How to get rid of an out-of-focus wire

Sometimes I have to shoot through a chain link fence. I am adept at positioning the camera so that the wires are not in the frame, which is usually possible at the longer focal lengths I am using. However, when tracking a moving subject it can be difficult to maintain this, and inevitably I end up with a wire across at least one corner of the shot.

Like this:

In other software I’ve used a “double-sided” gradient filter to minimise these, but PhotoLab 4 does not have such a facility. In the photo above I improved it slightly by using a brushed filter, but the trial and error required to get the correct brush size and get a decent brush stroke across the area is cumbersome.

Is there a better way to deal with this inside PhotoLab?

I think so. I just solved a similar problem in one of my photos using a well-placed control point. You might want to use two or three together in the affected corner of your image. I needed to adjust white balance, ClearView Plus, and sharpness to blend in a bright blue obstruction. You might only need to raise the exposure a bit.

Solution 1: use two local adjustment gradient filters, and a global brightness gain.

  • use a gradient local adjustment to darken one side of the wire ;
  • use another gradient local adjustment to darken the other side of the wire
  • adjust global brightness to fix the general scene

Solution 2: over the wire, use a local paintbrush with a soft edge. Tweak local brightness so that the wire disappears.

I thought that I’d take a shot at it using @Egregius suggestion. I may have overdone it or missed a few spots but if you take your time working on the RAW file you can get better results.

Solution 2 is essentially what I tried, but solution 1 is an interesting approach I hadn’t thought of. It seems like it should be easier, but the way PhotoLab displays masks actually makes it difficult to align.

However, I tried @Egregius’s suggestion and it is not only a bit easier to implement and adjust, but the results are pretty good.

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