How to remove people from travel videos and photos without editing

Jan 15, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to remove people from travel videos and photos without editing

Jan 15, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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The problem with visiting popular tourist destinations is, obviously, other tourists. Anywhere you go that’s pretty and popular is flooded by a stream of other people, too. They’re in your shots and you’re in theirs. There are a couple of ways to get rid of them in post for both stills and video, but they take a lot of extra time.

What if you could do it in-camera? Avoid the other tourists completely? Well, in this video from travel filmmaker Jeven Dovey, you’re going to learn how to do exactly that. It might take you a little longer to get some shots, and you may have to change your approach, but it’s quite easy to make a busy location look empty.

YouTube video

Jeven covers 7 tips, and all of them can help you to eliminate other tourists from your shots. Although Jeven focuses primarily on video, being a filmmaker and all, all of the tips except one are equally as valid for stills photography, too.

  • 1:58 – Wait for the perfect moment
  • 2:23 – Do some recon and explore the location for other perspectives
  • 2:50 – Shoot in slow motion (it lets you extend those brief moments free from people)
  • 3:15 – Look for unique angles that people don’t go
  • 4:06 – Use other objects in the frame to block out the people
  • 4:36 – Turn the camera around and shoot the environment
  • 4:59 – Use a long lens to focus in on subjects

The first tip is the probably the most useful, especially if you have a shot in your head that you absolutely have to have. Waiting is often the only way to get it, short of yelling at people to get out of your shot (don’t do that). But I’m impatient, and it’s often far too cold here to sit still and just wait.

Just remember that whatever you do to eliminate people from your shots to be considerate and polite. They have just as much right to be there as you do.

Or, avoid touristy spots completely. That’s what I usually do.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “How to remove people from travel videos and photos without editing”

  1. Lee Ballard Avatar
    Lee Ballard

    I’m with you buddy, I’d rather find places without people or times of day where areas are empty.

  2. Joscha Häring Avatar
    Joscha Häring

    Kind of misleading. It should be called “how to avoid shooting stranger people on travel videos”.
    He isn’t removing anyone he is just 1. waiting for the people to get out of the frame or 2. films other stuff where there are no people.

  3. DD877 Avatar
    DD877

    You could also do long exposures with a nd filter