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Using selections and cloning to remove distractions

From: Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

Video: Using selections and cloning to remove distractions

In this image you'll notice in the background there are these cords here that I hadn't noticed and I need to remove those, but the trick is that these are really close to the subject. We have different brightness levels, different areas of contrast. If we just try to use say the Spot Healing Brush and make our brush nice and big maybe and then click and paint across this, what's going to happen is it's going to bring in other elements. You can see that it kind of brought in part of the sweater; that isn't going to work. Well, how then can we retouch this? Well, how could we select this area and just work on this area? Well, one of the ways that we can do this is we could use one of our selection tools.

Using selections and cloning to remove distractions

In this image you'll notice in the background there are these cords here that I hadn't noticed and I need to remove those, but the trick is that these are really close to the subject. We have different brightness levels, different areas of contrast. If we just try to use say the Spot Healing Brush and make our brush nice and big maybe and then click and paint across this, what's going to happen is it's going to bring in other elements. You can see that it kind of brought in part of the sweater; that isn't going to work. Well, how then can we retouch this? Well, how could we select this area and just work on this area? Well, one of the ways that we can do this is we could use one of our selection tools.

There are a ton of different selection tools. Just to highlight one that you might want to try when you're working with edges, it's the Magnetic Lasso tool. You can select that by clicking on it in the Tools panel and then the way that this works is you click to set a point and then you drag along an edge. In this case I'm dragging along this edge here and Photoshop is picking up that there's contrast. If you want to set a point you can click on that and then now that we've done that what we need to do next is we need to loop back around to where we started.

Now we could try to go all the way out to the outer edge of the frame, but it's not going to work very well. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to move to the inside of the frame and just make my way around and then click back to the starting point to make a selection. Now this selection looks a little bit strange. Why are we selecting that? Well, I'm selecting that so that I can eventually invert it and then clone in or clone away the distracting element. Whenever you're working with selections, it's always a good idea to try to refine the edge of it. So here we'll go to the Refine Edge dialog.

This gives us this perspective which we can change from this View pulldown menu and it shows us our selection. In this case we could turn on Smart Radius if we wanted to and we could crank that up a little bit, or we could increase the Contrast in order to increase the density of the edge there, and then click OK. Basically that just allows us to improve that selection. Well as I mentioned, the area selected right now is the exact opposite of what we want, so we need the inverse this selection.

To inverse the selection, you navigate to the Select pulldown menu and here we choose Inverse. And while this technique involves a number of steps, it's worth it; otherwise, if we try to use some of our Healing tools or Patch tool, it would just be kind of a mess. Well, now that we've done that; now that we have all of this area selected, everything but this little area in here, we can do some healing or cloning. Let's try using the Clone Stamp tool. We can select that tool by clicking on it in the Tools panel or you can press the S key.

With this tool, make sure opacity is nice and high. Here we'll go to 100%. We'll turn Aligned on, we'll also sample all layers, so that we can do all our cleanup work on this new layer. Next, I'm going to press the spacebar key so that I can see the right-hand side of my photograph and here I'll Option+ Click on a Mac or Alt+Click on Windows to sample the tone on the right-hand side of the frame, because I'm moving over here in a lateral way, I have the same brightness value on that right-hand side, as I do on the left.

Now that I have that I can go ahead and paint back and forth across this area of the picture. Notice that it's painting along this edge without covering up the subject here at all. You may need to Option+Click or Alt+ Click again in order to create another sample point and then reposition your cursor over that little blemish. You can then paint it away and at some point what you want to do, is you want to make sure that you have done a good job with this. So here I'm just going to Option+Click or Alt+ Click and just paint it away a little bit more. So in order to determine if we've done a good job, we'll navigate to the Select menu and here we'll choose Deselect or you can use that shortcut to deselect, it's Command+D on a Mac or Ctrl+D on Windows.

