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Tips & Tricks

Get Better Vacation Photos By Removing The Other Tourists Form Your Image, Without Cloning!

By Anthony Thurston on October 4th 2014

We have all been there. You know, when you are on vacation, visiting a really cool tourist destination and all of your pictures stink because they are full of, well, other tourists. Take your vacation and travel imagery to the next level by removing those pesky tourists from your shot without even touching the clone tool.


The process is simple really, but involves taking multiple shots of the subject with the tourists in different parts of the frame. Then, when you get back home, you take all the images in Photoshop, place them one over the other, and start masking out the tourists.

[REWIND: Steve Perry Shows Explains Polarizers]

Don’t worry, if you don’t quite follow what I am saying, you can follow along in the process with this great in-depth tutorial done by Steve Perry. It’s really quite an easy technique, though it may not be feasible in super crowded places where even when getting multiple frames won’t help you.

I know I will be using this the next time that I run into this situation. This technique is so much less time consuming in post vs using the clone tool to try and clone out the tourists.


Have you used this technique before to get a better final image of a popular destination? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

[via Steve Perry on Youtube]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Great article !

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  2. Eric Mazzone

    If you use a tripod and shoot at least 5 images over the space of about 10 minutes or so, then open all in PS as layers of the same document, there is a function in PS that will do this for you in seconds. I have no idea what the name of the function is, BUT i’ve seen it used in a tutorial on YouTube.

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    • Eric Mazzone

      Ok, open all images as a stack, auto align your images, convert them to a smart object, then under smart objects select Stack Mode, Median and it will do it for you. Removing everything that is different from all the other frames leaving only the architectural object or street or whatever.

      Here is a flash link tutorial.

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  3. Skip Moore

    Also works nicely for portraits in busy locales. The tripod is preferred, but you can get around that using the Auto-Align Layers function.

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    • John Cavan

      Yeah, if you’re wandering the streets of a city like Paris, odds are you don’t have a tripod with you. The auto-align features take care of that issue, but you need to make sure you give yourself sufficient room in the frame(s) to account for between shot movement.

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  4. Geoffrey Van Meirvenne

    Scott Kelby teaches this in one of his travel classes in Paris. Ideal for busy touristic places. You might need 10+ frames to clear section by section.

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