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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.
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