When you hear the word retouching, the first thing that often comes to mind is high-end fashion and beauty retouching seen in magazines. This kind of retouching is used to perfect an image of someone so that she appears flawless.

Though retouching is used on a wide range of images beyond just fashion, the objective remains the same: to perfect the image so that weaknesses are eliminated and strengths are enhanced. Some of the techniques you've learned about in other chapters involving selections and masking are technically considered retouching.

However, Photoshop has several tools that are collectively referred to as retouching tools because of the way they're used. In this chapter, you learn about these tools and how they are commonly used.

Basic Retouching with the Clone Stamp Tool

The Clone Stamp tool has been part of Photoshop since the earliest days. It opened the door to digital retouching as we know it. In essence, the Clone Stamp tool is used to sample information from one part of an image so that it can be painted (cloned) into another part of the image.

Removing distractions

Figure 7-1 is a section of a photo I shot early one morning at a dahlia farm. I like the photo, but I don't like the sign on the left, below the tractor. It's visually distracting because it pulls the viewers eye away from the tractor, which is where I want ...

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