The Digital Photo Guy

Replace an Object in a Photo

by on Feb.25, 2009, under Photo Editing

A reader asked how to remove the magazine from the following photo. Like all PS/PSE techniques, there are multiple ways to accomplish this so I whipped up a quick, easy fix for this problem. Here are the original and final photos. Click to see a larger image.

How to remove the magazine

Remove the magazine

Magazine removed

Magazine removed

First, I duplicated the background layer by pressing Control+J. Next, I selected the the magazine using the polygonal lasso tool. Remember, in the polygonal lasso tool, simply click the start point and move the mouse to the end point and a straight line will be drawn between the 2 points. The selection now protects the rest of the photo so you can make changes inside the selection but it won’t spill over into the area outside the selection.

Finally, I used the clone stamp tool to clone parts of the fabric over the magazine. When the magazine was completely filled, I pressed Control+D to remove the “marching ants”.  I could see the edge of the selection so, using the clone stamp tool, I blended the edges and ended up with the photo on the right.

1 Comment :, more...

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

by on Feb.25, 2009, under Articles

Holy mackeral! Can you believe that it’s been nearly 2 weeks since my last update. I deserve 30 lashes with a roll of Kodak Tri-X.

I meant to update every night during my recent IPT (Instructional Photo Tour) with Artie Morris at Bosque del Apache. However, taking a workshop with Artie is a bit like boot camp. We were up at Oh-Dark-Thirty each morning and on site by 0600 (that’s 6AM for non-bird photographer types). We shot until about 1030 and then retired to the motel conference room for lunch and critiques or Photoshop sessions. Afterwards, it was back to the refuge from about 3PM until past sunset. Dinner was another marathon critique or lecture session. By the time I got to bed around 10:30PM, updating my blog was low on my list of priorities.

As I said in a previous post, if you can keep up, you’ll learn more from Artie in 3 days than you’ll learn from any other photographer in 6 months. I’ll post some photos as soon as I recover and have a chance to review about 1200 photos.

In the meantime, a former student asked about removing an object from a photo and replacing it with a similar texture. I said I would develop the steps and post them here but that plan obviously went by the wayside. I’ll try to get to it ASAP when I get home. (I’m posting this from a truck stop in Eloy, AZ).

The Comments still aren’t working because I haven’t had time to harangue my developer. I’ll get on that also when I get home.

Obviously, there was no MMT this past week while I attended Artie’s boot camp.

Comments Off on Time Flies When You’re Having Fun! : more...

Learning Photoshop Elements

by on Feb.12, 2009, under Photo Editing

I finished the webcast Photoshop Elements class last night and haven’t yet received complaints or demands for refunds so I guess everyone was satisfied with the results. As I told the students, PSE is a powerful, flexible program but those capabilities come with increased complexity. The good news is that you don’t have to learn all of PSE at once to accomplish useful tasks.

Here are my recommendations for learning PSE in some semblence of structure. First, take a short class. Obviously, mine is the best 😉 but any class is better than no class. The purpose of the class is to learn some basics quickly but, more importantly, learn the jargon and terminology to find your way around PSE. I remember one of the first Photoshop classes I attended where every student had a PC or Mac in front of them. The instructor would say something like, “Click the XYZ option in the ABC menu and group the layers while holding the DEF key.” By the time I figured out where all those menus, options and controls were located, I was 10 steps behind everyone else.

When you feel comfortable stumbling around PSE, buy a book like The Photoshop Elements 7 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. You can also buy the PSE6 book at the same site for less. Both books are nearly identical so I wouldn’t worry about missing anything. Besides, the books are nearly 500 pages so by the time you discover the difference, you’ll be ready to upgrade to PSE 8 or 9. By the way, speaking of upgrading, my recommendation is to upgrade every other version. It’s usually not worth it to upgrade every version. If I could, I’d upgrade every 3rd version.

Kelby’s book is like a cookbook. It’s strictly, “Monkey see, monkey do” until you learn enough to be able to modify the techniques and apply them to your needs. In the beginning, you’ll be baffled just trying to figure out what you should or want to do to a photo. That’s why in my class, I concentrate on workflow so you have an idea of what’s important and what’s not.

When you’re ready to remove the Kelby training wheels, buy a book like Barbara Brundage’s Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual. This puppy is about 600 pages and is written like a technical reference manual. Like a dictionary, if you don’t know what you’re trying to do, this book won’t tell you. Use this book in combination with Kelby’s book to get a better understanding of what a particular tool does. Think of Kelby’s book as a box of recipes while Brundage’s book is a culinary school.

Of course, none of this will do diddly for you unless you take the time and make the effort to read the books and practice. Remember, Ctrl+Z is your friend. You can always Undo a boo-boo and, if all else fails, close the file without saving and reopen the original.

Comments Off on Learning Photoshop Elements : more...

Back to Digital Photography

by on Feb.08, 2009, under Articles, Photo Editing

I’ve been immersed in WordPress and WP plug-ins for the past week and my core compentecy, digital photography, has suffered. It’s time to get back to writing about what I know and enjoy best.

I’ve been teaching a webcast Photoshop Elements class for the past 5 weeks. This coming Wednesday is the last session but there’s so much in PSE that I’ve written a short MMT (Monday Morning Tip) which can be found on the Tips & News page. MMTs are password protected because they are a benefit for registered visitors. In the future, you’ll have to register to access the MMTs page. For the moment, contact me if you want the password. There are about 80 MMTs covering Photography Gear, Composition, Software and Misc but only about 5 are uploaded at this time. I’ll upload the remainder as time permits.

This week’s MMT (2/9/09) covers a use for Selections that wasn’t covered in the PSE class. As you recall, Selections are used to isolate an area so you can constrain your edit to just a specific area. In the webcast, I demonstrated using several tools to select a flower then move that flower to another photo where it was placed in a young lady’s hair. I also showed how the flower color can be changed by constraining color changes to the selected area.

Today’s MMT shows another application that is patently obvious once you see it but may be otherwise obtuse. I hope you enjoy it and, if it interests you, sign up for the next Photoshop Elements Webcast class starting March 25 at 7:30PM Pacific Time.

Comments Off on Back to Digital Photography :, more...

Houston, We Have Ignition!

by on Feb.07, 2009, under Articles, WordPress

On Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 4:15AM PST, my new WordPress blog-based website was launched. The Name Servers at my registrar (the guys who took my money and told ICANN to save for me) were updated to reflect the new host (the guys who took my money in exchange for disk space and computing power on their servers). Now, I have to wait 1-2 hours for my DNS change to propagate (spread) throughout the Internet so anyone typing my URL into their web browser will be directed to the new site. Think of this as changing phone numbers and waiting for the new phone directories to be printed and delivered.

My greatest concern is, of course, that my e-mail links won’t work. In 2009, anyone who can’t communicate via e-mail is “out of the loop” and most businesses live or die by their communications. Therefore, anyone reading this is requested to go to the Contact Page and send me a test message. Thanks.

While I was writing this, my new web site has come up in another tab so it’s working as far as directing people to the correct server. My test e-mails to myself haven’t yet shown up so I’m a bit concerned but hope that mail server propogation is just a bit slower.

Comments Off on Houston, We Have Ignition! : more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!