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Removing Unwanted Elements

In the old days, photographers had to be extremely careful before pressing the shutter button to make sure that no tree branches, thumbs, etc. were in the picture. If extraneous things did find their way into a picture, an image that may have seemed to have potential often found itself labeled a loser and buried forever in the dark recesses of some closet. With a digital darkroom, however, photographers can keep these shots and make winners out of them. An image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop features the tools you need to quickly remove any unwanted elements.

Note: the newer versions of Photoshop have a tool called the Healing Brush, which you might find much easier to use than the Clone Tool that is mentioned in this article...

The Rubber Stamp Tool / The Clone Tool
Our first lesson involves using the rubber stamp tool. We could, you might argue, use a different tool such as a paintbrush or eraser to remove unwanted elements. However, an eraser would cut out all picture detail - leaving a hole in your photo - and a paintbrush would have a similar effect, but instead of a hole, your photo would have a flat paint splashed on it.

First, let's take a look at our example:

Digital Retouching Example - Before
Digital Retouching Example - After

Removing the stems and leaves in the background simplifies and focuses attention on the beautiful flower.

Three Easy Steps
1. Zoom in and select the tool.
2. Grabbing and stamping a sample.
3. Repeating (with a soft touch).

Let's begin...

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