Aug 25, 2016

How to Remove People From Vacation Photos in Photoshop

How to Remove People from Vacation Photos in Photoshop

You just got back from a wonderful vacation and can’t wait to post your photos online, but there are a bunch of people in the background distracting from the gorgeous scenery. Learn how to remove people from the background of your photos in today’s episode.

Photoshop Tools for Removing People

When it comes to removing people from photos, there are several tools that will do the job, depending on your image. It is best to learn every tool so you can best choose the right one for the job. In this episode, we teach you each tool for removing people from their backgrounds.

  • Spot Healing – The Spot Healing Brush tool is probably the easiest tool to use, so we recommend starting here. Be sure to create a new layer before healing and set the tool settings to “Sample all Layers” and “Content Aware”. When you are ready to remove a person, simply paint over the person, the tool will do the rest.
  • Healing Brush –The Spot Healing Brush tool works well most of the time, but because it automatically chooses the sample point for you, sometimes it doesn’t copy the correct texture. If you need to choose your own sample texture, go with the Healing Brush Tool. Hold ALT/OPTN and click on the desired texture area, then paint over the person you would like to remove. Be sure to cover the entire person to properly remove them. If needed, repeat to clean up any remaining areas.
  • Clone Stamp –The Clone Stamp Tool will create an exact copy of the sample point – meaning it won’t blend like the Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush. This can be advantageous at times, especially when working around sensitive areas and edges.
  • Patch Tool –The Patch Tool is like a large-scale Healing Brush. First, be sure to check “Sample all Layers” and “Content Aware”, then draw a selection around the object you would like to remove. Once selected, click and drag the selection to the desired area, the patch will be replaced with the sampled area.
  • Content-Aware Fill – Content Aware Fill will work well on simple backgrounds where the subject is isolated. To use Content-Aware Fill, make a selection around the person or object you would like to remove and go to ‘Edit – Fill’ and choose ‘Content Aware’ from the drop-down menu. Photoshop will find similar areas to the background in the selection and fill them in, replacing the object in the selection.


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image
    Clifford Salmon


    Hi Aaron:
    I enjoyed the current video “How To Remove People from Vacation Photos.” What I love about your presentation is the sheer simplicity you inject into the video. You are hereby sentenced to being my PS instructor for life!

  • user image

    I LOVE PHLEARN. Aaron is sooo cute. … and I learned 🙂
    Thank you so much. Every once in a while I can watch and YOU are terrific. Love your synopsis at end.
    Sometimes it is a little hard for me to catch where you took an action, like making a copy of layer (Gotta phlearn to do that), so I rewound.

  • user image

    Hey Aaron,

    Why don’t you make a selection of the arm with the glove and put it on the top of the layers? It’s easyer to work I think.

    • user image

      Just download the video using any number of free YouTube downloaders. Play the video in VLC media player (also free). It has a voice & sub-title sync correct feature that’s invaluable for ANY problems that arise with video playback. The very best media player (plays everything under the sun) available for both Mac & PC. Just Google to acquire. Hope this helps.

  • user image
    John Graham Seliger

    It would really be nice if the commentary were in sync with the video. Being several seconds out, made the lesson incomprehensible, therefore of very little value. Can you fix? Browser is Firefox.

  • user image

    I believe that your tutorials are one of the best in YouTube my Photoshop skills have taken three levels up then the average Photoshop user just by watching your video thank you very much

  • user image

    Your energy and enthusiasm is infectious. You always make me smile and hopefully I’ve learned something as well!

  • user image

    Hi Aaron, your tutorials are excellent. Your explanations and examples are relevant and easy to understand. If I can’t keep up I just rewind a little and watch again – perfect. Sinks in better the second time anyway I think.
    Also, thanks for keeping them free. I know it costs $$$’s to produce this stuff and you are running a business. So again, many thanks.

  • user image

    LOVE the videos. I used to be a graphic designer about 6 yrs ago and trying to get back into it and its very hard. Its like starting all over again and these help out a lot!

  • user image
    Anton klein

    Your the best aaron. No neg comments at all. Your doing a gteat job. Just one thing i will help with. Im a long time watcher of all your vids. You are a proffessional, no doubt. I would like to imput just one rhing though. Even though i can follow you step by step. I can see that a new subscriber would get easyly lost in a vid as you jump from a layer to a new layer and a layer mask not knowing the rules and dynamics from just one click. I get it and understand it, however a new comer my try to use the original layer and try to apply the layer masks policies, or try to ajust a layer ajustment while the brakets are still on a layer mask. As you dont depickt at the time all the time that you are changing from one to the other , and make a point of change and why it can be confusing for a new artist. Yes you do have vids on layers and layer masks and ajustment layers, but for some it can be changing from french to italian to english in a click of a button. Your the best. Best subscription ever. Love your work aaron. Hope to see you still in ten years from now on you tube

  • user image

    How would you remove someone in the middle in a group of three and then bring the two remaining together and keep the background in tack???

  • user image
    Robert Appel

    Thanks for demo’ing all the different tools. You always add extra useful information about what is actually going on in the background when using a certain tool or blend mode, etc.
    BTW – The studio video is beautiful. What camera did you use?

  • user image

    Interesting, have used some of the tools for removal of objects, This expands my ability. Love your Phlearn program and your phtortials. Gordon

  • user image
    Trevor Huteau

    Hi Aaron, great tutorial. We can now remove a person from a photo, could you please show how to bring a subject out to the front of an image to create a 3D look.

  • user image

    What I really love in this tutorial is the clarity it brought to the usage of those tools and the way it highlighted the pros and cons of each tool. Thanks so much

    As an amateur have been watching phlearn for awhile and both Apply Image and Blend-If works similarly, I just use them anyhow, is there really a situation where one should be used and one shouldn’t?

  • user image
    Richard Lasocki

    I am 78, have advanced degrees as well as trade school training. You are, without exception, one of the best instructors with whom I have ever come in contact. You have a marvelous gift. That says it all. Thanks

  • user image
    Leroy Gibson

    I am really interested in becoming an expext of photoshop. I enjoy how the background photos were remove by Phlearn

  • mapyron

    all of ur tutorials are so good, and have been for the many years I have been following u .. I do appreciate all the updated tutorials especially for the new tools and effects and ideas with the PS Cloud programs especially .. they do change a good bit and we need updated tutorials to explain them to us .. thanks ..

  • user image

    My first time of watching your tutorials & I must say your great to learn from. Many thanks for being so clear & making you vids free for us who are trying to improve our skills for personal & professional use as a new photographer x