In this video, I’m going to show you how to
remove anything from a photo in Photoshop.
I’m Jesus Ramirez from The Photoshop Training
In this video I’m going to show you how to
remove distracting elements from a photo,
using three different techniques.
The first two techniques will help you with
basic object removals.
But with the third technique, we’re really
going to get our hands dirty and tackle a
complicated task, but I’m going to divide
it up into small digestible chunks so that
you can follow along.
Okay, let’s get started.
We’re going to work with this image, we have
a couple walking on the beach, and we have
a photo bomber.
And, if we wanted to remove this photobomber
from the photo, we could do so very, very
First, duplicate the layer to work nondestructively.
You can press Ctrl J, Command J on the back,
and we can call that layer, “Edit.”
Then you can select the lasso tool, and with
the lasso tool, we can just simply freehand
So, we’re going to freehand a selection around
the photo bomber, and it doesn’t have to be
very precise, as long as you go around her.
But, having said that, try to keep as much
of the original background as you can.
So, you can hold Alt, Option on the Mac, and
click and drag to subtract from the selection.
And by the way, if you hold Shift, you add
to the selection.
And once again, Alt, Option on the Mac, and
click and drag.
You subtract from a selection.
With a selection active, you can go into edit,
fill, and we’re going to select Content-Aware
from the dropdown, and make sure that you
have Color Adaptation checked, and press okay.
Then I’m going to press Ctrl D, Command D
And notice that almost like magic, Photoshop
removes that photo bomber.
And the way that the Content-Aware technology
works is by analyzing the pixels that are
surrounding the selection, and it uses that
information to generate the pixels that are
going to go inside of that selection.
So, Photoshop does a great job in guessing
what would be behind this person.
And this technique works best with a simple
background, like the one we have in this example.
So that’s before, and after.
And by the way, if you’re interested to find
out more about the Content-Aware technology,
I made a series of videos dealing with all
the different tools that use Content-Aware,
including the Content-Aware Fill.
If you’re interested in watching that series,
I’ll post a link down below in the description.
So, for the next example, we’re going to use
this image here of Venice, and I’m going to
And what we want to do is remove this group
of people that are sitting here.
So, what I could do is I could try to do what
I just did, use a Content-Aware Fill.
But as you will see, it won’t give us the
results that we’re looking for.
So, let me just make a really quick selection,
and go into edit, fill, Content-Aware, and
notice that Photoshop didn’t do that good
of a job this time.
It included elements that I do not want to
have in the photo.
So I’m going to press Ctrl Alt Z, Command
Alt Z on the Mac to undo.
And, actually, to work non destructively,
I’m going to duplicate this layer.
So, I’m going to press Ctrl J, Command J on
the Mac, and we’re going to use a different
And the tool that we’re going to use is this
tool here called the Patch Tool, which is
nested under the Spot Healing Brush Tool.
Also, make sure that normal and source are
Then I’m going to click-and-drag and make
a selection around the pixels that I want
With the selection active, I’m going to zoom
out and look for an area to sample from.
So, it looks like this area is very similar
to the area where they’re sitting on, so I’m
going to click and drag over to that side.
And you can see the preview inside of the
selection, and I can try to match it as best
as I can.
When I’m happy with the area, I can just release,
and then press Ctrl D, Command D to deselect.
And notice that Photoshop did a much better
The reason that I didn’t select this side
here, is that there’s a shadow from this lamp
post, so I didn’t want to duplicate that.
The edit wasn’t perfect, and it was mainly
because I didn’t drop the selection in the
So, I can try that again, let me click and
drag, and just try to get a better closer
So maybe something like that.
Ctrl D, Command D to deselect, so that looks
The bricks align better.
There’s issues like this area here, but we
could easily fix these issues by just using
the patch tool on those specific areas.
Then I can double click on the hand tool to
zoom out, and you can see the before, and
Another tool that I want to show you before
we move on into the more complicated example
is the Clone Stamp Tool, which simply allows
you to paint in duplicate pixels from another
So, with that tool selected I’m going to zoom
in and create a new layer to work non destructively.
