There have been monumental changes to Photoshop and Lightroom this year. I was just looking back at online classes we did four years ago on selections, and now with the new masking features in Photoshop those classes are obsolete! Masking has been a hit, and changed the way we make selections and edits on specific parts of the image. Kudos also goes to Adobe for adding their own noise reduction feature in addition to the older tools. Basically one click and you get similar noise reduction to apps like Topaz. In addition to the new masking features, Lightroom also had an overhaul. The biggest news was Adobe just recently updated Lightroom (Lr) so you can access ‘local’ files in addition to cloud based files…meaning you can access a hard drive of images without having them located in the cloud. Lightroom Classic(LrC), the version we all started with, may become a lot less popular moving forward.
But all these big updates are not what got me the most excited in 2023. Instead, it was one small tool in Photoshop, and I use it everyday: the Remove tool. Look at the image above, the red arrow points to the Remove Tool icon. This tool is AI based, and simply put, it blows away other tools when it comes to removing objects. I used to swear by content-aware based tools and fixes, they still work great. But once I started using the Remove Tool, I just couldn’t believe how well it worked. The reason—this tool is using AI machine learning to make the edit. Content-aware, on the other hand, looks at neighboring pixels to fix the problem. The Remove Tool creates new ones. If you haven’t been using this tool, now is the time. Here are a few things it does really well:
-remove objects/people. I did a trip to Paris this year, and as you would expect popular sites had lots of tourists milling around. But using the Remove Tool, I was quickly able to remove people, cars, trash cans…with just a simple click and I would say 90 percent to the time the Remove Tool worked perfect.
-flyaway hairs. I photograph a lot of people every year, often for assignments, and part of the retouch is getting rid of the frizzy hairs floating all around. The Remove Tool makes this simple…just brush over the hair and it watch it disappear.
-landscape challenges. Ever had a jet contrail or power line running through your image? Use the Remove Tool and watch them disappear!
Here is a street scene in Paris, so excited to find this classic guy walking down an old side street…timeless, vintage Paris street photography, love it! But notice the person on the sidewalk on the left…distracting and too modern in attire…don’t want to lessen the vintage, classic feel…
Using the Remove Tool, it took one click and brush to make the person and their shadow go away. You don’t have to make perfect selections using the Remove Tool, just click and brush over the general area and let the tool do the work.
You will find some situations that the Remove Tool won’t work well, and I then go to the content-aware based tools or cloning tool using different blend modes. If you are interested in the new Remove Tool, and any of the new features on PS and LR, we are offering small, in-person online classes in January on these topics. You won’t believe the powerful new options and workflows that Adobe added in 2023. Happy Holidays!