How to use Remove Background in Photoshop

Since the beginning of time, Adobe has made Photoshop a powerhouse for manipulating and obscuring pixels.   One thing it is notorious for is its ability to remove a background in any photo with ease.   Well, with Photoshop 2020, they made it even easier with a remove background button, but is it necessarily better?

In the new Photoshop 2020, if you select an unlocked layer (a locked background layer won’t allow this), you can now remove the background with the click of a button.  This great little button is found in the Properties Palette.  With one click and a blink of time, your background will magically disappear.

remove background in Photoshop CC 2020

At first glance, this new feature is INCREDIBLE! It feels like an act of wizardry.  But when you take a closer look, you will find that it has a hard time with hair.

After all, that seems to be the pinnacle of success in masking, how well you can include gaps in curly locks like this handsome young man or flyaway hairs in a female portrait.  It isn’t until you put your subject on a contrasting background that you can see the flaws in this new remove background feature.

remove background in Photoshop CC 2020


Have no fear!  In today’s tutorial,  I am going to show you how to use another feature that, while similar in function, is far more effective than the Remove Background button.

Let us not forget that while we have access to tools like these in Photoshop, it is always best to photograph your subject in a way that makes it easy to remove if that is your goal.  Photoshop can only do some much so don’t photograph a girl on a windy day with trees behind her and expect magic to happen 🙂  Don’t be surprised when your selection tools don’t do exactly as you ask them.  Sometimes you have to put a little Select and Mask elbow grease into them!

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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