And, with this layer, I can make sure that
current and below are selected, or all layers.
It really doesn’t matter in this example,
so I’ll leave it on current and below.
Then, I can just select areas to copy pixels
So if I wanted to remove this lamp post, I
can start maybe in this corner here, and then
use the bracket keys on the keyboard to increase
the size of my brush, and I can try to align
what I just copied, what I just sampled, this
area here, and align it to the other window,
and then I can paint in those pixels like
And I know I’m getting a little of the shadow,
but that’s okay.
Then I can sample from a different area, maybe
this area here, and line it as best as I can,
and paint away the rest of the lamp like so.
And I’m not going to spend too much time on
this example because the example that I really
want to show you is the one after this.
But you can see how you can start painting
things away nondestructively using the Clone
And, this is basically what we did in just
a couple minutes.
Really quickly, we were able to remove that
And, there’s a couple details there that,
again, we’re not going to spend the time on
now because I want to spend more time in the
So, we’re going to work with this image here,
and what we’re trying to do is remove the
truck from the background.
So, first of all, we want to work nondestructively,
so I’m going to press Ctrl J, Command J on
the Mac twice to duplicate the layer two times.
The layer on top will be the model, and the
layer below that will be the background.
And just like with a lot of things in Photoshop,
I like to separate my elements so that they’re
easier to control.
So, even though we’re going to work with a
single image, we’re still going to use different
layers to control different elements, and
I think that makes it easier to work with.
So, now that we have these two layers set
up, I’m going to select my model layer, and
then click on the quick selection tool.
You can click and drag and make a selection
around the model.
If you’re working with Photoshop CC and newer,
you can click on Select Subject while the
quick selection tool is selected, and Photoshop
will make a selection based on whatever it
thinks the main subject is.
In this case, the model.
And Photoshop does a fairly good job.
It’s not going to be perfect, you can click
and drag to add to the selection, and you
can also subtract from the selection by holding
Alt Option on the Mac, and clicking on areas
that shouldn’t be selected, like these areas
And by the way, the selection doesn’t need
to be perfect.
As long as you mask out the areas near the
distractive object, you should be fine.
I’m going to zoom in and just make sure that
it selected the bracelet, I didn’t miss one
But overall, it did a really good job.
I’m going to create a Layer Mask, and now
we have a layer that just contains the model.
And now, we’re going to create a layer that
only contains the background.
To do so, I’m going to use the model Layer
So, I’m going to hold Ctrl, that’s Command
on the Mac, and click on the Layer Mask thumbnail
to load the Layer Mask as a selection.
Notice that my model layer is disabled, and
I’m going to select the background layer.
With the background layer selected.
I’m going to go into select, modify, expand.
And this is going to make my mask larger.
And I’m going to expand it by five pixels,
but this may be different for you depending
on the size of your photo.
This is a fairly large image, so I’m using
In some cases, you may need two, or maybe
So, we’ll go for five in this case.
But the point is, that now I have that space
in between my subject and the background.
With the background selected, I’m going to
hold Shift and backspace to bring up the fill
Then under contents, I’m going to select Content-Aware,
make sure the Color Adaptation is checked,
and press okay.
And Photoshop is going to remove the model
from this photo.
It’s not going to do a perfect job, but that’s
We’re going to continue building upon this
background, to just create a clean background
for our model.
So, we have a background and a model layer.
What I’m going to do now is look at my photo,
look at the pixels that I need to replace,
then look at the pixels in the photo that
I can use to clone, copy, or somehow use to
cover the car.
So, right off the bat I’m noticing that I
have these columns here.
One column, two, three, four, and five.
And this column, we can pretty much use the
Then we have these windows, so I’m probably
going to use this window here to replicate
it at least three times, to use in these three
Then we have this sign, I’m not really sure
what that is, but it looks like some sort
But, we can copy it, and place it on the other
Then we also have to duplicate parts of the
And I’ll start there, ’cause I think that’s
the easiest place to start.
