Remove Distracting Elements in your Photo

Ok. Take a long breath before reading the next sentence. Have you ever took a photo and thought to yourself that the subject in the photo would be a good stock photo and when you finally downloaded it into your computer and finally viewed on your monitor that there are brightly coloured objects in the foreground or background that are very distracting? Ok, you can breath again. (long run on sentence I know)

There are a few ways you can fix this problem. One is to retake the photo but this is obvious a lot of trouble if you are already not at the location. Another way is to obviously clone out the object in photoshop. But this takes time and a lot of work and doesn't always look natural at the end. Also sometimes the distracting object is actually important in the scene but it's the bright colour that distracts the viewer.

Well there is a very simple way of removing this "colour" distraction. You can use photoshop for this. First duplicate the layer. Than you make that layer black and white. There are multiple ways of making it black and white. Do what ever is most comfortable for you. Now what you need to do is mask out the colour distraction turning it B+W. Adjust the opacity so a bit of colour shows through if necessary if you feel that the pure B+W is too unnatural. And that's all you need to do.

The following photo I used this technique to remove the distracting

bright blue coloured cup on the tray and the bright orange gold vases on the top of the cabinets. I hope this will be helpful for you.

Photo credits: Retina2020.

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March 20, 2008


Very clever - it works well too in your example shot.

March 13, 2008


What a great idea! Thanks!

March 12, 2008


Very useful tip!

February 25, 2008


No problem Rongmin. I'm glad it's useful.

February 24, 2008


Good tip, never do it in this way.Thanks Retina!

February 22, 2008


Thanks Sophie. It's a quick way I found instead of cloning out the object.

February 22, 2008


Good tip indeed, never thought about it ...

February 20, 2008


Hey Paul. No problem. I'm glad you found it useful.

February 20, 2008


Thanks for the tip. I always did something like this, but without the B&W. This will work easier and faster.

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