There are many times when you have gone to a location to shoot a landscape and you have not been the only one there. That is fine as everyone is entitled to be there. Every now and again however you have the type of photographer who thinks that they are entitled and who blatantly either stands right next to you to get the same composition without any acknowledgment or a courteous "would you mind if I..."
Even worse still are the types of photographers who move in front of you, blocking the composition you have just set up. Now, these are the worst type, the lowest of the low. Never fear though, Photoshop to the rescue, and in particular these 3 Photoshop books. Tried and tested but with a caveat, which I'll reveal.
Let's Set the Scene
The background is an ethereal misty landscape. It is simply stunning. This image will be subtly edited to bring out the greens of the trees and darken the shadows to provide balance throughout the scene. The ambient mistiness will be balanced by decreasing the dehaze, with only slight tweaks to contrast and color balance. The waterfall is flowing just nicely, not too much. Everything is looking great. You've set up your composition with the perfect aperture, perfect exposure, everything perfect at that moment in time, and then in wanders another photographer, ruining your photo, it is so frustrating and inconsiderate.
Never fear for there are 3 Photoshop books in existence that will help you remove those fools.
How to Remove People From Images Using Photoshop
Photoshop does not rely on the pre-baked fix which is to simply say "Apply Image > Remove People" and walk away. There are a few techniques that can be utilized. Some are not too arduous a task and even provide fantastic results, others require slightly more work to clone them out completely. But this is all time-consuming and unnecessary considering an aforementioned "would you mind if I.." could've solved everything at the time.
Recommended Photoshop Books for Comp Stomp Removal
Did you know that your first line of removal could in fact be in the first instance, at the location, using these 3 Photoshop books?
- Scott Kelby, How Do I Do That In Photoshop
- Glyn Dewis, The Photoshop Workbook
- Martin Evening, Adobe Photoshop CC For Photographers
I own all of these books and recommend these and other books to the students I teach, but I have found that these 3 come in particularly useful at the location when presented by a photography comp stomper. Insightful for the information they provide but also useful due to the size and weight of each book.
Technique, Velocity, and Mass
The technique is crucial to the effectiveness on the offending photographer. Wind speed and wind direction all play an important part in executing the most effective results, so practice the following in the backyard. For the purposes of this exercise, we will imagine it is a perfectly calm day.
The technique of the removal launch is a relatively simple one in which you lower your center of balance slightly while at the same time twisting your upper torso backward to provide the pitching shoulder with that extra bit of power. Remember most of the power comes from the shoulder, however, the twist in the torso also provides that extra power to carry through the momentum — ideal if the offending photographer is further away. Study the above image for proper technique. Remember to quickly resume your photographic positioning after the act, as this will cause further confusion to the offending comp stomper.
The lightest of the books is your first choice; How Do I Do That in Photoshop by Scott Kelby. With its minimal weight and size, this book is a good starting point. A gentle nudge shall we say, with minimum power you should contact your target quite easily.Should that not work, or perhaps your target is a little farther away, The Photoshop Workbook by Glyn Dewis, should provide ample mass that when it connects, will really get the point across. Not so much of a drop throw with this one, more of a direct projectile.
The final and most effective removal technique in this instance is Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers, by Martin Evening. With a hefty mass, this one should only be used at close proximity, unless of course, you have a good throwing arm.
This one is the ultimate removal tool so should be considered carefully before committing.
Remember the Face Says It All
The look on your face can either give it away or totally void you of any blame, that's if there is more than one photographer there. Here are a few faces to remember.
- The "Hi there"; friendly, "Yes I know you are in my shot, but hey, that's cool, I'll use Photoshop". Probably the most important look to set up the act.
- After the act; The "Where did that come from?"
- The "Oh my, that looked sore", yet still looking innocent. This one should be quickly followed by the "Where did that come from?" to further induce a sense of innocence and bewilderment.
- Finally, the acknowledgment. "Yes you know it was me. Perhaps you'll get the hint now?"
Hopefully, you enjoyed learning how Photoshop books can be utilized before even opening them up. However, I would recommend reading these ones if you haven't already. And no, I don't condone violence of any form. The idea actually sprang from a recent video I watched by Brendan Van Son watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
Enjoy whatever 2022 brings in the form of photography for you. And remember, don't be that kind of photographer, be courteous, there's plenty of room for everyone unless of course, you are at the Mesa Arch. And if you do walk into someone else's shot, just ask if it's ok. Most photographers are really decent folks and will say whether you are just out of view, or that you can be cloned out using Photoshop software and not the books. Plus you never know, their composition might be better than yours.
Oh, and I mentioned a caveat for using the above techniques. You are wasting perfectly good books.