The ubiquity of smartphone cameras on planet earth have proven a number of points. There’s no Bigfoot. There are no little green Martians roaming about. And humans love to take photos and videos of anything, anywhere, anytime.
All those photos come at a cost. We take photos that have objects in the photo that we don’t want in the photo. It could be a telephone pole, people, pimples, wrinkles, birds, dogs, bugs, or anything else we did not see when we pressed the camera button to take the picture. Here’s how you get rid of what you don’t want to see in a photo.
Just. Copy. Photoshop.
A few years ago a new version of Photoshop came out that had an impressive new feature. Do-it-yourself spot healing. It wasn’t quite as easy as waving a magic wand over an object you didn’t want to see in a photo, but it was close.
Of course, Photoshop has a new forever subscription plan, a rather extensive learning curve, and despite it being the premium image enhancement app, it’s a complicated and expensive beast to use.
It didn’t take long for clever Mac app developers to realize just how good the spot healing feature was and along came Snapheal, an inexpensive Mac utility which does much the same thing but easier and faster. Here’s an example of how to remove an unwanted objected from a photo.
Here’s another example of how unwanted objects within a photo can be removed entirely.
How can objects be removed so easily?
Actually, it’s easy (although there is plenty of technology going on in the background). Open a photo in Snapheal, select the Erase tool (feels like a brush) and slowly erase the object you want to remove.
Snapheal highlights the object and gives you fine adjustments so only the section of a photo you want removed gets removed. What happens then is not magic. It just looks that way. Snapheal removes the object, then fills in the leftover hole with photo content from the surrounding area.
Also built in to Snapheal’s controls are three erasing modes, customized erasing precision controls, the standard clone and stamp tools, an image editing tool set, a smart brush with selective enhancement (zoom into pixel level), and more.
It only takes seconds to remove an object from a photo, but the more granular controls are perfect for complex photos with difficult backgrounds. Snapheal has two version. The basic Standard version works much like the Professional version, but the latter has even more advanced spot healing options, also works as a Photoshop plugin, and has a few enhancements not found in the Standard version.
Use Snapheal on RAW images, TIFF, PNG, and JPG images, and even on Photoshop PSD files. The Standard version is available on the Mac App Store so I recommend using the try-before-you-buy trial version first.
Trial and error is your friend. On some images, objects are removed with ease; especially people, lines, poles, aircraft in the sky, or smaller objects on a larger background. More complex photos require more precision tools, so the Pro version might be applicable. It’s also a very good app to restore old photos (digitized, of course), remove wrinkles, scars, and blemishes from portraits. Results on simple photos are easy, but more complex photos with embedded objects take time and additional effort.