Clone out distractions TOP TIP
George Cairns explains how to remove unwanted clutter, such as posts and street furniture, to create a cleaner shot
To retouch or not to retouch? It’s a question we all have to wrestle with at some point, but unless you’re shooting hard news, a bit of digital tidying here and there is usually considered fair game – especially if it ensures your final image is more like the scene you actually had in front of you.
Take our start image: there are sensor spots in the sky, and the shadow of the photographer in the foreground is distracting. We could have shot from a different angle to avoid the shadow, but that would have meant changing our carefully considered composition. Removing the shadow digitally will give us a cleaner shot without having to alter the composition at all.
Capture NX-D’s Auto Retouch Brush is designed to get rid of dust, scratches and sensor spots. These shouldn’t be there anyway, so in the case of dust retouching actually creates a more accurate version of the scene. You can also hide unwanted street furniture such as lamp posts. Where you draw the retouching line is up to you!
The Auto Retouch Brush doesn’t allow you to manually sample pixels to paint over unwanted objects, so works best when hiding objects with clean backgrounds (such as sensor spots surrounded by a clear blue sky).
Cr op first It’s always a good idea to begin any image processing by cropping the shot. The cropping procedure may remove unwanted artefacts near the edges of the frame in a quick-and-easy operation. This saves you the time and hassle of cloning out objects that will be removed by cropping anyway.