Take a good look at that photo. Isn’t it a wonderful work of art? It certainly meets expectations. This one will be uploaded on Instagram, Facebook – or wherever the masses hang out. But wait a second, what is that thing over here? Suddenly, that wonderful work of art isn’t so perfect anymore.
Photoshop Elements 9 is possibly a gift from heaven for modern day photographers. Those minor to awful distractions caught in a photo can be gone in five minutes or less. In this article, a photographer can learn how to remove unwanted objects using the spot healing brush tool. Depending on the task at hand, this can be accomplished by using the “Proximity Match”, “Create Texture” and “Content Aware” tools. It is time to make that once perfect photo, great again.
Content Aware Option
This tutorial uses the content aware brush tool located inside of the spot healing options bar. What this brush tool will do is remove an object and fill its empty spot with a texture surrounding the area. This technique creates such a realistic effect; it is difficult to imagine what was original there.
Step one: Create a new blank layer to give more flexibility in adding and removing pixels.
Step two: Click on the spot healing tool – this looks like a band aid icon. From the options bar, select the “Content Aware” radio button and then check the “Sample All Layers” check box.
Step three: Be sure to keep the brush mode default at “Normal”. Next, choose a hard or soft brush depending on the texture of the image. Failure to do so can cause the retouch areas to be visible on the image.
Step four: After selections, a circular brush tip appears. Use the left and right square brackets to increase and decrease the brush tip.
Step five: Zoom into the image to get a closer look. Simply click or drag on the areas that require object removal. Release the mouse button and the object will disappear.
Additional Spot Healing Options
Sometimes a distraction on a subject can benefit from changing the default brush mode to improve the touch up result. The brush mode can be changed from “Normal” to “Lighten” or “Darken” for the removal of the dark or light pixels causing a spot or blemish. The “Lighten” mode will remove dark pixels and the “Darken” mode will remove lighter pixels.
If the default “Content Aware” spot healing option does not work, the same steps can be applied to the “Proximity Match” and “Create Texture” options. “Proximity Match” is best used to remove significantly small objects such as spots and blemishes. In comparison to “Content Aware”, the proximity tool does not fill the missing area with nearby textures. It searches the entire image for the best quality pixels to use instead. However, the results can be completely different in comparison. This makes it a good idea to use a brush tool small in diameter to apply the matched pixels.
On the other hand, “Create Texture” fills the missing spot with a randomized texture pattern based on nearby pixels. It will also colorize the area as seen fit. This spot healing tool may not always generate the correct texture on the first try and may require some reworking. If that happens, click and drag repeatedly until the pattern blends.