Removal of unwanted object

I am new to PhotoLab. (I am an émigrée from Lightroom/Photoshop). I am so happy to have made the move. Everything is just right. I have the Nik Collection but find I can do almost everything that I want in PhotoLab.

But, just one thing seems to be missing from my new workflow. - Effective removal of unwanted objects. Like the shrub in the foreground in this image. I’ve tried with the repair and clone tools in PhotoLab. They can deal with the shrub over the lake, but not with the path on the mountain. In Photoshop the Remove tool (with a bit of care) makes a pretty good job of it.

I know I am not comparing like with like - PhotoLab is working on non destructible data, and PS on a bitmap. So - I have two questions:

  1. Is it possible to remove this shrub in PhotoLab? Maybe it is just me.
  2. If not - does anyone know if Affinity Photo would be able to do it?

I plan to buy Affinity Photo anyway at some point, for compositing, but am just wondering if anyone knows how good its removal capability is.

Thanks a lot.

Welcome to the forum @justinwyllie

Instead of repairing along the branches, draw across them, leaving out the roads.
Draw many small fixes instead of trying bigger chunks.

There was a series of posts about similar things with removing items from houses, but I cannot find said thread right now. Try the forum search function or wait for someone to add the link to the examples.

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Definitely doable. It took me around 5 or 6 minutes to do this using PhotoLab’s Retouch tool. I could have gotten better results if I had spent more time. It required around 20 small separate adjustments. I mostly used the clone tool with feathering. The repair tool will often cause smearing depending on where and how it is used. Restoring the roadway behind the branch requires an understanding of all of Retouch’s features.



I think the newest version of PS or Lr has a crazy AI removal tool. One of my colleagues demonstrated it for me and it was pretty impressive. I have a Pixel 8 so removing things from images is not something new to me.

The other thing I noted. This technology can put you at the scene of the crime. Holding the bag of loot, etc. :rofl: Its almost scary.

While its a cool feature, I am not leaving DxO. Certainly not for Adobe’s shenanigans. I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up in PL at some point, but its not going to change the way I feel about PL. I like it with or without.

@mwsilvers your manual removal looks great too :+1:

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I use Affinity with Photolab when i want to remove anything like that shrub. The inpainting brush is very fast


Like practically every similar tool they all have their pros and cons. Some work better than others depending on what needs to be done. ON1, as an example, offers a couple of tools. It’s healing brush tool works similarly to PhotoLab’s Retouch tool but it has fewer options and features than Retouch. I just tried using it on this image and found ON1’s healing brush was not up to the job when working on complex removals.


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Hi Mark
Thanks. Yes. Inspired by platypus’s comments about using small lateral chunks I tried again. I got pretty similar results to you. It took me a little longer (beginner) - like you I used about 20 goes and like you I found the clone tool more successful than the repair. You just have to be accurate about where you clone from. (My version at least wouldn’t do for stock sales but it is fine for my social media).

Still I am a bit lazy and PS does seem to have some smarts which make these kinds of tasks very easy.

Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to further encourage me

Try using different amounts of feathering especially with the clone tool. With no feathering the masks have a hard edge and even the slightest amount of color, texture and shadow differences between the source and target masks can be very visible with a hard edge. The repair tool is a little more forgiving regarding the amount of feathering used .


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Less than one minute with Pixelmator Pro

Either PP or Affinity Photo. I don’t feel Photolab up to this task.

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I have to argue with you there . Your version misses some things, removes some things it shouldn’t have, places two small road segments where they should not be, and causes some smearing on the mountain side and over the roadway. We’ll let others decide.

Original Showing the spot you removed in error.

My version showing a spot that was removed on your version but should not have been.

Your version showing the same spot that should not have been removed, smearing covering the roadway, and the two errant road sections that ended up where they shouldn’t be.

