Photoshop tutorial on how to remove and move objects.

Photoshop Tutorial on How to Remove and Move Objects

Some objects in photos such as cranes, for example, can be distracting or if there is dust on the lens then the photo may not appear very clear. This can be frustrating, especially if you have travelled a long way to take a specific photo and then you realise that the photo has lots of distracting elements.  

On Photoshop you can easily edit images and also remove objects in just a few steps. This refers to retouching, i.e. touching up a photo. This is ideal for photos with objects that obscure parts of the subject, if a model has any skin blemishes or if there was dirt on the lens.

In this article, you can find out more about the different retouching techniques, how they differ and how you can use them with our helpful step-by-step guide.

Removing Objects with the New Remove Tool

You can use the new Remove Tool to easily remove unwanted objects in just a few clicks on Photoshop. Thanks to AI-based technology, this tool already works quite well. Even with more complicated structures, the tool completes the areas seamlessly, and only in rare cases do blurs or artefacts appear. Especially for Photoshop beginners this tool is ideal for quickly retouching an image. The Remove tool can be found on the left toolbar. If it does not appear automatically, click on the group of repair tools and hold down the mouse button to select the Remove tool.

Selecting the Remove tool in Photoshop.

To remove any unwanted objects from your image you will first need to determine what size brush you will need. You should choose the right size so that you can brush over the object in just one stroke. Next, drag the brush over the area you would like to remove from the image and select "Apply" to remove the object. If the object you would like to remove is a bit more complicated, you can also select "Remove after each stroke" to carry out several brush strokes.

Selecting and removing objects in Photoshop.

This approach works especially well when you would like to remove an object from a picture that is relatively isolated. This can be seen in the image above. If two objects need to be removed and they are right next to each other in a shot this can cause problems. In this case, other Photoshop tools and settings are more suitable, which we will show you in more detail below.

Removing distracting objects from an image with Photoshop.

More Tools for Retouching Photos

Adobe Photoshop offers other tools in addition to the quick Removal Tool, which are ideal for removing more complicated objects from an image.


Before you start retouching you should always make sure that the original image file is not overwritten. To do this, you either need to create a copy of the respective image file or an easier option is to work with layers specially created for retouching and then merge the layers again afterwards.

Retouching Photos with the Clone Stamp Tool

Clone Stamp is a popular tool for retouching images. After you have selected the Clone Stamp tool located on the left toolbar a copy source from the image will be made, which is then placed over a selected area. To define a copy source, hold down "ALT" on your keyboard and confirm your selection by clicking the left mouse button. When making your selection make sure that the copy source and copy destination match as well as possible. If there is a big difference in brightness or structure the results will not be very good.

Removing objects in Photoshop with the Clone Stamp Tool.

In the example above we would like to remove the lighthouse by using the Clone Stamp tool. To retouch the lighthouse with the help of the Clone Stamp Tool we had to use two different copy sources. On the one hand, we chose the dune and the sea as the source in order to cover the lower part of the lighthouse. For the upper area, we used the sky as a copy source. In order for the result to look as real as possible, you should take care when retouching your image. Vary the size of the Clone Stamp depending on where it needs to be applied, but make sure you don’t choose an area that is too big for the Clone Stamp. As is often the case with editing images patience and an organised approach will lead to the desired result.

Removing unwanted objects in Photoshop with the Clone Stamp tool.

To retouch the image we used the Clone Stamp tool by clicking ALT + left mouse button again and again from the surrounding image components and then step-by-step we erased the lighthouse. In the example above, the original layer was duplicated with the keyboard shortcut (CTRL + J) to make it easier to edit and then the retouching was then carried out on the new layer. Finally, the two layers must be marked and reduced down to one layer.

Removing objects with the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop.

Content-Aware Fill Tool for Retouching an Image

The Content-Aware Fill tool is another great way to get rid of any unwanted image components. To do this, first have a look at the area on the image that needs to be filled. Select one of the tools, such as the Lasso tool, and circle the part of the image that needs to be retouched. Whilst selecting the parts you would like to remove don’t forget to also take into account the shadows casted by the objects. If you forget to remove the shadows, then it will become obvious that you have retouched your photo.

Selecting objects in Photoshop with the Lasso tool.

In the example above, the hot air balloon has been chosen, which is adjacent to the hat and it covers the mountain panorama in the background. You can select this by using the Lasso tool. You can then fill in the selected area by clicking on "Edit" and then "Fill".

Filling selected areas in Photoshop.

The window with "Fill" will appear when you select "Content-Based Fill" and the mode "Normal" and an opacity of 100 percent. Then confirm by clicking on "OK".

This process can take a bit of time, depending on how large the area is that you have selected and how powerful your computer is. If you are not keen on the result you can either repeat the process a few more times and change a few of the options or you can use some of the other tools mentioned in this article.

Retouching an image in Photoshop with the Content-Based Fill tool.

Content-Aware Move Tool

If there are any image components that seem a little distracting, but you don’t want to remove them completely, you can use the Content-Aware Move tool. This tool allows you to put the composition of the picture in the right light according to your own ideas. First select a certain section of the image or the object that needs to be removed. Depending on the background, you should make sure that your object is selected or marked directly on the contours. The best way to do this is to use the Selection Brush tool.

Using the Selection Brush tool in Photoshop to select objects.

Next, click on the symbol between the eyedropper and the brush on the toolbar and select the two intersecting arrows. By clicking and holding down the left mouse button you can select the part of the image you would like to edit.

Moving objects in Photoshop.

As soon as you have found an area you would like to edit, you don’t need to hold down the left mouse button. The selected area will then be repositioned and the previous position has been retouched. When repositioning, you should always keep in mind the viewing angle and the ratio to the other parts of the image. Awkward positioning conveys unrealistic proportions and this can ruin the retouching effect in an image.

Easily moving objects in Photoshop.

When using the Content-Aware Move tool the results are not always perfect. If necessary, you may have to use the Clone Stamp tool or the Remove tool to get better results.

The result of using the Content-Aware Move tool in Photoshop.


Adobe Photoshop includes a large number of tools that can be used for retouching. On the one hand, there are manual tools such as the Clone Stamp where it is up to you to select a suitable retouching image source. On the other hand, Photoshop offers a simple solution with the new Remove tool that makes it easier to remove objects from an image. In addition, the use of Content-Based Fill or Content-Aware Move offers you great results within seconds. Ultimately, despite the convenience and speed of the newer automatic tools, retouching often needs to be manually corrected again for optimal results.



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