And that’s what you have to do in your photo,
look at the contents, and see what you can
take, and duplicate.
I’m just going to create a selection using
the Rectangular Marquee Tool.
Then I’m going to press Ctrl J, Command J
on the Mac, to duplicate that.
So now, I have this duplicate.
One thing that I should have mentioned, and
I’ll undo that so you can see it, is that
when I selected the Rectangular Marquee Tool,
I had a feather of three pixels.
That means that the edges will not be sharp,
they’re going to be blurry, three pixels.
And I left that value on purpose because I
don’t want sharp edges.
I want smooth edges, so when I copy something,
and I paste it somewhere else, I won’t see
that sharp edge.
So, once again, Ctrl J, Command J to duplicate.
And I have that piece right there, and I’m
going to move it over to this side.
Now obviously, the colors don’t match, but
we can fix that.
I can create a Levels Adjustment Layer, clip
it to the layer below it so that the only
thing the levels adjustment layer effects
is the strip right below it.
So, notice how, if I make an adjustment, it
only affects that strip.
So, I can click on the black point and drag
it to the right until that matches illuminance
of that area.
Then, with the Layer Mask selected, I can
press Ctrl I, Command I on the Mac, to invert
to make the Layer Mask black, which will hide
Then, with the brush tool selected, you can
paint with white to reveal the effect only
in certain areas.
Then I can select both layers.
If I hold Shift and click on both layers,
it selects them.
Ctrl E, Command E on the Mac to merge into
So now, I can simply use the move tool, click
and drag to the right, to duplicate as I hold
So when you hold Alt, and you have the move
tool selected, and you drag something, you
will drag a duplicate.
I’m going to hold Shift, click on the top
and bottom layer to select them all.
Then I’m going to press Ctrl E, Command E
on the Mac, to merge the three layers into
Then I’m going to create a Layer Mask, and
paint with black in these areas to reveal
the original background.
And if something needs to be a little bit
darker, like this area here, you can do what
we did earlier, create a Levels Adjustment
Layer, make sure that it’s clipped.
And, just make it darker, then select the
Ctrl I, Command I to invert and paint with
white on the Layer Mask to reveal that effect
in that area.
Remember, Layer Mask, hide and reveal pixels.
Black hides and white reveals.
With an adjustment layer, you’re hiding the
adjustment, or revealing it.
So, we’re painting with white to reveal that
In this tutorial, I don’t need multiple layers,
so I’m going to merge down by pressing
So now it’s one layer, and that’s good.
Now we’re going to work on the windows, and
there’s something I want to show you.
First, we’re going to create a new layer,
then select the Clone Stamp Tool, and we can
copy this window.
But watch what happens.
If I hold Alt Option on the Mac and click,
it will set a clone source.
That means that that’s the area that we’re
going to copy pixels from.
And when you paint, it creates an exact copy,
as you would expect.
We can actually change how the Clone Stamp
Tool copies pixels, we can invert those pixels
horizontally, vertically, scale them, and
do all sorts of things.
Let me show you what I mean by that.
If you go into Window, Clone Source, you can
click on this button here to flip the clone
So that means that if I come in here and hold
Alt Option on the Mac, and click to sample
from that point, notice how now it inverts
it horizontally, and I can paint horizontally.
And you can see the target, that’s where I’m
That little plus X icon that’s moving along
the paint brush.
Not that if I go right, it moves left.
If I move left, it goes right.
That is because Photoshop inverts the sample
source horizontally, so it allows me to just
paint in horizontally, like so.
I’m going to double click on the hand tool.
So that’s before, and after.
What I’m going to do now is zoom in here and
continue working on this area.
I’m, going to disable the flip, make the Clone
Stamp Tool smaller by tapping on the left
bracket key on the keyboard, and I’m just
going to make sure that
everything here looks right.
And obviously, when you’re working on your
image, spend a little more time working on
So, there we go, that’s before and after.
