How to Remove Your Ex from a Photo

How to Remove Your Ex from a Photo

We’ve all been there before. You’ve got a great group of friends, but there’s this one with a boyfriend no one can really stand. Then one day, your friend comes to her senses and the dude is out of the picture—well not actually—but fortunately, that is the focus of today’s tutorial. We are going to review some tips and techniques for removing your ex from a photo using Photoshop.

When it comes to removing or adding elements from a photo, there are three elements to keep in mind.

1. Borrowing from other parts of an image
2. Creating new elements from scratch
3. Fine-tuning highlights and shadows

1. Borrowing from other parts of an image

Select and reposition the people in the image to create a rough version of the new image.  Create a layer mask, remembering that white reveals and black conceals.  Select a paintbrush tool with pressure sensitivity on the brush.  Create a rough mask to get rid of the ex; you can fine tune it later. 

Create a new layer and look at the area you need to cover up or replace.  Make a big selection of the area you’re copying to create a cover up and drop that in, matching it as well as possible.  Create a layer mask and simultaneously fill it with black to hide the layer.  Paint with white on the layer mask to conceal the ex and reveal the new cover up portion.

2. Creating new elements from scratch

To create a new element, make a selection from the original image, create a background layer, and move the selection over.  Match any patterns or colors.  Create a new layer mask and paint with white on the black layer mask, fine tuning it as needed.  Create a new layer to paint shadows in, using a dark toned color from the image.  Tap on the layer mask and inverse the selection.  For the shadow layer, mask that out by painting with black. 

3. Fine-tuning highlights and shadows.

Make sure you are making believable shadows by matching color, highlights, and texture.  You can add noise in the layer to add texture.  Fine tune the image where needed by cloning parts of the image and by matching tones. 

Watch the video below to see how it all works.

When our picture is complete, we’ve got a great group of friends who will remember their moment at the beach the way it was intended—with no ex in sight.  Enjoy!