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Tips on removing an object?

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  • Tips on removing an object?

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm back again asking for help. The last time I asked I received some wonderful suggestions and here's hoping you can come through again!!

    I was taking some photos this afternoon of my two children and two dogs. Of course, it was not easy to get the dogs to cooperate, especially our new puppy Kelley. I pretty much had the picture I was looking for framed in my mind, but it wasn't working out. When I changed angles from where I was originally taking the picture, I got the picture I was looking for, but my van and boat are in the background!!! LOL

    So...I know it's going to be a lot of work, and I did not want to do it this way, but this is the perfect picture, nonwithstanding the van and boat in the background. It looks like I"m going to have to remove them and replace them. I'm wondering if anyone would like to share tips/experiences that may help me in this endevour?

    Thanks again for all your help....


  • #2
    Hi Tim,

    I read your post a little while ago. After I d/l your pic
    I loaded it in PS and placed a rectangular marquee on
    the trees to the left.I then used an edit/copy command.
    I then deselected the marquee and made a same size
    marquee on the right enclosing the car/boat, and used
    an edit/paste command.I did this twice to try to cover
    the car/boat as much as possible.I then used the clone
    tool to cover the rest with tree's/foliage.I tried to disguise
    the copy as much as possible.I was a little carless around
    one of the girls and blurred it.That's because I had tried to
    use a blur tool at first but that was NG.That's when I began
    There may be another way but this it what I've been doing.
    Sometimes I use a different picture to copy and paste from.
    Since these were trees and brush I figured I'd use them.
    P.S. I am not a Pro at this,far from it.

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi Tim:

      You're very fortunate in this pic because:
      * The sky color is uniform and there's no clouds to deal with (in terms of matching while patching over the van)
      * The randomness of the background makes it easier to disguise the trickery
      * A fairly easy transition from the grassy area to the woods
      * A couple fairly large chunks of background that can be used to cover up the van an overall very nice picture of the family. You did everything right!

      I took a similar approach to Joseph here.

      Using the Lasso tool I loosely selected the large chunk of woods on the left, ALT + CTRL + D (2 pixels) to Feather the edges a bit, and CTRL + J to put the selection on a layer by itself.

      CTLR + Clicked on the name of the new layer (to load the selection), then Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to "flip it" (purpose - make it less obvious that I ripped it off from the other side of the image).

      V to choose move tool, and dragged new piece of background across the image until it was semi close to where I wanted it to go.

      Added a layer mask and airbrushed with black to "blend it in" with the surrounding area.

      Repeated this "select a piece of background" (different sizes and shapes), isolate on a separate layer, move piece into position and blend with a layer mask a couple more times.

      If you're not familiar with layer masks, they're the best thing since sliced bread. Do a Google search on Layer Mask Tutorial and you'll find lots to read.

      Good luck on your digital surgery.

      Attached Files


      • #4
        Thank you to Joseph and Danny, that is exactly the type of help I'm looking for. You both did a great job and I'm looking forward to using your techniques. Another thought I had is that since I took this photo in my yard, I could move my van and boat, have one of my daughters sit on the rock again, and retake the picture at the same time of day(it was just before sunset), simply to get that background without the van and boat.

        After looking at Joseph and Danny's results, I'm not sure that will be necessary.

        Thanks again,



        • #5
          A thought...


          Just reading through the know, you don't even have to have the girls sit there. Just get the same camera position and take it without the girls.

          Bring that picture in via a new layer and work using some of the techniques mentioned by Danny & Joe.

          I've done that with group shots before where 1 person wasn't available to be in the shot...just marked the location of the chairs and all and took the shot with the 1 person when they returned and brought them all together.

          Best of luck.


          • #6
            Hi Jeffrey,

            Bring that picture in via a new layer and work using some of the techniques mentioned by Danny & Joe.

            Being a novice, I Thank you for your comment.Would you
            be able to explain something about the above.This sounds
            interesting.If I'm understanding correctly,do you mean bring
            the girls in through a copy/paste and integrating them into
            the new picture from the old? If this isn't correct, is there a
            different technique?



            • #7
              Re: A thought...

              Originally posted by jrolinc

              Just reading through the know, you don't even have to have the girls sit there. Just get the same camera position and take it without the girls.
              My reasoning for having one of the girls sit for the picture is that I wanted the background to be in the same focus as the first picture. I suppose I could just focus on the rock instead and I imagine that would do the trick.

              Thanks again,



              • #8
                OK...well, the sky cleared here in CT and the sun came out this afternoon, giving me almost identical conditions to yesterday when I originally took the picture. I moved the van and boat and shot some pictures of just the background, then used that to cover up the van and boat in the original. One difficulty I had was figuring out the exact angle where I originally took the photo. I ended up having to change the scale of the piece I cut, rotate it a bit, and use some gaussian blur on it.

                The most difficult part ended up being around my daughter Deirdre's hair where it overlapped the van. There was blue showing through and I had a hard time figuring out how to handle it. In the end, I ended up using the burn tool to darken that area in the original, and then blended as best I could. I have to tell you, I had never used layer masks before and boy did that work out excellent. In the end, it ended up being easier than I thought it would.

                Thanks so much for the help, this forum is an invaluable resource and I truly appreciate it. Please let me know what you think of the final product.

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  You did a great job.Now you have a real nice picture to
                  treasure and a little more experience at restoration.

                  Good Luck,



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