How do you remove unwanted elements from a picture? You don’t need to be a professional for this – using software like Adobe Photoshop, anyone can do it from their own computer! Let us see how….

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It is a common occurrence in the process of taking pictures that some unwanted elements also appear in what is considered a precious picture. It could be a pole or animal or something that you wouldn’t really want in this precious memory – what do you do then? The various software packages that are available now have many tools that make it possible to erase these unwanted images from the pictures and give the perfect look you want in these pictures.

How do these tools work?

One of the options to remove such unwanted element from a picture is using the Clone Brush. All you need to do is to pick a source in the picture and using the brush, you can apply pixels from this source to the places you want. As a result, the unwanted element is covered with these pixels and once done, you will find that the unwanted element has completely vanished from the picture.

Another tool that can be used to remove unwanted elements is ‘Gimp’ which is a free and effective tool. The first step to perform the task using this tool is to download the image to get a new copy. Then you have to click on ‘Layer’ to create a new layer that will be the same as the original and you have to do your entire editing job on this only. You can monitor the work by turning on and off the eye icon. The duplicate layer should be active for you to carry out the changes and you should zoom on the object that you would like to be removed.

You should choose the Clone Stamp tool next and the cursor should be moved into the image. The brush size should be smaller than the object and you can use the square bracket keys for this. Using the control key you can apply paint over the element that you want to remove. The next step would be to make use of the "Healing Brush tool" and the size of the brush should be larger here. You can perform the painting task repeatedly over the area you have selected. Your progress in the task can be checked through the eye icon on the top. Any mistake can be corrected by performing Edit and Undo tasks. Once you are satisfied about the task, you can right click on the duplicate layer and using the Flatten image option, make the changes permanent.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 has the latest version PSE7, where removing unwanted images is a very easy task. With just a stroke or two of a pencil tool in the Photo merge Scene Cleaner, you can remove the unwanted images from the picture. You must load the picture, and with the help of Guided Edit, you should select the "Photo merge Scene Cleaner" and then select the pencil tool in that. Now you must scribble out all the unwanted images in the picture which you have planned to remove. Now the picture will have only those images that you wanted and it would be perfect as per your wish. The tool is very easy to use and will help you in making your pictures look as you have wanted them to.

Adobe CS5 contains the latest technology to cover an area where the unwanted image has to be deleted. The Magic Wand is a tool where you have to make use of the Shift and Delete shortcut to get the Fill dialogue. You need to choose the Content Aware Fill which will complete the selection of the area that you want to vanish. It covers the unwanted image with patch and the picture gives the look as if these unwanted images were never there at all. There is one more method of using this tool and here you need to make use of the Content Aware mode of "Spot Healing Brush" which will paint over the unwanted image and it vanishes. Usually this method is applied where the images of wires or hairs or wrinkles are to be masked to make the picture blemish-free. It may not be possible to get the perfect picture in the first attempt and it may require some finishing touches manually too but the corrections that you perform will be of minor nature.

Initially you may find it a little tough to get used to the techniques but with frequent usage, the task will be much easier than you thought.

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Rokaiya Yeasmin Munni

As manager and head of digital marketing at Clipping Path India, Rokaiya wants to help retailers and photographers use marketing strategies and tactics that will elevate their business. She has an 18-year background in graphic design, content management and digital marketing.