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Thread: To clone or not?

  1. #1

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    To clone or not?

    ...if so, how to do it well?

    I like the image of the flower below but find the white and bright green bits in the left to be distracting. I tried to clone them out but am having a hard time not catching the edge of the petal (I tried to make a selection to isolate the spots but still didn't catch the petal edge correctly). Any suggestions? Is it worth the effort?

    To clone or not?

  2. #2

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    Re: To clone or not?

    What editing tools do you have?

    In Photoshop you could hand paint a mask fairly easily.

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    Re: To clone or not?

    It's definitely worth the effort to learn how to effectively deal with this situation. Once you learn how to do it for this photo, you'll have the skill to use in future photos.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: To clone or not?

    Cloning is just one approach you can use here. You don't have to totally remove the offending areas, but reworking them so that they are not as distracting will be just as effective.

    Masking the affected area and using tools like the dodge tool to darken up these areas would work quite well (just make sure you feather the selection appropriately). Using a blending mode that darkens along with a layer mask will also work.

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    Re: To clone or not?

    To clone or not?

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    Re: To clone or not?

    Thanks to everyone. I have to admit I had a mental block with the cloning idea and am not as familiar with my options in Photoshop as I aim to be (that's part of why I am here ).

    Colin, thank you for taking the time to post an edit. I do understand how to make a mask but could you please explain the tool(s)/steps that you used to make the changes to the bright spot?

    Thanks again,

  7. #7

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    Re: To clone or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Colin, thank you for taking the time to post an edit. I do understand how to make a mask but could you please explain the tool(s)/steps that you used to make the changes to the bright spot?

    Thanks again,
    No worries Shane,

    2 separate operations ...

    For the "white spot" I simply duplicated the layer & clone stamped over it.

    For the bright stem I duplicated the layer - applied an aggressive levels correction to the entire image - applied a mask to the changed layer to hide everything - and then painted the mask (repeatedly, at low opacity) to reveal just the right amount of the toned down stem.

    It also needed a quick sharpen and and a saturation adjustment around the petals.

    Would look good on canvas hanging on a wall.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: To clone or not?

    Of course, Shane the real trick is to catch the problem when you are taking the picture and rearrange the petal to eliminate it in shooting. That saves a ton of time in PP.

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    Re: To clone or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Of course, Shane the real trick is to catch the problem when you are taking the picture and rearrange the petal to eliminate it in shooting. That saves a ton of time in PP.
    Nah -- only takes a minute to fix. And bugger all that could have been done about the stem at the time.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that we shouldn't be looking before we shoot -- in this case though I think it would probably be easier and faster to just do in in post.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: To clone or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Nah -- only takes a minute to fix. And bugger all that could have been done about the stem at the time.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that we shouldn't be looking before we shoot -- in this case though I think it would probably be easier and faster to just do in in post.
    Once you know what to do, I agree. It may take you a minute or so (and me a bit longer), but if you are learning PP doing the "get it right in the camera" is going to be a lot faster.

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    Re: To clone or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Once you know what to do, I agree. It may take you a minute or so (and me a bit longer), but if you are learning PP doing the "get it right in the camera" is going to be a lot faster.
    So true, I have not got the layer and masking thing sorted.
    All I have figured is the clone tool.

    But then I look at both your guys post count, and I think to myself, I have a way to go yet!~!

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    Re: To clone or not?

    Thank you so much for providing more detail on your edit Colin. I am going to give this a try myself (starting back at the RAW file) too see if I can implement your fixes and improve on the first image. I will post the results here soon.

    Manfred, I am still working on many aspects of my photography and keeping a close eye on the background in my images (or as you say, getting it right in the camera) is right up there on the top of my list. Unfortunately I missed this one but I hope that with practice I will learn and improve.

  13. #13

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    Re: To clone or not?

    New edits with your tips using masking for LCE and cloning & sharpening (I had previously tried to clone on a selection without much success).

    I was trying to remove the bright spots in the background and eliminate the brightness is the stem of the flower. I also tried to reduce the overall noise in the image.

    This was my start from scratch:

    To clone or not?

    This one is an edit where I left off on the last one:

    To clone or not?

    Which do you prefer and how would you improve?

    Thank you.

  14. #14

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    Re: To clone or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Once you know what to do, I agree. It may take you a minute or so (and me a bit longer), but if you are learning PP doing the "get it right in the camera" is going to be a lot faster.
    Doesn't help one learn PP though Plus - in situations like this - it can mean breaking off stuff from plants, which often isn't a good look in my opinion.

  15. #15
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: To clone or not?

    I didn't suggest breaking things off the plant, but rather moving them out of the way. Sometimes moving a single leaf and weighing it down with a stone or a clump of earth is fast and easy (and non-destructive).

    Agreed that learning PP is important though.

    The objective is getting the "best" image. I learned my photography in the old pre-PP days so Photoshop was not an option, yet getting a good image was still the goal and PP was very much restricted to cropping, burning and dodging. Perspective adjustment was handled by tilting the easel that held the photo paper.

    In these instances I instictively return to my roots. Moving a leaf, pushing a chair out of the way, etc.

    I remember having a discussion with a photographer on another site who was having a hard time moving a chair leg out of a shot because of a complex background. I asked him why he didn't just move the chair and the answer was that it hadn't occurred to him.

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