Photoshop Basics: You Can Remove ANYTHING From a Photo with a Few Simple Clicks (VIDEO)

Sometimes you need to fix an otherwise good photo by removing a few distracting elements, like overhead power lines or the proverbial fence post emanating from a subject’s head. Other times you may want to create a mind-bending special effect. In either case this task is really easy to accomplish, as you’ll see below.

One of the fun things about Photoshop, according to image-editing expert Colin Smith, is that “anything is possible.” And in the tutorial below, he proves this thesis by converting his eBike into a flying bike by removing tires, wheels and a few other components in just eight minutes.

As Smith demonstrates the simple process, you’ll no doubt think of several ways to use this technique, whether you want to give your bike an upgrade, clean up a landscape shot, or remove distracting junk on the sidewalk of a street scene. Unless your goal is a special effect, of course, it’s always best to compose a scene properly in the camera. But depending upon your vantage point, that’s not always possible.

For this simple compositing technique, Smith begins with two photos of his scene–one with a clean background, and another with his bike in the foreground. He begins with the camera on a tripod and setting it to manual focus so the zone of sharpness doesn’t shift between shots. He uses a wide aperture to obtain a shallow depth of field, and describes the other necessary exposure settings.

After shooting a few frames at 1fps, the editing process begins. Smith selects the two shots he prefers, and creates separate layers for each; one with a clean background and the other with him on the bike. He then demonstrates how easy it is to eliminate unwanted bike parts from the first layer. You’ll see how to choose the proper opacity setting and appropriate brush style to paint everything away.

From there it’s a simple matter to make a few minor adjustments and color corrections, and merge the layers for a fun final result. There are more interesting image-editing tutorials on Smith’s YouTube channel, so be sure and take a look.

And check out another video we posted recently, with a quick primer on basic color theory that will have a big impact on how you shoot and edit images in the future.