Thursday, June 19, 2008

How To Get Rid of Unwanted Objects in the Background

Don't you just hate it when you get a GREAT shot, but then realize that low and behold... there was a dumpster in the background... or peices of trash (or dirt on your carpet!) that just messes up the whole thing. This can (most of the time) be taken care of very easily with the Clone feature... depending on the placement of the object and how complex its surroundings are. Now... I am not an expert on cloning, but I have saved literally hundreds of photos using this tool! Sometimes... it's not even about saving it... it's about making it just look better. So... here we go. Here is the layout we will be creating today:

And here is what my original photo started out as. Now... for all practical purposes, I chose an easy one... just to give you the basics of how to do it... but keep in mind that this may take some practice and it can get much more tideous than this! So start simple and gradually move on to more intricate photos from there. :)

1.) First thing FIRST!!! Once you have your photo open... be CERTAIN to immediately click Save As and save a COPY of your photo. The will ensure that you do not lose your original. You definitely want to keep your original in case you hate the end result and want to start over!! (As usual, I learned this the hard way! hahaah!)

2.) Now that you are working with a COPY of your photo... let's get started. Choose your Clone Tool from your tools palette as shown below. (You can also hit "S" on your keyboard... this too will activate your Clone tool.

3.) Now refer to the top of your screen. This is where you will find all of your cloning options and settings. I almost always use a circle brush. Several things to notice here. Click the little drop down option by "Brush".

- Brush Size: This will totally depend on what your are cloning out. If it is a large object in a primarily "empty" background (like grass or water), you can make it quite large to decrease the amount of work. However, some objects may have other objects around them that you want to keep... in that case, you would make it smaller as to work around that.

- Hardness of brush edges: You don't want the Hardness of the edges of your brush to be too hard, as it will not blend well and will appear very splotchy. However, you don't want them too soft either, as this will cause a ton of inconsistent blurring and will simply look terrible. :) I usually start mine out at around 65-80 and then adjust it if needed.

- Opacity & Flow: Keep both of these at 100%.

4.) Now... your cursor should be in the shape of a circle. Place it over (in this case) a patch of the grass and while pressing your ALT key (your cursor should change in shape), click once. (This actually copies what's inside that circle so that you can "paste" it over what you are wanting to eliminate.)

5.) Now, scoot your cursor over so that it sits on the unwanted object, let go of your ALT key and simply click. That click will replace your unwanted object with what you just "cloned".

6.) Now, the trick to cloning is that most of the time, you don't want to just drag your mouse over the unwanted object. I ALMOST ALWAYS go back and ALT + click another nearby area so that I'm not "copying" the same patch of grass all over the object. When you just drag it along something like grass or water, it's pretty obvious that you did it that way... you can tell that the same patch is just repeated across the grass. Going back and ALT + clicking another area before cloning again will keep it looking much more realistic and complete. So now... just finishing cloning out the unwanted objects.

7.) Now, as you can see from the little specks that i've circled... I'm a bit of a perfectionist. The sight of a random peice of paper and a couple of remnants of Gage's water balloons is enough to send me over the edge. So yes... I have to get rid of those too. hahaha! But these little specks are MUCH easier to do away with. Instead of using the Clone tool for this, I use the Spot Healing Brush. (Note... this is the same tool you would use to get rid of blemishes on one's face... LOVE this tool!!!) So let's choose our Spot Healing Brush:

9.) You want to keep this brush small (like between 20 and 50 at the most). This tool actually automatically "pulls" a nearby area and replaces your "speck" of unwanted scenery, such as dirt specks on carpet, blemishes on face, and ketchup stains on shirts!! You don't have to ALT+click a portion to paste... this does it for you. But it is meant for SMALL objects... leave the bigger objects to the Clone stamp.) Now, simply place the little circle on top of your unwanted speck and click. It's gone!!

And here is my finished photo.

Now, of course... you know me... I couldn't just leave the photo as is. So I gave it a cool crop, and added a sort of vintage-y feel to it. Then I chose my paper and elements, typed some text and now I have a beauitul photo on a beautiful layout... with NO waterhose!!! Again... here is our finished layout:

**For my layout, I used:

TAYLORMADE DESIGNS: Peaches & Regalias kit... available at oscraps!!


I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments. If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at

I would also love to hear what type of tutorials YOU would like to see! While your here, drop a note in the SUGGESSTIONS box! If I don't know how to do what you are asking, I will find out! Then we can learn something new together!!!

You can also find this tutorial and all of my others in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!


Christine said...

BRILLIANT! I have many photos that I'll be able to use this on! TFS!

Stacey said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I have been nervous to start playing with my pictures that way - now I am ready to give it a try!

Jill said...

Wow! I'm learning so much! Thank you for taking the time to teach us your amazing photo editing tricks. Beautiful work :)

Tali said...

LOVE this tut, Amanda!

Helen Hancock said...

Thank you so much A! Have a super weekend.

