take care of your obvious repeats, say in the shrubbery. You can you know clone them out if you would like. Let's add one more blank layer. Get our Clone Stamp tool, hold down Alt or Option, and let's get an area way far away over here. And let's just make our shrubbery look like it's not all the same thing over and over. There. That's pretty good. And the tones match up really good, because we cloned in a close area.
If we cloned from over here, it might be a different color. Again, let's pull that out. Now let's have a quick look at the before and the after. All in all, that's a pretty good fix. When removing distractions from an image, take care to line up all patterns, match the tones, and soften the edges. Pretty soon the intended focus of your image will shine through.
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