BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Kathy L. Pollick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/14/2005
 

Erasing details out of photos


I've seen a lot of photos where people have actually erased people or detailing OUT of photos. My question is, how do you get the background to appear once the item is erased??? As an example, a wedding photo had a person standing in the background (not supposed to be there). They took the person out & there was grass & trees in place of where the person was erased? That just boggles my mind. When I erase something, I get a big white blotch!!! I don't have a good editing program yet that is capable of doing this type of thing, so it just amazes me when I see things removed so perfectly. How do you do that?


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9/14/2005 5:23:58 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Kathy - it's your mindset and tools you need to change.
You DO NOT, I repeat, you DO NOT want to ERASE. You want to CLONE or copy something else over what you want to erase.
The most common way is to use the Rubber Stamp tool in Photoshop. In reality, it is nothing more than a copy/paste tool, but it does its job well.
In your example above, someone "copied" or "cloned" the grass and trees from somewhere else, then used the rubber stamp tool to paste it over the person.
If used skillfully, you cannot tell anything was ever done.
Believe me, it really is a simple task and procedure, and one of the first technics most people master when first learning Photoshop. You will be able to accomplish things that right now "boggle" your mind - once you have the software and tools available to you.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto
PS - check out my image "Old Methodist Church" on my website. There were a dozen people milling around the church and graveyard that were "removed." On "Buzzard's Roost" there was a large tree in the bottom right corner that hid the view. I completely removed the tree.
All done with the Rubber Stamp tool.


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9/14/2005 7:31:53 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Sorry,
My website is www.mhcphoto.net, but you can also see these images in my BP gallery.
Michael


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9/14/2005 7:34:32 AM

 
Kathy L. Pollick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/14/2005
  I understand now. Sounds reasonable, but still neat how (if done correctly), you can't tell that something was there. I checked out your two pictures.. actually I've checked out your website on several occasions. Your photos are simply awesome. Sure wish I could make photographs look that good. They look more like ART, as opposed to a simply snapshot!!! The two pictures colorburst & tulips; How do you make the flowers on the former come out over the border and make the tulip appear larger in the center on the latter? They are so neat.


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9/14/2005 7:54:50 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Thank you for your kind words. About the two pictures you asked about -

Tulips - Using the Marquee tool, I outlined the area I wanted, then copied it right there. Then I enlarged it slightly using Edit>Transform>Scale, and placed it where I wanted it. To add interest to it, I added 3 pinstripes around it using Edit>Canvas Size, and finally a drop shadow to help separate it from the bottom image.

Colorburst - The zoom effect was actually done in-camera with 4 different multi-exposures, each one focusing a little closer (which makes the image bigger, thus making it look like it is zooming out). In Photoshop, I added the "star-bursts" using the cloning tool (RubberStamp). I sampled areas within the image, and literally drew outwards from the center, then using the Eraser tool, I erased around each one until I had the shapes you see. I still play with these on occasion, to reshape/improve them as needed.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net


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9/14/2005 8:45:35 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   PS - the "border" of colorburst is just a Pinstripe I drew around the image, then in the Layers Palette, I dropped the Pinstripe layer BELOW the flower layer so it would be behind.
There are several different techniques and/or ways for making an image appear to spill over the edges. It is something that has always fascinated me, and now that I have Photoshop, it is possible to do whenever I want.
Michael


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9/14/2005 8:52:49 AM

 
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