Saving Photos

Photos Saving Photos: Using Your Resources

Don’t you have it when you take a fantastic photo, only to notice that one area of the photo is blurry? Don’t toss it just yet! You may just be able to save it. Let me show you how!

Saving Your Photos with Other Photos!

Here’s the photo I’m starting with. I took this photo during the “Changing of the Guards” in London this year. I love the photo, but you can see the guy’s hand it blurred, from his ‘marching’.

Fortunately, I took many photos during that march, which I might be able to use to fix this photo.

Taking a quick look at picture 167, it looks like I was able to catch this guard when he hand was somewhat steady. I might be able to put this photo to use!

Even though the arm is smaller in the above image, it can still be salvaged and put to use. Even after a slight enlargement, it’ll still be less blurry than what we started with!

Create a Selection

On the photo that contains the ‘good’ arm, I started by creating a selection around the whole arm. I found it was easier to replace the whole arm, rather than just the hand. The jacket on the original image had some blurriness, too. Don’t focus too much on creating a ‘perfect’ selection. The left over bits can always be removed later on.

Moving It Over

Once the selection has been made, it needs to be transferred to the original image. This can be done in a few ways.

– Use the Move Tool and drag the selected area to your other document.
Copy/Paste. Edit > Copy on the selected document. Edit > Paste on the original document.

When the new arm is placed on the original document, it was clearly too small!

Scale It Up!

As I mentioned earlier, even when the arm is scaled up, it’ll lose a touch of quality, but it will still be much crisper than the blurry arm. I have also found it helpful to turn down the Opacity on the new layer, which can help with alignment.


Now that it’s been scaled, it also needs to be rotated to match the angle of the original arm. As the shoulder area is pretty much lined up, I moved the ‘rotation point’ (circled below) to that area, so it rotates from the shoulder.


It’s been scaled and rotated. Now I can turn the Opacity back up to 100% to analyze how the arm is looking.

Clean Up!

Lookin’ good, but due to the initial sloppy selection, it needs to be cleaned up. To keep the editing non-destructive, adding a Layer Mask on the arm layer will allow me to use a soft black brush to paint over the areas that I want to remove. Because I chose to use a Layer Mask, if I remove too much, switching to a white brush can bring those removed areas back.

Further Cleaning

If you take a look at the last frame in the animation above, you may notice that bits of the original arm, and jacket have been revealed once the Layer Mask was applied. To deal with that, I can simply use the Clone Stamp to touch up those left over bits.

Finishing Touches

Now that the composition is complete, I can proceed with final touches.

Before and After