In the first article of this two-part series I talked about using Photoshop tools to clean up your image in order to take it to the next level as an art piece. The tools discussed were the Spot Healing brush and the Patch tool. In the first article I also covered the basics of opening PS from LrC (Lightroom Classic) and how to use a new layer and flatten and save a file. In this article I’ll talk about the Clone tool, one of the most important tools in PS for correcting imperfections and cleaning up an image.
In the first image, a wildflower from a trail near my home, there are some issues with the flower petals as well as webs and an intruding stem. Using Command/Control “E” in LrC, my primary processing application, I opened a copy of the image in PS. I started with the Spot Healing brush, cleaning up all the dust spots (note to self: clean Z7 sensor!), as well as some spots on the flower that detracted from the overall beauty of the subject. Then, I used the Patch tool with content aware to remove the stem at the bottom left of the image. The Patch tool did a fair job but it left a very abrupt transition in the colors and this is where I used the Clone Stamp tool. I hit the “S” key, but I could also have simply clicked on the Clone tool icon, and then I set the Flow, at the top of the application window, to 30%. I work with various flow settings but often start with something around 20% to 30% so I can smooth the spot in as needed a bit at a time. Sometimes, however, I will use 100% as well. After working with the tool over time I have gotten a feel for how it works and what flow setting works best for individual corrections. I leave the Mode at Normal and the Opacity at 100%, but it’s good to experiment with all of the settings to learn how they work. Using the Clone Stamp tool, I option/alt-clicked on an area in my image that I wanted to take the color from, then moved the circular Clone Stamp brush to the area I wanted to cover. I clicked and dragged over that area. The Clone tool requires that an area of color, or subject, be set first with an option/alt-click, this action will create a crosshair icon that shows the origination point. Don’t forget to change the circular brush size as needed using the bracket key.
Rough Spot on Flower: As noted by the white arrow, the repair that the Patch tool did was not adequate and needed to be blended in.
The Clone Stamp tool icon: I have my tools doubled but they may also be shown in a single file.
Click for an enlargement
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