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Tips & Tricks

Learn How To Remove Anything From A Photo Using Photoshop

By Kishore Sawh on June 15th 2014


How many times have you taken a photo and not noticed something unwanted in the frame? Maybe a tree branch that appears as if it’s coming from someone’s head, or someone stepped into the frame who wasn’t meant to be there, or perhaps a set piece out of place, we’ve been there. Sometimes it’s due to negligence, sometimes you have no control over the matter, and other times everything else in the shot couldn’t be more right and you just have to get rid of that item. Well, Phlearn and Aaron Nace have put together a tutorial which illustrates methods anyone with Photoshop can employ to remove any unwanted thing from a picture.

[REWIND: A Sneak Peak Of A New Photoshop CC Feature]

In this particular instance, the objects in question are a rather obvious garbage can sitting too close to the model, and a light post. However, as those are the primary subjects, removing them effectively means removing any remnants of their existence, often in the form of cast shadows, or reflections. Aaron goes through the steps and tools required to do this, admitting the limitations, but explaining ways to get around them, or at least make the best of them.




One of the best things about Aaron is the manner in which he brings across the material; unassuming, and not in the least bit patronizing. This episode is no different. Nace explains in his way, the tools to use, why, and possible substitutions.

I think most notably in this video, for me, is the acknowledgement of the artistic and creative resources Photoshop often requires from the user in order to render a quality edit. Using the example at hand, in removing the garbage can, there was left a sizable void behind it. Given the surroundings, it wasn’t possible to do direct cloning to reconstruct the area. Aaron, sensing the concerns, addresses how to think about and execute creating a fill for the void, complete with adding texture. The process requires technical skill, but also a keen artistic eye to finish it well. Anyway, it’s well done, and this is definitely a skill all photographers and editors should equip themselves with.

If you like this, and would like to become quickly adept at Photoshop, I might suggest having a look around our site as we generally post tutorials like this often. And to have a look at the Phlearn Photoshop 101 & 102 as they are comprehensive and will have you doing things with Photoshop you may have otherwise thought too complex, or didn’t even know you could do.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    again a great tutorial

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  2. Chuck Eggen

    Another great Phlearn tutorial. I tried it and for me it takes a bit more time but at least I have confidence to do it again.

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  3. Paul Blacklock

    Came in handy to remove a wire in a shot i did yesterday at the dock.

    Keep them great tips coming


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  4. Greg Faulkner

    I liked it :)

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  5. Mark Mirandilla


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  6. Olivier Bulle

    Been following Aaron Nace for some time now and it took my post processing to a new level. Loves the one where he explain how to change the color of a car… And this guy is funny too.

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  7. Christine Einarsson

    Great tutorial

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  8. Matt Walsh

    Thanks Kishore! Aaron Nace has taken my photoshop game to the next level!

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Matt, if you haven’t already, and I personally don’t get anything for this, check out Phlearn’s Photoshop 101 and 102 tutorial videos. They are just Aaron taking you through it all, and it’s all good. Cheers man

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  9. Johny Tree

    I have to agree with GP10ELLISON. The Background image is Incorrect. if you look at the right side of the pole at the lower part of the image, that should have been carried to the leftside of the image. “it is a good lesson, but Remember to check your work.

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  10. Geoff Boltach

    Great lesson!

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  11. David Sherman

    Does this work with non raw images?

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  12. Ryan

    I think the episode before this one was ‘How to place a model in your picture using Photoshop’ ;)

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  13. Irene Hoskins

    Great tutorial especially for pics with kids. I hate missing random shots worrying that something in the background is off. Not everything is a planned photo shoot when you have kids or grandkids.

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  14. Blake

    How to remove a trash can from a photo in two simple steps?

    …take two simple steps to the left before pressing the shutter button.

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  15. Donna

    Excellent! Easy to follow and very useful. Sure beats using the clone stamp. Thank you for the tutorial.

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  16. GP10Ellison

    He missed layering a whole section of either trim or curb work on the building.

    other than that it was good but leaving that was a distraction

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