Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blur Tool, Smudge Tool, and Content Aware in Photoshop CS5

So, I was editing some pictures of my friend's newborn today and came across this shot.  I really liked it, a little abstract I know...but as a mom I felt a connection to those little feet in her arms.  When I edited the shot in color that big white spot right above the newborn's feet wasn't a big deal, it just looked like the bokeh from the Christmas tree they were standing in front of.  However, I didn't really like that color and thought that a black and white/brown photo would be more appropriate for this particular photograph.  The you can tell....that blown out light circle from the Christmas tree.

I am still reading up on how to fix it....but I tried this method on the 2nd image and thought I would share my findings.  Plus, since this blog is all about my trials and errors in photography I thought it would help me have a better understanding of my error.

I started by by converting my photo to black/brown and white/cream.  After that I took the Lasso Tool in Photoshop CS5 (press L on a PC to select the tool) and drew a loose selection around the burnt highlight, but not too loose around the toes.  Then after I had my marching ants around the circle, I pressed "delete".  Pressing delete brought up a dialog box that had several options in it.  One of those options being "Content Aware"  which is what I selected and hit "ok".  CS5 worked it's fanciness and boom my white circle was gone, but still looked a little weird.  So, I selected the "clone tool" and hit "alt" on my PC to select the area that I wanted to copy and clicked down on my mouse.  I did this a few times, which helped...but still looked a little messy.  I then did a quick search and read a little bit about the "blur tool".  I had not yet tried this tool and was excited to try something new.  A couple of strokes of that "blur tool" along with the "Smudge Tool" and I fixed my problem.   I also added some texture to the photograph to hopefully disguise my error.

I am sure there is a better way out there to fix these types of errors, but this one seemed to do the trick enough.  I am curious if somebody who had not see the original picture with that blinding ball would of noticed the touched up image.  I do know that it looks like I blurred away a couple of his toes, but they were curled back a little like that in the original photograph.

Excited to have tried something new today!  And a huge Thank you goes out to Karen and her family for letting me practice on them this weekend.  I will be posting my favorites later this week. :)

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