Fix an Old Photo

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Removing Background #2 Photoshop Training Course

As mentioned elswhere on this site there is usually more than one way to perform the same task. Removing background is no different. Some of the removal tools in Photoshop can act a little strange depending on the contrast of the background and the picture you are trying to isolate. In this tutorial we will be working with the Background Eraser Tool (keyboard shortcut E). This tool works very well with a higher contrast background. You can also use the standard Eraser_Tool as well.

This is the picture we will be using for this tutorial.


Open your Background Eraser Tool.


Being careful to keep the edge of the subject between the outside edge of the round cursor and the crosshair in the center, draw all the way around. If you need to change the size of the cursor, right click on the picture and use the diameter slider. Zoom in for a closer look if neccessary. For the most part, the Background Eraser Tool will find the edge for you. Especially when the contrast is high.


Now it is easy to use the standard eraser tool to clean up the rest of the background with a larger diameter eraser.


Next you will want to add a new layer. Select Layer/New/Layer from the file menu. Make sure to drag the layer so it is underneath the picture that you are working on. Fill the layer with white (Edit/Fill/ Use White).


The white layer will allow us to see any areas that may have been missed. Make sure that the top layer is selected as shown above. Use the eraser tool to remove any other areas of the background.

When you are done, Fill the bottom layer with whatever color or image you like. I have chosen to use a gradient fill for mine.