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  • Writer's pictureLilakian

52 Weeks of Photoshop - Week 2: Distractions

I was incredibly excited for week 2 because Distractions are something I >REALLY< need to work on editing out. I feel like I can edit simple distractions out of images really well in Lightroom and it was a little daunting thinking about removing distractions in a program that I have NOOOOOO Idea how to use... It. Was. So. Easy. I must admit my image that I decided to use was not an incredibly difficult image to work with. I took this photo of beautiful Baylee on a walk at O'sullies Beach recently and loved the image so much I had already posted it to my business page. As I was scrolling through my photos looking for something to work with I realized that I could have done so much more to complete the image. It is so interesting how a simple challenge can make you look at everything so differently.

The distraction that I am removing in this image is clearly the other blurred dog in the background. My first step was to youtube a tutorial. I watched the "Removing Distractions and Backgrounds in Photoshop" tutorial by Oh Photoshop! (link below)

I quickly realized that this tutorial was more appropriate for a studio shoot as the technique used is to PAINT the background by using the colour picker tool and paint brush.. I should have realized it wasn't an appropriate video straight up as the image was literally of a newborn shoot on seamless paper! Whooops! I decided to give it a go anyway just to play around with a different technique... and well... it worked! I stopped watching the video at the painting part so I am not sure if there was extra steps, but I successfully painted the ocean background. I did this by simply picking the spots next to the dog, starting from bottom to top and just painting across the screen. I used a relatively large brush size too. Once I had painted across, it kind of stood out a little so I lowered the opacity and did a second coat of paint and colour picked slightly different parts of the image to 'layer' the colours.

With the paint brush tool selected, press 'alt' to quick colour pick.

This still kind of stands out to me, but I certainly think that it is because I KNOW the image so well. I would be very happy to present this to a client and I have no doubt that they would have no idea I painted this because the ocean background is so smooth to start with.

As I am writing this I can see a shadow from a dog that is off camera so I will quickly fix that with a healing tool! Be right back!

A very quick 2 second Spot heal over that fixed it right up! NOW I am super happy with the end result. After this image and technique I certainly felt like I cheated a little bit and the whole goal of this challenge is to push myself so I decided to tackle removing a harness...

I have never removed a collar or leash so I felt a harness was probably going to break me considering there is so much to master with removal and fur... Thanks to Ragnar for being the perfect subject!

Charlotte Reeves is an amazing Brisbane based photographer that I follow and she has some great free tutorials on her Youtube. I used her advanced leash removal to get me started. I attempted to use the Patch Tool to copy other sections of fur and cover over the harness. It was almost working, but not quite. It was a little... well.. patchy. It didn't blend quite as nicely so I had a quick squizz through Youtube and found the 'Content Aware' ability.

Basically I selected small sections of the harness using the Lasso tool, clicking 'Edit' on the menu bar and scrolling down to select "Fill" (You can also use Shift + F5 for quick Fill). The fill pop up automatically had "Content Aware" selected in the contents drop down and I hit 'Ok'. This made it really easy to remove the harness and cover it with more fur. It certainly isn't perfect and needs a little tweaking, but for a quick harness removal you couldn't really ask for more!


Let me know your thoughts! What did you think of the distraction removal? Have you removed distractions using other techniques or did this write up help you? I would love to see your attempts at removing a harness!

Tutorial 1: Tutorial 2:

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