Can You Photoshop That? – Patch Tool

We’ve all heard it before.  From family and friends.  From clients.  “Can you photoshop ______ out?”.  And while I’m a firm believer of doing as little work as possible in Photoshop, there are instances where the patch tool can be very helpful.

For instance, a few months ago we were at the beach and i was trying to take this wide shot of Kennedy and Chuck playing in the sand.  And this couple comes strolling through the back of my shot and decided to have a little chat and hang out.  Apparently they wanted to be on my blog.

This is where the patch tool and “content aware” in Photoshop CS6 come in handy.  It’s a very easy fix.

1)  Select the patch tool 


Make sure “patch” in the top toolbar ” is set to “content aware”.  Draw around the area you want to remove.

2)  Drag that selection over to an area that has similar background.  In this image I moved it over to the left.

3)  Poof!  He’s gone!  I repeated the step with the other person and dragged it over to the right this time.

4)  When I zoom in it looks pretty good

If there’s anything you need to fix at this point you can use the spot healing brush tool for touch ups



5)  There are some dirty spots on my sensor.  Yuck!

So I simply use that spot healing brush tool to get rid of those.  (If you need to know how to clean you sensor see this post.  Super easy!).

6)  And that’s it.  Super easy and the annoying people are gone!


  1. palak says

    Neat! I don’t have photoshop, but I do try to do this in pic monkey from time to time. I think it’s ok for web, but for printed shots using the content aware in photoshop would really help! Thanks for the tute!
    palak´s last blog post ..Pre-loved

  2. kerry says

    Thanks so much for the post! Definitely going to be trying out my patch tool next time I am in PS!
    kerry´s last blog post ..Paper Flower Child

  3. Lamielle says

    Hi, I just want to say thank you so much for this great post. I’ve been following you for quite a while and it’s my first time to send you a message. I just want to say you really rock! This post of yours came at the right time where I wanted to get rid of those backgrounds too. Seriously, I want to hug you for this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please keep it coming… 🙂

    Have a lovely thursday,
    Lamielle from Switzerland
    Lamielle´s last blog post ..Goodbye to my Tyrolean Hat