Sometimes, you want to remove a distracting element from a picture in Photoshop Elements 11 to provide a stronger focal point. Or maybe you just don’t want the element in the image. But remember that if you simply delete an unwanted element without cloning, you leave a hole (colored with the background color or transparent) in place of the element — probably not what you want.

Follow these steps to remove an unwanted element (in this case, a second skier) from an image:


Open an image that contains something you want to remove and use the selection tool of your choice to select the element you want to remove.

In this step, you’re creating a selection border that you use to clone another area of the image.

You don’t have to be super-precise, so feel free to grab a Lasso tool. When you make your selection, be careful not to cut off any portion of the element. Otherwise, you leave some stray pixels — a dead giveaway that something was once there. Using the Polygonal Lasso tool, a rough outline was made around the second skier on the right.


Position the cursor inside the selection border, press and hold the mouse button, and drag your selection to move it horizontally (or vertically, if the image warrants it) to an area of the photo you want to clone.

The selection border, shown in the figure, is the only thing moved.


With the Move tool selected, position the cursor inside the selection marquee, hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac), and then drag to move the cloned area on top of the element you’re removing.

Carefully match up the edges, as shown in the figure, release your mouse button, and then release the Alt key (Option key on the Mac).


Choose Select→Deselect.

The cloned area now covers the element you want to remove, as shown in the figure. In the example, the snow and sky selection now covers the second skier.

Depending on your image, you may want to choose Select→Feather and enter a pixel or so before you move the cloned area. Feathering softens the edges and smoothes the transition between the cloned area and the background. Try it both ways to see which looks better. Use the Undo History panel to undo your steps, if necessary.

If you need to clean up any telltale signs that the element was there, select the Clone Stamp tool and select a medium-size feathered brush from the Brush Preset Picker on the Tool Options, hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac), and click a good area next to a seam or flaw; release the Alt key (Option key) and then click the flaw.