Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Clone Away Distractions

Posted by larrylohrman on March 29, 2006

Do you ever have distracting items in your photos you wish you could remove? One of the classic distracting items is all the photos, kids’ drawings and grocery lists that sellers invariably have on their refrigerator door. We encourage sellers to have all this kind of clutter to put it away while their home is on the market. But of course when I arrive to take photos it’s not done or some sellers are just not good at cleaning up this kind of thing. I find it takes less time to remove refrigerator clutter in Photoshop Elements than it does to physically take it all down and then politely put it back the way it was.

Power lines are another visually distracting item I always take out of front exterior photos. I’ve also removed cars in front of homes and frequently remove exercise equipment from master bedrooms all with the magic of the clone tool.

The clone tool in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements copies an area from one location to another. Frequently you need to select the general area to be replaced with the polygonal lasso tool so you get nice clean edges. Then clone a surrounding area to the area to be removed. If you want step-by-step details for cloning I suggest either of Scott Kelly’s books, Photoshop CS2 for digital photographers or Photoshop Elements 4.0 for digital photographers. It takes a little practice to master cloning out unwanted parts of an image but you will find that after you get the hang of it the viewer can never tell the difference.

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