How to "Remove" Tourists from Your Travel Photos
No matter where you travel in the world, it seems like if
something is worth visiting or filming, many other people have the same idea.
In some cases, hundreds or even thousands of sightseers are vying for the same
view of the same landmark, i.e. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Pyramids,
or Arc de Triomphe, to name a few. When on vacation, sometimes there is nothing
more frustrating than being unable to get a shot of that beautiful view or
landmark without including crowds of strangers.
Worry no more, theres a way to fix it! With a little
patience, some mild Photoshop skills, and a tripod (or something to lean
against), you can easily remove those pesky tourists from your photos,
resulting in a landmark that appears vacant and pristine.
Step 1: Take lots of
pics like, a lot
First you need to get yourself comfortable, and be patient.
Set up your camera and tripod in a place out of the way of major traffic (youre
going to be here a bit). Set your camera to manual mode, since shooting in auto
mode may result in slight changes in shutter speed and aperture. Snap off about
15 to 20 pics, from the exact same place, taking care to notice when people are
moving away from certain parts of the scenery. A good method is to space the
photos apart by about 15-20 seconds. The idea here is to get enough photos that
every part of the scenery is visible in at least one of the photos.
*Pro tip: try to avoid including things like flags or
banners that are moving constantly, they will be much more difficult to correct.
Step 2: Import and
get to Photoshoppin
Next grab all your photos and put them into one big folder
as .jpegs (you'll need to use actual full-size .jpegs, not the raw files here). Import them into Photoshop and go to File> Scripts >Statistics. In the dialog box that opens, labeled "Image Statistics", use the pull-down menu to select "Median" as the stack mode. Also check the box at the bottom of the dialog box labeled "Attempt to automatically align source images". Next click the "browse" button and find the folder you created with all of your .jpegs inside. Select ALL of the files using Ctrl-A or shift/click, and then click "open". Finally, click "ok", and be patient while Photoshop works (this may take several minutes).
If you need some help with this step, check out the video below from thepros at The Camera Company:
Step 3: Voila!
If youve done everything correctly, you should be rewarded
with pictures of quiet and eerily-vacant major landmarks. Happy travels!
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