It has been my experience that most people are cordial when they see you trying to capture a photo. They may pause until you are done or ask if you are taking a shot at the moment or apologize if they feel they accidentally walked into frame. Then again, I live in a place where we wave at strangers while driving just to be polite, so my sampling may be skewed.
But, what happens when you’re taking photos on a tripod outside a nuclear facility and the security personnel keep getting in the way of your pristine shot? (Buggers!) Well, you remove them. (EDITOR’S NOTE: “Remove” is not to be confused with “eliminate.” We are forbidden to advocate such actions.) In Photoshop. Greg Benz show us the rather straight-forward process which involves shooting multiple frames of your subject (whilst keeping the camera still, i.e. mounted to a tripod) as people are moving about within the frame.
Breakdown of Steps:
- 0:00 Intro & Lightroom setup
- 2:11 Sending the images to Photoshop as layers
- 3:35 Make Smart Object and set to “median” to get rid of moving objects
- 5:00 Clone/heal to fix artifact
- 6:19 Blending in original image to keep a moving object
Basically, what you’re doing is amassing a collection of images that each have a slightly different composition. Then you bring out the areas that from each frame where nobody is present, resulting in a final image free of people (if only removing real people were only this easy…).
I have seen this technique applied to architectural photography, landscape photography, and photography as tourist destinations that are typically crawling with people. Tired of everyone ruining your perfect shot of the Blarney Stone? You now know what to do.