Editing Friday; Two Steps to the Right

You come across a fantastic building and there is a pole or a sign in the way, creating a distracting element and ruining your picture of said building. What do you do?
Of course you can try to clone and patch out the sign, maybe even use content aware fill. The easiest thing however is just take two steps to the right.
Of course there is more to it, but that is the basic premise I am exploring to day on Editing Friday.

In my city there is a really nice Russian Orthodox Church. The church is quite cramped by tress and a park just behind and a main road in front. Since they have closed off the road to traffic, I was able to get in prime position to take a picture of the church. I got in place raised my camera to my eye and the whole scene was ruined by an electricity pole. I tried to find different angels but the pole was right in front of one of the bricked up windows. As I was trying to recompose my shot I noticed that just by moving a few steps to the right I could see pass the area that was hidden behind the pole.
I decided I would take two exposures with the same setting. One from the angle I wanted, one slightly to the right and remove the pole in Photoshop

editing-friday-1206a In Photoshop I first imported the images and aligned them using Edit- Auto Align. I the copied elements of the window that was in the picture I took slightly to the right and pasted them on a new layer.

editing-friday-1206b I then zoomed in to tidy up around the more detailed areas


I used the image I had taken slightly to the right to fill in foreground details I did not have in the first picture. I did have to change the perspective a little using Edit- Transform.


I used the patch and clone stamp to clean up some of the foreground areas, blending the images together better.



I selected all the layers and right clicked to turn them into a smart object. I did this for two reasons; one I wanted to apply filters to all of the layers together as one layer, two I did want to flatten the image as I wanted to be able to go back and adjust these layers in the future if need be.

Once as a smart object I opened Nic Color Efex and applied the following
Contrast Color Range – To add some strength to the colours
Tonal Contrast – For a general tonal adjustment
Detail Extractor – To bring out details via micro contrast.
Foliage – To make the trees greener and fresh.
Vintage Filter – To add a soft vignette

I then reduced the noise and sharpened the image.


I created a new layer and removed some minor elements that were not cleaned the first time around and add a curves adjustment to brighten the image.

In the end by taking two exposures one slight to the right I was able to get a nice base image that I could then build on. This also saved me a lot of editing time as I could just take the details form the other image instead of trying to reconstruct the area.

Russian Orthodox Church Lodz

I would really be interested in what you think or if you just want to say hi, you can in the comment box below.

I know normally on Friday’s I take part in the After Before Forum, Stacy with the forum’s backing has decided the forum will run on the third week of the month with One Photo Focus taking centre stage on the first Friday of the month. Due to this I have decided to resurrect an old post I used to run on Fridays, which the After Before Forum filled the shoes of quite nicely, that I call Editing Friday. In these posts I will share how I edited a photo. Sometimes it may be a simple workflow, other times a bit more complex. I hope you will enjoy them as much as you have enjoyed the After Before Forum posts.

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8 thoughts on “Editing Friday; Two Steps to the Right

  1. Thanks, Ben. Great post. I’ve often wondered about solving that problem without a massive cloning/content-aware fill effort. There are a couple of spots around where your “2-step” maneuver might work.

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