Cloning in Photoshop can be complex, time consuming, if not at times near impossible when we’re working along highly detailed edges. This tutorial uses luminosity masks to control the areas being effected to help with some complex cloning issues.
There are many methods available to clean up areas in an image. Each of those tools has their advantages and disadvantages. This tutorial doesn’t discuss all of the options available, instead I focus on a particularly difficult situation. I remove a very messy and distraction clump of cloud that is sitting against the tree line.
With the clouds up against the tree line there is no conventional method of removal that will make this job easy. You could clone out the majority of the sky using traditional methods, then zoom in on the tree. This method has the potential to work, but would be very time consuming, and it likely would not look natural. There is an alternative method, that isn’t widely known, and that is to have a loaded selection while cloning.
As we are aware from making adjustments, having a loaded selection stops you from working outside the selected area. The same theory applies to cloning. By having a loaded selection, we limit the area that can be affected to that area. When we combine this with luminosity selections, we have the ultimate control.
Making luminosity masks selections around trees and in particular tree branches can be very difficult. This is caused by the lighter tones and the way the light reflects off the bark of trees and even the leaves. Because this can be difficult, I use a slightly different method when making my mask selections. In this tutorial use a few steps.
Now that we have an accurate selection of the area, the once complex cloning job has been made much easier. To complete the cloning job, I now: