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Removing distracting elements

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Removing distracting elements

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.

Removing distracting elements

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15598 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 16m 47s
    1. Customizing your workspace
      2m 17s
    2. Using layers
      1m 58s
    3. Assessing the damage
      1m 52s
    4. Rebuilding color channels in a grayscale image
      3m 47s
    5. Using a Black & White adjustment layer
      1m 57s
    6. Using the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
      4m 56s
  3. 27m 30s
    1. Fixing a faded black-and-white photo
      2m 20s
    2. Removing small splits, specks, and spots
      3m 44s
    3. Repairing red-eye
      4m 58s
    4. Reducing paper texture
      4m 34s
    5. Reducing dot patterns in printed photos
      3m 51s
    6. Fixing lens distortion
      4m 19s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      3m 44s
  4. 24m 16s
    1. Fixing large rips, tears, and other damage
      3m 9s
    2. Removing long scratches
      3m 24s
    3. Fixing creases
      5m 8s
    4. Stitching large photos using Photomerge
      3m 17s
    5. Reassembling torn photos
      4m 56s
    6. Replacing missing pieces
      4m 22s
  5. 27m 55s
    1. Removing stains
      3m 48s
    2. Removing ink marks
      2m 34s
    3. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a black-and-white photo
      2m 14s
    4. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a color photo
      6m 1s
    5. Fixing mold damage
      5m 20s
    6. Reducing starburst light glare
      5m 11s
    7. Reducing eyeglass light glare
      2m 47s
  6. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding the basics of levels
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding the basics of curves
      3m 29s
    3. Finding the black, white, and gray points in an image
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting color levels by channel
      1m 58s
    5. Making selective contrast adjustments
      4m 48s
    6. Adjusting image shadows and highlights
      4m 59s
  7. 18m 13s
    1. Adjusting color with the Photo Filter adjustment
      2m 23s
    2. Correcting color casts using inverse color correction
      3m 2s
    3. Correcting color problems using the Color Balance adjustment
      3m 19s
    4. Correcting color casts using the Variations command
      3m 55s
    5. Correcting color by combining levels and curves
      1m 44s
    6. Improving color by adjusting the hue and saturation
      3m 50s
  8. 33m 14s
    1. Removing distracting elements
      5m 35s
    2. Repairing and recreating backgrounds
      7m 43s
    3. Extracting areas using masks
      5m 5s
    4. Matching colors in elements you add
      4m 11s
    5. Matching textures
      4m 45s
    6. Replacing facial features and missing body parts
      5m 55s
  9. 29m 59s
    1. Converting to black and white
      4m 48s
    2. Enhancing faded color
      3m 30s
    3. Smoothing a subject's skin
      4m 2s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white photos with duotone
      2m 34s
    5. Enhancing the eyes
      4m 10s
    6. Bringing out facial features with light
      5m 22s
    7. Sharpening
      5m 33s
  10. 32m 32s
    1. Assessing the damage
      1m 26s
    2. Repairing the crack
      1m 52s
    3. Replacing the missing body parts
      3m 5s
    4. Removing the specks, spots, and scratches
      3m 7s
    5. Fixing the missing corner
      1m 14s
    6. Lightening the stains
      5m 22s
    7. Restoring the faded tone in the face
      3m 8s
    8. Balancing the tone in the image
      1m 58s
    9. Evening the color with a Black & White adjustment layer
      49s
    10. Cleaning up the image
      2m 24s
    11. Adding definition to the face
      2m 20s
    12. Softening the image
      58s
    13. Sharpening the image
      2m 4s
    14. Bringing back some of the original tone
      1m 34s
    15. Comparing the image before and after
      1m 11s
  11. 24s
    1. Final thoughts
      24s

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