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Photos: Removing Items and Improving Colours

Created by: Joyce Turner
Sometimes we would like to make the colours of a photo more brilliant, and to remove items that disturb the overall composition of the picture. Here's a way how you can do that.
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Before you start - download this ZIP file, which contains the attachments needed to complete the tutorial.

Standard Toolbar - Open (image) button

Open the photo from your download. The original picture is dull and there is a half person on the left. First we want to remove the person.

Make a copy of your pic using either Window || Duplicate or Shift+D. Work on the copy. Keep the original in case you need it or want to start over.

Standard Toolbar - Toggle Layer Palette button     Standard Toolbar - Toggle Tool Options Window button Make sure your Layer and Tool Options palettes are showing. If they are not, click on the Layer palette and the Tool Options palette buttons.
Tool Palette - Selection tool Click on the Selection tool in your Tool palette:
Selection type = Rectangle
Feather = 16
Antialias = unchecked

Make a selection like shown in the picture on the left. If you give the selection a little feathering, it is easier to blend in the piece you will make. Make the selection big enough to cover the object you want to remove. In the image on the left you see the selection marquee where I made the selection.

Then use the Edit || Copy command or Ctrl+C. Next, go to Edit || Paste || As a New Layer (or press Ctrl+L).

Tool Palette - Mover tool     

Now you must move the selection over the object to be removed. Use the Mover Tool.

I have moved it up into the sky area temporarily so you can see how it should look like.

When you have it where it looks good, then you right-click on the layer in the Layer palette and select Merge || Merge All (flatten) from the pop-up menu.


Tool Palette - Clone Brush tool
Now use the Clone tool with these settings:
Shape = Round
Size = 11
Hardness = 12
Opacity = 100
Step = 15
Density = 100
Tab 2:
Clone mode = Non-Aligned
Sample merged = unchecked

You can vary the settings a little if you need to do so. Blend the edges and make the grass not so repetitive. Use the right mouse button to select the area you wish to copy and the left mouse button to paint the copy. Make sure you left-click for each time you want to add to the image. Even though we have set it to be non-aligned, if you hold the left mouse button down, the source will move. When you want a new source to copy, right-click on the new spot.

Try to smooth the blending of the grass and the cut wheat, etc. using the Clone tool.


When you are satisfied with your image, if you wish, right-click the merged layer and select Rename. Rename the layer to "picture".

Now you need to work the picture through the enhancement helps as shown below. Some will help and some won't. Here are the ones which I used:


Effects || Enhance Photo || Automatic Contrast Enhancement:
Bias = neutral
Strength = normal
Appearance = natural

Effects || Enhance Photo || Automatic Saturation Enhancement:
Bias = normal
Strength = normal
Skintones present = checked

Effects || Enhance Photo || Clarify:
Strength of effect = 2

Effects || Enhance Photo || Fade Correction:
Amount of correction = 24


Then go to Colors || Adjust || Brightness/Contrast:
Brightness = 7
Contrast = 16

Colors || Adjust || Highlight/Midtone/Shadow:
Shadow = 4
Midtone = 10
Highlight = 7
Dynamic adjustment method = checked


Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool

Click on the Magic Wand tool and use these settings:
Match mode = RGB Value
Tolerance = 52
Feather = 0

Click into the sky to select it. There will be one little section that isn't selected.

Tool Palette - Freehand (lasso) tool Change to the Lasso (Freehand) tool:
Selection type = Freehand
Feather = 0
Antialias = unchecked

Hold down the Shift key while you circle the part that wasn't selected. It will be added to the selection.

Hit Delete. This will remove the sky. Deselect by right-clicking into the image.

Layer Palette - Create layer button In your Layer palette, click on the New Layer button and add a layer. Your main layer should either say "Merged" or "picture". Move that layer above the new layer by dragging it with the mouse. Then click on the new layer to activate it.
    Set your foreground style to Gradient (click on the arrow in your foreground-style box and choose the second icon from the left). Click on the foreground style box and you will get the Gradient dialog window:
Gradient = Summer Field
Invert gradient = unchecked
Angle = 0
Repeats = 0
Style = Linear Gradient (icon on top)
Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool Check the option "Locked" (under the texture boxes), then click on your Floodfill tool and into the new layer to fill it with the gradient. This will give you a nice blue sky. Deselect with Ctrl+D.
Layer Palette - Create layer button Select the main picture layer and then click on the new layer button. Name the new layer "clouds".
Tool Palette - Picture Tube tool Select the cloud layer. Click on the Tube tool and then select the clouds tube. Now adjust your size to different sizes and put clouds in your sky.

Tool Palette - Clone Brush tool
Use the Clone tool with the settings:
Shape = Round
Size = 15
Hardness = 0
Opacity = 100
Step = 9
Density = 100
Build up = unchecked
Add a little to the clouds so they are not all the same. Again use the right mouse button to select the source for your painting and the left mouse button to paint the clouds.

Tool Palette - Retouch tool
Then use the Retouch tool to soften with these settings:
Shape = Round
Size = 9
Hardness = 0
Opacity = 48
Step = 9
Density = 51
Retouch mode = Soften

You can soften the edges and smooth out where you painted.

You then should move the clouds layer below the main picture layer in your Layer palette.


Now you should have a very lovely picture. You can adjust the picture more using the Effects || Enhance Photo options.

If you want to make it a jpg or gif, use Shift+D to copy it and save it as a jpg or gif. Save the one with the layers as a psp file. If you want to change anything, you can come back and work with it more. Again, copy it and use the copy to work on.

Have fun fixing your pictures!