And next I'm going to reposition the image a little bit, so we can see it all and then click on this icon here. Here's our before. Click again. There is the after. I'll zoom out just a little bit more so we can see the image in its entirety, and you want to do that. You want to make sure your retouching work really fits into the rest of your photograph. We'll click on the Eye icon one more time. There it is: our before and now our after.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

85 video lessons · 23948 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 6m 49s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      3m 51s
    2. Using a Wacom tablet
      1m 8s
    3. Exploring resources and finding inspiration
      1m 50s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Where to begin?
      1m 19s
    2. Reviewing the basic cleanup tools
      3m 59s
    3. Removing small distractions
      2m 41s
    4. Using selections and cloning to remove distractions
      4m 26s
    5. Simplifying the background with the Clone tool
      5m 12s
    6. Removing a garment strap
      5m 17s
    7. Removing a distracting logo
      3m 43s
    8. Removing lint from a T-shirt
      3m 40s
    9. Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 58s
    10. Cleaning up a backdrop with the Patch tool
      4m 6s
  4. 22m 31s
    1. Extending a real-world scene, part 1
      4m 6s
    2. Extending a real-world scene, part 2
      4m 20s
    3. Removing distractions for a creative effect
      4m 31s
    4. Using selections and Free Transform to rebuild image elements
      3m 44s
    5. Moving a person with Content-Aware Move
      5m 50s
  5. 28m 48s
    1. Removing small details from the face
      4m 50s
    2. Retouching skin
      4m 35s
    3. Reducing hotspots, part 1
      4m 32s
    4. Reducing hotspots, part 2
      4m 36s
    5. Reducing brightness with selections and curves
      3m 26s
    6. Using Hue/Saturation to minimize variations in skin color
      3m 45s
    7. Removing tan lines
      1m 53s
    8. Leaving imperfections in portraits
      1m 11s
  6. 37m 15s
    1. Correcting tone with curves and masking
      5m 39s
    2. Fixing exposure and color with curves
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting tone with blending modes and masking
      5m 22s
    4. Using Shadows/Highlights to improve exposure
      5m 28s
    5. Using Soft Light layer blending to burn and dodge
      4m 37s
    6. Exploring the burning-and-dodging workflow
      6m 35s
    7. Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights
      5m 20s
  7. 22m 42s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      7m 21s
    2. Working on wrinkles and details
      6m 51s
    3. Fine-tuning and making final adjustments on wrinkles
      3m 44s
    4. Quick wrinkle reduction with the Patch tool
      4m 46s
  8. 43m 27s
    1. Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
      4m 7s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 38s
    3. Increasing color with Colorize and blending modes
      5m 37s
    4. Rebuilding the edge of the eye
      6m 34s
    5. Whitening eyes, part 1
      3m 54s
    6. Whitening eyes, part 2
      5m 42s
    7. Removing eye veins and sharpening eyes behind glasses
      7m 8s
    8. Correcting color and tone behind glasses
      5m 47s
  9. 11m 26s
    1. Trimming eyebrows
      5m 25s
    2. Darkening eyebrows
      2m 48s
    3. Adding mascara to darken eyelashes
      3m 13s
  10. 16m 47s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone with curves and masking
      4m 23s
    2. Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips
      7m 41s
    3. Improving the look of lips with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 43s
  11. 13m 49s
    1. Teeth whitening made easy
      2m 33s
    2. Exploring advanced teeth whitening
      5m 0s
    3. Automating teeth whitening with actions
      5m 9s
    4. A note on retouching facial features
      1m 7s
  12. 35m 22s
    1. Covering and correcting hair discoloration
      5m 48s
    2. Fixing the color of hair roots
      3m 3s
    3. Making creative color adjustments to hair
      2m 44s
    4. Patching a gap in hair
      4m 27s
    5. Removing flyaway hairs
      6m 18s
    6. Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background
      5m 57s
    7. Adding accents and creative color to a fashion photograph
      7m 5s
  13. 27m 22s
    1. Brightening shadow areas on the face
      4m 22s
    2. Adding color to the cheeks and eyelids
      4m 30s
    3. Modifying eye makeup color
      3m 52s
    4. Increasing color saturation and variety
      4m 17s
    5. Enhancing color with the Lab Color space
      5m 44s
    6. Using Selective Color to create vibrant color
      3m 29s
    7. Additional makeup resources
      1m 8s
  14. 23m 15s
    1. High-pass skin softening
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a mask for the skin
      4m 23s
    3. Softening and adding even texture to the skin
      5m 36s
    4. Adding a soft glow to the skin and details
      6m 28s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Adding dimension using curves and masking
      3m 50s
    2. Reshaping a jawline with Liquify
      4m 30s
    3. Reshaping a shirt with Liquify
      3m 13s
    4. Reshaping a shoulder with Liquify
      3m 22s
    5. Reshaping the body with Liquify
      2m 35s
    6. Using the Warp tool to reshape a jawline
      3m 33s
    7. Modifying the body with the Warp tool
      3m 35s
    8. Changing shape with selections and masking
      8m 32s
    9. Tips for thoughtful portrait retouching
      1m 26s
  16. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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