Vacation Photography — Remove All Those Tourist

We’ve all encountered vacation locations crowded with other tourists.  A clear shot of the amazing location is impossible because people keep walking through the scene.  Our irritation grows as each opportunity for a great photo is messed-up by one more human walking through the scene.

It is possible to get rid of all those pesky tourists.  Capture the scene is the right way and then ask Photoshop to come to the rescue!

At the location — Put your camera on a tripod.  Compose your amazing photo.  Focus on one spot so the focus point in your scene does not change.  Then take a series of photos as people move through the scene.  Space the time between photos.  You don’t want anyone to be in the same spot in all of the photos.

Later on the computer — Open Photoshop.  Click File>Scripts>Statistics.  A dialogue box will open.  Select “Median” from the drop-down menu.  Then select the photos you took at the crowded tourist location.

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 11.42.27 AM
Screen capture with all the photos selected

Here are all the photos I took at the location.

Press the OK button and Photoshop will go to work.  In a few seconds or minutes, your final photo will be presented on the screen.

Landry Kemah Boardwalk KAC9306_12 stack
This is the composite of the seven image I showed above. Notice that there’s a bit of a smudgy area on the right.
Landry Kemah Boardwalk KAC9306_12 stackfixed
I took the image back into Adobe Camera Raw and did a bit of work on the smudgy area on the right using the healing brush.  A bit more work and all of the smudge could be erased.

Notice that the people on the bench were in all the photos.  That means they will stay in the finished photo.  There’s no way around that.

Enjoy this technique as you visit crowded tourist locations during your travels.

Author: kathyadamsclark

Professional photographer leading workshops and tours.

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