Another method that I use often to remove distractions from the background (and even the foreground) of an image is the Patch Tool.
Similar to the Spot Healing tool in that both these tools use complicated algorithms to calculate what should be an area of your picture based on the surrounding pixels. The main difference being that with the Patch Tool you can accurately define the area that Photoshop will draw from to replace the selected pixels.
after all the distractions are removed
Why is this important?
If you are wanting to remove an unwanted item from a high contrast portion of your image “blooming” can result, causing areas of blended tone and colour that are undesirable. This can often be overcome with the Clone Stamp Tool, however I personally find that I can exercise much greater control over the shape and texture of what is being replaced using the Patch Tool.
This tool is also particularly effective when you have large areas you need to repair, or when the area that requires repair has a unique shape that would be difficult to repair with brush strokes.
select the Patch Tool
First make a selection around the area that you wish to be removed. I personally use the Lasso Tool for this making a rough selection, there is no need for pin point accuracy with this process. The Patch tool is located under the Spot Healing Brush on the Tools palette. To select it, click and hold your mouse on the button for the Spot Healing Brush, and select the Patch tool from the menu that appears.
make you selection to be repaired
Then place your mouse pointer inside the selection and drag the selected area over to the area you want Photoshop to use to replace it. Here, I’m using an adjacent area of sky to hide the distracting tree branch.
As you drag the mouse, the original selection will be filled with the pixel values from the floating selection, providing a helpful preview of the results before blending is applied. You can adjust your selection until you find a nice blending option, and if like in the example above there are any straight lines, such as with the road, you have a visual reference to help you accurately align things for a seamless result.
drag the selection to commence healing
When you release the mouse, Photoshop will blend the new pixels into the old ones and then all you need to do is hit control/command D to deselect, and you are done.
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