Photo Restoration - Object Removal

(removing an object or a person from a photo) Every day in my business of photo restoration, image repair and picture retouching services at I receive all kinds of photo retouching, editing and manipulation requests, from minor photo restorations and repairs to the extreme picture restoration work. In fact one of the most requests I really like is the object removal requests.

I think I like it because I need to use my imagination when I remove an object or a person specially if it is located in the foreground of an image, I must replace it with something that matches the original photo otherwise it will show a blank space.

And there is where I have to use my imagination and creativity, person or object removal is a real challenge because I need to fill with something suitable once the person or object has been removed from an image.

There are many ways to remove an object or person from a photo. I will explain here the “Patch Aware Fill” method.

In the below you can find an easy step by step guide on how to fill the resulted blank area in order to have a flawless photo behind. 
 Below you can find a simple and quick step by step guide on how to fill the blank space, leaving a flawless picture behind.

people or object removal


Open the photo with the object you want to remove, like these people in the background at the following photo
 Duplicate the layer by pressing Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J).

Now you will select the Patch tool. After selecting the patch tool you must select “source” from the menu at the top.

The patch tool


Click-and-drag to “paint” a selection on the object you want to remove from the picture.

After selecting the object move the selection to an area in the picture that looks very similar to the area from which you are removing the object.

(For example, if you are removing the object from in front of a tree, select a similar looking area of a tree to fill in the space over the object you are removing.)
So the patch tool will offer you an idea of what you are capturing in the selection. 
Once you select an area of the photo you want to “paste” on the object, so all you need to do is release the selection on the new selected area then the patch tool will take that selected area and blend it into the area you are filling, or in this case, it will blend it on the object you are removing.
Of course this method does not work on all photos or every object, but it’s a great place to get started.
Hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial.

Alex Wagner

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