How to Fix a Bad Composition with the Content-Aware Fill Tool

Have you ever returned from a shooting location to find you had what could have been a good composition if you would have moved about 4 feet to the left or right? I know I have. It has happened to me more than once. I have good news for you. Photoshop has this Content-Aware Fill tool that can work wonders on situations just like this!

You may have already seen the content-aware fill tool and used it many times. The technology behind the tool is in many other assets within Photoshop like the Clone Stamp Tool, the Content-Aware Move Tool, and the Patch Tool (to name a few). While I am sure the technology is sophisticated, it is effortless to use.

In this example, I use Content-Aware Fill to patch an area of the composition that never existed. Yep, I moved the image to the right, and that empty white space was filled in with grass, clouds, and even a finished road path. But how?

Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill uses data from around the image to replace the white space.  It is similar to the healing brush or even the dust removal tool in Lightroom. It assesses the environment it is replacing and looks for pixel data that is similar to it.

Sounds too good to be true, right?  Well, it can be if you understand that you will also need a bit of help fixing the areas it replaces.  In today’s tutorial, I will show you how I use this technique to fix poor compositions and show you how to use the Clone Stamp Tool to repair the wonky-bits.

Want to master the Clone Stamp Tool?

I have a course for that.  Well its actuall a course for the entire cloning “family” of tools.  You will learn:

✔ How to clean up your images in Photoshop
✔ How to use the Clone Stamp (and many other tools) like a pro
✔ How to use custom selections from your photo for advanced cleanup
✔ How to practically apply your knowledge of all the cleanup tools for efficient post-production

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's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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