Josh and Kandice said...

Great tut! Can't wait to try it out... I had no idea what the clone tool was for!!

stevie kay said...

You can subscribe to the Taylormade blog? No way! Off to do that right away!

missy said...

Excellent tutorial! This I actually have done before to rescue photos!! Great tip to make sure your selection is varied so it won't look funny! Thank you Amanda!

Carol said...

Fantastic. I have actually been using the clone tool for a while, but glad to be able to reinforce by looking at your tut that I'm doing it right. Although must admit have only just discovered the healing tool. Heck, why haven't I pressed that button before now? te he

Amy said...

Thanks! how did you get the vintage look? I really like the way it looks.

Kathy said...

Thank you --I love reading any and all tutorials as a newbie. Yours is very clear and easy to follow--thank U!

Karen said...

OMG - thank you for this! I can't wait to get PhotoShop now. I've got hundreds of photos I can use this on!
Thank you again for sharing.
I LOVE you blog and your work!

Tami R said...

As always, your tuts are the BEST! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

pc said...

i'm very into blending right now & did some layout with your great helps here. thanks for sharing all the good tricks.

anyhow, i'm still very far behind of your toturials. will be back more often to catching up^.*

thanks & happy monday to you.

Dani said...

This is beautiful! How did you do the vintage-y feel? I'd love to see a tutorial on that process!

Shellie said...

It's never to late to learn how to "fix" all those little spots in the pics that just drive us all crazy! Thanks for showing me how!!! :)

c.yamaoka said...

白髪 利尻ヘアカラートリートメント

John said...

uggs outlet
jordan 3
cheap oakley sunglasses
nike huarache
toms shoes
louis vuitton outlet
abercrombie & fitch
ray ban wayfarer
kate spade handbags
abercrombie outlet
coach outlet store online
retro jordans
coach factorty outlet
cheap oakleys
michael kors uk
michael kors outlet
air max 90
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet
air jordan retro
ugg boots
ugg outlet
tory burch sale
toms shoes
coach outlet
louis vuitton
louis vuitton outlet online
supra shoes
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton
cheap jordan shoes
cartier watches
coach outlet
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
coach factory outlet
jordan retro 3

Zhenhong Bao said...

tory burch outlet online
swarovski outlet
burberry outlet online
coach outlet online
thomas sabo uk
true religion outlet
mulberry handbags
coach outlet store
polo ralph lauren
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet online
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors wholesale
lebron james shoes
rolex watches
michael kors handbags
fitflop clearance
ralph lauren outlet
nike roshe
ralph lauren outlet
timberland boots
fitflops outlet
tiffany jewelry
nike air max
rolex outlet
michael kors outlet online
tiffany outlet
louis vuitton bags
ralph lauren uk
louboutin pas cher
polo ralph lauren
air jordan shoes for sale
mulberry bags
true religion outlet
tiffany jewelry

林磊 said...

2016-6-8 leilei
prada handbags
discount oakley sunglasses
cheap omega watches
toms outlet
kate spade handbags
christian louboutin shoes
new balance shoes
air max 90
true religion jeans
north face jackets
cheap jordans
louis vuitton handbags
chaussure louboutin
yeezy boost 350
levis 501
coach outlet
true religion outlet
ray ban sunglasses
oakley sunglasses
air max 90
air max
nike force 1
pandora charms
hollister uk
sac longchamp pliage
fitflops outlet
omega watches
bottega veneta
air max 90
rolex daytona
coach outlet online
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses
coach outlet online
adidas supercolor
michael kors handbags
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet

Qinan Chen said...

"ugg boots outlet"
"valentino shoes on sale"
"louis vuitton outlet online"
"louis vuitton factory outlet"
"ray ban outlet"
"hollister sale"
"mont blanc pens"
"adidas nmd runner"
"versace sunglasses"
"polo outlet"
"sac longchamp pliage"
"ray bans"
"tiffany and co"
"canada goose sale"
"dior sunglasses"
"armani watches"
"air force 1"
"michael kors outlet"
"ghd hair straighteners"
"nike air max"
"ghd flat iron"
"designer bags"
"burberry outlet"
"adidas nmd"
"true religion jeans"
"oakley sunglasses"
"moncler uk"
"nike cortez"
"michael kors outlet"

Zheng junxai5 said...

jordan retro 11
louis vuitton handbags
jordan shoes
coach outlet
designer handbags
coach outlet canada
air force 1 trainers
louis vuitton outlet
toms shoes
nfl jerseys
oakley vault
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton purses
coach outlet
juicy couture
kate spade
cheap air jordans
louis vuitton bags
jordan concords
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors canada outlet
cheap basketball shoes
louis vuitton bags
concords 11
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton outlet stores
hermes bags
kobe 8
gucci outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
gucci outlet
polo ralph lauren
cheap ray ban sunglasses
kate spade outlet
ralph lauren outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
nike uk