Cleaning an Image - Adobe Photoshop

Sometimes you have a picture that would have had a perfect background if people (or some other inconvenient thing) weren’t in it. Even a plate sometimes needs cleaning. Take a look at Fiji.tga in Figure .You’re going to take out the ship mast and lines that are intruding onscreen left.

Clean out the unwanted ship rigging onscreen left

The Clone, Patch, and Healing tools get rid of the unwanted sailboat parts. Although most people would use the Healing tool, it tends to bleed in unwanted colors at times. I prefer to use the Clone tool as much as possible and use the Healing tool to clean up and blend afterward.

Using the Clone Tool

The Clone tool is one of the most useful tools for painting on a photograph. The same concept that you are about to apply to erase part of the mast can be used in any other situation where you need to erase something from a picture.

  1. Open Fiji.tga, which you can download from this book’s companion web site.
  2. Make sure you are working at around 300 percent; that way you are seeing everything.
  3. Zoom in to the tip of the mast. You start here and work your way down.
  4. Press S to switch to the Clone tool.
  5. Use the left bracket ([) to make the diameter of the Clone Stamp/Brush smaller.
  6. You want it to be just barely larger than what you are trying to erase.

  7. Make sure you have these settings:
    • Opacity: 100 percent
    • Align: Selected
    • Brush Hardness: 0%
  8. A lot of people like to set the opacity lower, saying that it blends easier. This is true, but it also makes the area blurry. Leaving it at 100 percent keeps the grain as crisp as the rest of the image. You use the Healing tool later to clean up any blending issues.

  9. To set the clone source, hold Option (Win: Alt) and click the source area. This area should be an area just right or left of the mast you’re starting on; because the sky gradates vertically, by keeping your source to your immediate left, for example, your fixes blend in.
  10. This is a bit more subjective, as you must carefully eye how you are cloning away the rigging.

  11. Be careful as you erase the mast and wires from the sky.

As you can see in my image, a slight impression of all the lines and mast remains. You use the Healing tool to get rid of the cloning residue. Figure shows the results.

There is still a ghost of the rigging. The Healing tool gets rid of it.

Using the Healing Tool

The Healing tool functions similarly to the Clone tool.

  1. Hold Option (Win: Alt) and click to select a source; then paint.
  2. When you are painting, you see 100 percent of the source. Once you release, the colors are blended and the grain is made even.

  3. Once you have the sky cleaned up, do the same thing in the grass area. Your painting should look like Figure.
  4. The final image


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Adobe Photoshop Topics