The stamp tool's cloning capabilities also come in handy for eliminating background action that competes with the central elements in an image. For example, Figure 7-12 shows a nifty news photo shot by Michael Probst for the Reuters image library. Although the image is well-photographed and historic and all that good stuff, that rear workman doesn't contribute anything to the scene; in fact, he draws your attention away from the foreground drama. I mean, hail to the worker and everything, but the image would be better off without him. The following steps explain how I eradicated the offending workman from the scene.
Note Remember as you read the following steps that deleting an image element with the rubber stamp tool is something of an inexact science; it requires considerable patience and a dash of trial and error. So regard the following steps as an example of how to approach the process of editing your image rather than as a specific procedure that works for all images. You may need to adapt the process slightly depending on your image.
On the other hand, any approach that eliminates an element as big as the workman can also correct the most egregious of photographic flaws, including mold, holes, and fire damage. You can even restore photos that have been ripped into pieces, a particular problem for pictures of ex-boyfriends and the like. These steps qualify as major reconstructive surgery.
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