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Removing Unwanted Artifacts and Objects in your Photos

Removing Unwanted Artifacts and Objects in your Photos

You know the feeling. You've taken what looks to be the perfect photo but when you get home and load it onto your PC / Mac you notice the power or telephone line cutting it in half as plain as day. How did you miss it? Who knows. The fact is that you did and now you either have to live with it or do something clever.

Well, assuming that doing nothing isn't a real option, let's have a look at removing the object or objects and making your photo the masterpiece you wanted.

If you are new to photography and need a good photo editor, you might want to take a look at Photoscape X Pro, a free professional editor for Windows and Mac platforms from the Microsoft Store. Although advertised at about £29 or so to buy, you can download and use completely free, a full version of the software with only a few exceptions. I've been using it as my "go to" editor now for about a month and it is pretty complete in every way. I may yet decide to pay the £29 as there are some features I could certainly use but so far, that hasn't been necessary.

Moving on, let's take a look at the photo in question. Before looking at this issue I have already lightened the image so we can see what we are dealing with. I actually love the dark and moody example BUT I want to demostrate the approach and that's best done on something we can all see.

Having carefully compossed this photo I was horrified to see the power / telephone cable in the background when I loaded the full size image onto my PC. Given the whispy clouds surely this was a throw away image, unusable? Perhaps not, after all, magazine and photo editors have been tackling these type of issues for years surely. So, despite the difficult background I'm pretty sure that the healing function provided in practically all of the major editors will do this job well so I was keen to give it a go. Fortunately, Photoscape X Pro has this feature, it's called Healing, so was an obvious opportunity to give this feature a go. The really nice thing about Photoscape X Pro is that it is so easy to use. Every feature also has a Compare feature so you can quickly access if your modifications are having a positive or negative effect. 

So, let's take a quick look at the Photoscape X Pro healing function. The screen shot here show the basic layout of the Photoscape X Pro editing screen with the Healing function highlighted. 

Selecting this feature takes you to a simple editing screen which allows you to set the brush size to something appropriate for your image. Here I have chosen to keep the brush pretty small to reduce the impact on the background clouds. Having decided on and created a suitable sized brush, the next job, which can be a little tricky, is to carefully drag it across the power line as shown below. Photoscape X Pro does all of the necessary modifications in background so depending on the speed of  your PC, this can take a few seconds.

Once completed, you can make a decision as to whether the modification has done what you wanted or not. If yes, you can save your image and get on with your life, if not, you can undo this action and have another go. In my case, keeping the brush small meant that the affect on the clouds was minimal and in truth, very difficult to notice especially if you didn't know what the original photo was like. Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so here is the final image with the power line removed.

If you want to check out Photoscape X Pro, visit http://x.photoscape.org/. There is also a version for Mac.

David

AQUA Adrenaline / OCRDA Power Boat Event, Torquay
Life Study - A portrait in the making

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