Removing unwanted imagery can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it can also be extremely gratifying (after you're finished). It's detailed, demanding, and sometimes complicated work. For example, Figures 1 and 2 show the same image before and after it underwent the following alterations:
■ The TIFF file was saved as a Photoshop PSD file.
■ Selection tools were used to create separate layers for the background, the backdrop, and the candles.
■ The candles layer was duplicated, as insurance—just in case it became necessary to start over. See the Layers palette in Figure 3.
■ The backdrop color was changed from black to pure blue violet.
■ The candles on the left and right sides were eliminated by using eraser tools.
■ Extraneous "dirt" and smudges were eliminated by using eraser tools.
■ Contrast was added to the candles by using an adjustment layer.
■ The Liquify feature was used to extend the individual flames and to smooth out the candle holder at the bottom of the image.
■ The Noise filter was applied to the Backdrop layer, to give it more texture and dimension.
Developing critical thinking skills allows you to make decisions, such as discarding image information.
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