Sometimes a background element distracts from the focus of an image too much, but it can't be avoided in the composition. That's where this video from Colin Smith at Photoshop Cafe comes in handy, as he shows you how to quickly remove those distracting elements in three simple steps in Photoshop.
Admittedly, the three steps each require you to do several things, but the basic tutorial remains very simple and the steps taken can transform a so-so image into something worthy of sale. In particular, Smith's use of the patch tool is a powerful technique for ridding your image of distraction. I've often used the clone stamp tool and/or the healing brush to great effect, but the patch tool is another weapon in your Photoshop arsenal that will improve your images.
Smith also makes a good point about the importance and ease of using the upright tool. Eliminating some of the lens distortions from the image in the first step makes steps two and three much easier to accomplish. Correct vertical and horizontal elements make it easier to line up the new parts of your image.
Which Photoshop tools do you use most often to eliminate distracting background elements? Drop a comment below and share your best techniques.