What I can do now is, make a copy of this
area here, edit, copy merge, edit, paste.
And just move it to the right, right about
And I can just merge these onto a layer.
So, we have one layer there.
And let me zoom in, and I’m going to select
the Clone Stamp Tool, and I’m going to use
it to fix this middle column.
So, I’m going to sample from the column next
to it by holding Alt, clicking, and then start
painting on the other side.
And remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect
because some of these areas are going to be
covered by the model.
And I’m going to drag the windows layer below
the road layer, that way the road helps cover
some of those pixels.
So, actually, you know what?
What I’ll do is I’m just going to select both
these layers, and just press Ctrl E, Command
E on the Mac, just to put them in one single
Now I’ll work on the sidewalk, so I’ll hold
Alt, and click to sample from this area.
And then paint away these imperfections.
I’m going fairly fast, just to try to get
through all of it
in a reasonable amount of time.
So, you can see how it’s starting to look
much, much better already.
And, for this part, I’m just going to duplicate
So, I’m going to select it with the Rectangular
Marquee Tool, and
I’m holding Shift to add to the selection.
And then go into edit, copy merge, edit, and
And move this over to the other side.
Bring down the opacity, and then move it left
and right accordingly, using the arrow keys
on the keyboard.
Increase the opacity to 100%, and hold Alt,
Option on the Mac, and it goes away.
So, when you hold Alt, Option on the Mac,
and create a new Layer Mask, the Layer Mask
becomes black, so it hides all the contents.
Then you can select the brush tool and paint
with white when you want to reveal those areas,
Don’t want to reveal the entire layer, just
certain areas; I think it looks better.
I’m going to merge all the layers together,
so I’ll hold Shift, click on them to select
When they’re selected I’ll press Control E
to merge them into one layer.
Now let’s focus on the remaining pillars.
That is a very simple job; we can simply select
pixels to clone from and continue cloning.
It’s just a repetitive task.
I’m not going to spend too much time and be
You can be perfect on your images.
But you can see that even going fairly quickly
here; I’m getting really good results.
And I’m sampling from that area, and then
just cloning in pixels like so.
I’m going to zoom out, and it looks like I
missed one piece right here.
When I do this type of work, usually I have
my left hand on the Alt key, and I’m sampling
fro many different places and painting.
So that’s before and after.
This is what it looks like without the model.
And what I’m going to do now is merge this
layer onto the layer below, so now we have
just a single background layer.
And notice how the reflections keep repeating
One thing that you can do to fix a problem
like this is to select the clone stamp tool,
and just copy areas, and paint over the areas
that are obvious that are repeating, like
in this panel here.
And again, in your image, spend a little more
time duplicating things, and seeing what pixels
repeat, and just get rid of those.
But in this tutorial, I’m not going to spend
too much time on that.
So, I’m going to zoom out, and now we’re going
to work on the Layer Mask or the model layer.
But before we do that, we need to remember
where the car was; it was in this area here.
So, I’m going to select everything, then press
Ctrl G, Command G on the Mac, to put those
layers into a group, and I’ll call it, “Edit.
” Then I’ll create a Layer Mask, and I’ll
paint with black to reveal the original pixels
found in the background.
I’m doing so because I don’t want to keep
using the pixels that I duplicated over and
over again because it’ll be obvious that it’s
So, I’m trying to use as many of the original
pixels as possible.
The areas where we have the car, obviously
that’s the areas that
we really want to fine-tune the selection.
So, the only areas that I really want to focus on
are the areas that are really close to the model there.
And, I’m going to do that in the model layer.
So in the model layer, I’m going to hide these
And obviously, this is where you want to spend
a lot of your time fine-tuning the selection
so that it’s more believable.
And this is why I like this method because
I can paint with black on that Layer Mask,
hide the edges, and the background comes through.
So those are the basic steps for removing
a distracting object from a photo.
Please let me know in the comments below what
you learned by watching this video, and don’t
forget to click on that subscribe,
and notification buttons.
Thank you so much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.