Recently my mom showed me a picture from when she went to prom. In the photo stands my nana, mom and her highschool sweetheart. I have become obsessed with this photo because my mom made her dress AND her date’s sports coat! Seriously, I would kill for that coat! Well, that photo is really important to my mom because she’s standing with her mother. She wants to frame the photo but it’s just not exactly appropriate to display the photo with her being arm and arm with her past.
So, at her request, I scanned it in as a high resolution image and photoshopped him out of the photo. Yes, it’s sad because her date’s outfit completes the entire photo but I understand. I put together a brief step by step guide on how I did it. The trick was to use any existing elements of the photo. By copying those elements and then using layer masks and a soft brush to conceal, I was able to cover him up entirely and then crop the photo.
Here’s how I did it…
STEP 1: Look for existing elements.
After analyzing the photo, I realized there were a lot of clean areas to the right of the prom date (who will now just be called Homeboy for the rest of the guide). So the red circled areas shows the elements that I copied over and blended together with layer masks. I then used layer masks to hide part of the copied sections to bring my mom’s shoulder and arm back.
STEP 2: Let’s deal with that dress.
Above, you can see that the right side of the dress is covered by Homeboy’s leg. So, I needed to build that side of the dress to give it a clean line. So, I selected the opposite side of her dress, copied it and inverted to reflect the other side and matched up the lines in the plaid. As seen below, it gives the impression that her dress is now completely in the foreground and not being covered by anything. Though I didn’t spend a lot of time to retouch and make them look more different from one another, you get the point.
STEP 3: Cover that boy up!
Shown below, you can see the elements I used. I basically just brought everything from the far right side of the image and moved it over. Since I had to shift it to line up with the other horizontal lines in the window it left a gap at the bottom. So I just blended in elements of the grass to cover the small piece left at the bottom. I then used layer masks to mask the edge of her dress and elbow.
STEP 4: Finishing touches.
I had to use pieces of the middle window pane to cover Homeboy’s head. The far right window pane was too different to blend. So I used small sections and layered them until his head was covered while smoothing the edges with layer masks and a soft brush.
STEP 5: Crop it!
And we’re done with removing the past!
Lastly, I made a slight color correction to remove the overall yellow tones from age. I love the vintage look of the original so I didn’t completely correct the color. I also bumped up the contrast and saturation to make it pop just a little more.
Now I would like her to make me an awesome plaid sports coat like the one in the photo. I think I’ve earned it!