Monday, 18 June 2012

Exercise: Alteration

Well, we are leading up to making more and more changes to images, and this exercise is about replacing a part of an image with areas around it to remove it completely from the scene. This form of manipulation could well be considered unethical but in some cases it may be necessary where a moment in time can not be repeated for example of where any potential angle or viewpoint does not remove an ugly artefact.

This is a reasonable good wedding photograph showing the happy couple but separated by someone in the background. Although the depth of field is blurring it out this is a large distraction and one that makes the image unacceptable.

The area around the gentleman in the background is a tree (bark) which is a good cloning material as it has an unstructured pattern that can easily be blended. First of all I made a careful selection of this chap and feathered it by 3.5px as shown left. This is to make sure that I only clone within the selection and not on to the face of the groom.

Using the cone tool I select an area of bark and carefully clone this into the selection in several passes until all of the selection is made. There is a small piece not selected just above the shoulder of the groom, I did not select this in the cloning pass as there are some flowers protruding that I did not want to clone over. In a separate selection of this area I applied a hue / saturation adjustment altering the saturation, lightness and hue to match the background, this had very little affect on the hue of the flowers hence masking out the dark blue of the man's shirt.The final image once complete is below.

I think this is a reasonable removal of the gentleman and I can't really see an remnants of alteration, certainly not at this resolution. Perhaps there is a little but it certainly has brought the image back to life. The lady to the right is not ideal but not as bad as the chap in between the happy couple. Ethically is this correct? No I should have asked the gentleman to move, that would have saved the shot, but I do accept that there are scenes and situations that would warrant minor removals where absolutely necessary....What the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over? Perhaps.....

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