Compositing To Remove Unwanted Objects

Occasionally, the need will arise to create a composite image to edit out unwanted objects (including lighting assistants, tourists in crowded locations, etc.). Here is our basic breakdown for creating a simple composite:

  1. Raw process + sync
  2. Lightroom open as layers
    1. Ctrl/cmd select > right click > edit in > open as layers (in Photoshop)
  3. Align layers
    1. Edit > auto align > auto
  4. Mask
    1. Paint (B) black (D) to conceal

After you have synced the images you wish to use in the composite, select the images and follow step two above. The layers should open in Photoshop. When they do, follow step three above; if a tripod was used to capture the images, there will be less of a need to align the images (though we still recommend aligning the images just in case there was movement). Finally, create a mask on the top layer and with a paint brush set to black, paint over the unwanted object, which should then be removed from the image and reveal the layer beneath.

Again, you may need to do some spot healing to remove unwanted blemishes, stray hairs, etc. Also, be sure to double check the edges and adjust the crop if there are white or repeated edges leftover from the auto-alignment.