Fix an Old Photo

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Removing Background
Photoshop Training

When it comes to removing background in photoshop, there are several different paths you can take (as always) to get to the same destination. We will be using the standard Eraser Tool in this tutorial. The Background_Eraser Tool is also very handy for this.

Removing the background can be very handy for taking that great picture of your daughter and putting it in front of a nice hawaiian beach sunset, or showing your son flying past the empire state building! This is how I do it.

This is the picture that I will begin with.


If you are working with one of your own pictures, make sure you open it and select "save as" and choose a new name for your picture. If you do not do this, the original will be over written and lost as your new file.

Select the eraser tool from the tool bar.

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You should see a round cursor as shown below. Right click anywhere on the picture and you will get a menu with a slider that shows master diameter. This slider will will change the size of the round cursor. There are other options as well here, but for now let's stick with what is showing. You may need to change the size of this cursor depending on the detail you are erasing. Very big for large lots, and smaller to get into finer detail.

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Double click on the background layer to unlock it. Click OK on the layer menu that pops up. Rename the layer if you like.

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Begin tracing around the subject to be removed. In this case the flower.

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You may need to use the zoom tool to get in to tight spots. The plus and minus magnifiers on the top will select whether you zoom in or out.

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After you are done erasing the background, you should end up with something like this.

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Now we can place this in another picture, or create whatever background you like. The white and gray checks signify that area as transparent.

Here I have placed it on a simple blue background. Feel free to play around and create all sorts of different backgrounds.

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