Sometimes a Marquee Selection is better than a Clone Stamp
Every once in a while you come across a tricky distraction in a photograph that throws off the whole shot. In the example image today, there is a giant toolbox in the lower left-hand side of the image that is offsetting the balance the symmetrical composition. I was just about to scratch this one and go to a similar photo of a different train car, but the highlights were just not as magical.
I decided to press forward with this one knowing that there was plenty of information in the image to rescue that one little spot. I did attempt to crop the photo but found it far less appealing. I also tried a shot at the Clone Stamp Tool and the Spot Healing Brush, but alas they were no help. I ended up using the information on the right side of the photo to cover the toolbox on the left side.
Here is the quick rundown: (A video tutorial is provided at the bottom of the page)
- Use the Marquee tool to select the distraction.
- Be sure to leave plenty of room around the distraction with your selection. This is a buffer for your mask in Step 10
- Move the Marquee selection to the opposite side of the image.
- Copy the new selection using CTRL + C (CMD + C on Mac)
- Paste the newly copied selection onto the image CTRL + V (CMD + V on Mac)
- PRess CTRL + T (CMD + T on Mac) to transform the selection.
- Right click inside the layer and select “Flip Horizontal”
- Move the flipped selection to the opposite side of the image to cover the distraction.
- Make a new layer mask on the copied layer.
- Paint with black around the hard edge areas of the selection.
- Add a new Curves Adjustment layer above the selection.
- Clip the Curves Adjustment layer into the selection by pressing ALT (Option on Mac)
- Adjust the Tone Curve until the selection blends in with its surroundings
- Add a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer above the Curve.
- Clip the Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer into the selection by pressing ALT (Option on Mac)
- Adjust the Color until the selection blends in with its surroundings.
- You can take it one step further by applying a Color Lookup Table (as seen in the video tutorial)
The Finished Image