I love to take photographs of people as an element in the scene, but a nice and clean image sometimes is needed, especially plans to sell them as the right-managed license for commercial or editorial usage. It’s really hard to get a people less image during peak hour, like sunrise and sunset, especially when you visit some famous locations for a short trip. To make sure you can get a high-quality image that worth the money you spent on every trip. I would love to share this tips here to help someone that may have the same demand as myself. You may read this before step out your home to get on a plane, it’s best to prepare early.
First of all, you need a camera, tripod and Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom(optional) to start with this tutorial. For more accessories which may help you out with the part of shooting is camera remote control, Neutral Density filter, Graduated Neutral Density filter and filter holder.
Step #1: Stay steady and take several shots
The very first step is to place your camera on the spot you wish to take photographs, remember to set your camera to Manual mode to keep focus at the same depth. Then create several photographs of the same scene at the different time, try to space them a few second. Pay attention to see how people walk through and where they’ve stood, make sure people are in constant motion. I recommend you to take more than 10 shots, sometimes 20 or 30, for the process to work well, there will be no more chance to regret when back home.
Step #2: Import to Lightroom and edit
Okay, it’s time to chill out, make a cup of coffee and take a seat. I prefer to use Lightroom to batch processing my images, it’s the way more easy to sync setting to several files at the same time.
Using the Quick Develop panel to correct exposure and white balance base on the RAW file.
Step #3: Sync and export to JPEG file
Select all images then press “Sync” button to all files.
After selected all files, press the right button to open the menu, then Export.
I will export all images at full resolution to JPEG file, create a new folder for this processing is highly recommended.
Step #4: Remove the tourist and clean up image
Now, it’s time to running Photoshop and go to File > Scripts > Statistics. Select “Median” for the stack mode, don’t forget to check “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images“. Use “Browse” to add files to your set and hit OK.
Remove unwanted object from the image by using Clone Stamp tool or Healing Brush.
Check it out for the result, you will see the most of the people have been removed from the previous step, but there are still a lot of them. The is the reason why you need to make sure people are in constant motion.
Much better than a single image, right? It’s not that hard.
Step #5: Edit the color by Color Efex Pro
I’ve used Color Efex Pro (Google Nik Collection) to edit image effect for several years. There are 55 filters will help you to create a unique look image just by a simple click. Select one look you like.
Copy the original layer to remove the part you don’t want.
Step #6: Straighten the horizon
It’s very important to keep the horizon level when taking the photo, not just for saving time to edit it but save more pixel when crop it.
Good luck. Hope you have a good travel.