With great power comes great results

Having the right image to upload to your website is one thing, but getting them ready to be uploaded is another sometimes overlooked aspect of Website design and maintenance. This is the first in a series of articles that Amplify Creative will be putting out to help arm you with some essential image editing tools and techniques. We will primarily being using the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC as our image editing software companion, but there are plenty of cheaper and free alternatives for you to transfer these lessons to. See this article for some solid free options to get you started: The best free photo editor 2016

That photograph would be so much better if…

We’ve probably all taken a photo where we wished later that something we missed at the time wasn’t there. Or, you’ve wanted to use an image for something but there was some aspect of it, that if removed would make it perfect. That is why the focus of this article is on removing such unwanted content.

Take the photograph below for example. We were approached to try and salvage a much-loved printed photo that unfortunately had been damaged over the years. The photo had all sorts of tape marks, stains, tears and a staple in it! After scanning it in to a computer at a very high resolution (At least 300 Dots Per Inch (dpi) but higher if your scanner supports it), we set to work on trying to repair it. Using Photoshop’s Clone Stamp tools and few others for other minor tweaks, I think you’ll agree we were able to do a pretty good job at cleaning it up.

Old photograph scanned and retouched

The Clone Stamp tool

The Clone Stamp tool paints one part of an image over another part of the same image. You can also paint part of one layer over another layer. This is useful for duplicating objects or removing a defect in an image. You will find it in the tools panel down the left of your photoshop window.

It is a very powerful tool that can help rescue an image from certain doom. That is why it is our first ‘essential image editing tool’. Follow the steps below to see how to use it.

Spot Healing and Clone Stamp tools

1. Create a new layer

Create new layer

First, import your image into Photoshop. Then choose a new blank layer, which we will use for non-destructive editing.

2. Ready the Clone Stamp

Select sample from all layers

Select the Clone Stamp tool and make sure it is set to sample from ‘all layers’

3. Size up the target area

Size up target area

Set the Clone Stamp to the size of the area you wish to correct. Use the curly/square bracket keys on your keyboard as a shortcut to adjust the size.

4. Select your source

Select your source

Holding down the “alt” key, click on an area to select it as a source for stamping over the unwanted mark.

5. Stamp your clone

Stamp the source

Line up your clone stamp over the area you wish to cover and click.

6. Mark removed!

Mark removed

The mark will have been covered up with your Clone Stamp source. The change will be on its own layer and so will not have altered the original image.

With a lot of patience and attention to detail the Clone Stamp will enable you to achieve stunning results. We hope you found this tutorial useful and we’d love to see some of your Clone Stamp trickery! Check back soon for our next article in this series and to see which tool we feature next…