How to Remove an Object in Photoshop

Watch our short video tutorial or read on for our guide to basic photo retouching in Photoshop and how to remove an object in Photoshop.

*Video transcription provided below*

Hi, my name is Nathan Lomas,
Today I’m going to give you an introduction to basic retouching in Adobe Photoshop.

Retouching in Photoshop
Start your editing in Lightroom Classic

So here I am in Adobe Lightroom Classic. I have an image that I would like to do a little bit of retouching on. I’ve just done some basic adjustments to it and I’m going to go ahead now and hit Photo from the top, Edit in, and Edit in Photoshop which is going to allow me to do some more in-depth retouching than Adobe Lightroom Classic is capable of.

Retouching in Photoshop


This may take just a moment, but what will happen is they’ll take any changes you made to the image in Lightroom, apply those to edit version of the image, and then launch it in Photoshop.

Retouching in Photoshop
Image open in Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop Layers – How to Add a Layer in Photoshop

So let’s say I am overall happy with the image, but I want to get this person out of the frame.

Retouching in Photoshop
Create a New Layer in Photoshop with the New Layer Button

The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to come over to my Layers Panel, in Photoshop and I’m going to hit this icon to create a New Layer, over the top of our Background Layer.

Retouching in Photoshop
A transparent New Layer (Layer 1) over our Background Layer

This is generally how we should always do retouching: on a New Layer over our Background Layer.

Retouching in Photoshop
How to Use the Healing Brush in Photoshop

Spot Healing Brush Tool – How to Use the Healing Brush in Photoshop

I am going to a zoom in on our person that would like to remove from the frame. In this case, I’m just going to opt to use the Spot Healing Brush Tool which is a pretty intelligent tool overall. The Spot Healing Brush Tool is going to look at all of the content in our image.

The Spot Healing Brush Tool

If we simply paint over the figure that we are trying to remove there’s a lot of good area for this tool to pull from. It sees all of that water detail, it sees the landscape in the foreground, and it has a pretty good idea of what it should use to patch this area over with.

Brush over the entire figure to remove an object in Photoshop.

How to Remove an Object in Photoshop

I’m simply going to brush over the entirety of the subject, and we’ll give it a shot and see how the tool does. When I release, it’s automatically going to make a guess as to what to fill that content in with. And it may take just a moment to do that.

Use the same Spot Healing Brush Tool to clean up any remaining flaws.

We can see that overall it did a decent job. There are a few areas that we need to hit again, and let that fill in, but overall not too bad. I just need to go over these once again, one at a time, and just get it a little bit more specific. Alright, that’s not looking too bad.

Only viewing the Background Layer. The Retouching Layer (Layer 1) is turned off.

So what we end up with is our original image is on the Background Layer, we have our retouching on top so that if we turn that layer off, we get back to the original image. So our retouching has taken place on Layer 1.

Only viewing the Retouching Layer (Layer 1). The Background Layer is turned off.

Our original image is on the Background Layer, and if we turn THAT off, we can see the retouching that is sitting on top of that image. This is essentially the basic principle behind all retouching. You have retouching taking place OVER your original image.

Our final image with the Retouching Layer (Layer 1) on top, and the Background Layer below.

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