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.

f64 Distraction Removal with Marquee Selections in Photoshop Example Before

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.

f64 Distraction Removal with Marquee Selections in Photoshop Example2

Here is the quick rundown:  (A video tutorial is provided at the bottom of the page)

  1. Use the Marquee tool to select the distraction.
  2. Be sure to leave plenty of room around the distraction with your selection.  This is a buffer for your mask in Step 10
  3. Move the Marquee selection to the opposite side of the image.
  4. Copy the new selection using CTRL + C (CMD + C on Mac)
  5. Paste the newly copied selection onto the image CTRL + V (CMD + V on Mac)
  6. PRess CTRL + T (CMD + T on Mac) to transform the selection.
  7. Right click inside the layer and select “Flip Horizontal”
  8. Move the flipped selection to the opposite side of the image to cover the distraction.
  9. Make a new layer mask on the copied layer.
  10. Paint with black around the hard edge areas of the selection.
  11. Add a new Curves Adjustment layer above the selection.
  12. Clip the Curves Adjustment layer into the selection by pressing ALT (Option on Mac)
  13. Adjust the Tone Curve until the selection blends in with its surroundings
  14. Add a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer above the Curve.
  15. Clip the Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer into the selection by pressing ALT (Option on Mac)
  16. Adjust the Color until the selection blends in with its surroundings.
  17. You can take it one step further by applying a Color Lookup Table (as seen in the video tutorial)

The Finished Image

f64 Distraction Removal with Selections in Photoshop Example Final

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.
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