There were some other issues with your version but I won’t bother to bring them up. There were issues with mine as well, of course, like the soft edge of the waterline and a spot, perhaps a tree, I removed from the mountain side. However, what I did was just a simple, quick and dirty exercise to show @justinwyllie the possibilities. It was never intended as a finished product and would have been much improved on this low resolution image with some extra effort on my part.

I think DxO’s Retouch tool is very capable, is definitely up to the task, and generally did at least as well if not better than Pixelmator Pro. The time mine vs yours took is irrelevant. Only the results matter.



@Mark whenever a distracting foreground has to be „removed“, some software or somebody has to guess „what’s behind“ and try to repair it as „believable“ as possible. It would have been kind of a miracle if my „superquick & dirty“ version would have come close to what you can do as experienced PL user, and also what we could have done on a sharp image.

To be honest, I’m reluctant to invest more time in an image if I can see that it was either shot or edited worse than it probably could have been – no offense meant. Your point is valid of course. But I don’t see any improvement in exchanging one very blurred part against another equally blurred part with no more information. I realized some part of the road was gone, but the replacement could be seen as a rock blocking the view to the road. From download to upload app. 1 minute – it took less time than typing this post.

I can’t argue with you with what you’re saying. Of course if we had the availability of a high resolution raw file the results in Photolab would potentially have looked better than they did. The only reason I spent any time at all on this particular image is because @justinwyllie asked if it were possible to accomplish it in PhotoLab. I believe the answer to that is yes.

I have not used every removal tool in every software title available so it is entirely possible and even likely that there are more sophisticated and easier to use tools out there that may provide better results in a shorter time frame. Having said that, in the hands of somebody who’s experienced in its use, quite a bit can be done with excellent results using PhotoLab’s Retouch tool.


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I believe so, too. It might not be the quickest and most versatile way, but for the majority of corrections I prefer to stay inside the RAW workflow for as long as possible. Just to be able to make finer corrections after the repair/clone process, which would mean losing all edits I did after export if I’d exported too early.

Also, I’m not a user of all possible software titles there are, but I think instead of spending time to learn them, the time is better invested in learning one or two tools and get better with them, at the end this will be more time efficient. Currently I’m using Affinity and Pixelmator as they both have strengths and weaknesses. It depends what I want to achieve and knowing the tools makes the choice easier.

So the problem was the photo wasn’t sharp (despite F14 on a pro lens and the detail in t/he village being nice and sharp) and apparently badly shot. I am sightly struggling to see how that (sharp or not) explains the road 100m further down the mountain. But no offence.

One point - it is not about ‘guessing’ surely. If there is a road going from left to right and something covering a small section of it can we not reasonably assume that there was a section of road between the two bits we can see.

I have the TrueDoF-Pro calculator app on my iPhone, written by a guy who knows an awful lot about diffraction. It allows the choice of blur dot size and, depending on sensor pixel density, you can set it to 20µm instead of the generally accepted 30µm, which was decided on for film cameras.

Using 20µm, the optimum aperture for the most DoF without diffraction is actually f/10 and, for landscapes like this, you should focus at the hyperfocal distance which, at 28mm focal length, is 5.28m, allowing everything from 2.64m to infinity to be acceptably sharp.

My experience is that diffraction at smaller apertures, even f/14 (calculated with a 30µm blur circle) can affect overall perceived sharpness for the worse, especially at long distance.

Give it a try

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I think the lower than expected photo quality was due to air fluctuations more than due to diffraction. It’s a typical problem for long distance landscapes. The low dark clouds suggest that humidity was high and there might be a mixture of hot and cold air, especially over the lake.


What you say makes total sense. Although it might be interesting to pass the image through Topaz Photo AI’s movement blur tool

The blur on the photo is very irregular, some parts are quite sharp, so I don’t think Topaz will help. I had a lot of much worse blur than OP, with much shorter distances, while the next day photos were crisp and contrasty (shooting usually f/6.3-f/11 with 24-70/2.8). But if you are on a hiking trip, you simply have to be lucky.
EDIT: Maybe shooting a series from a tripod and combining the photos with some software would help. Our brains work that way, it seems, so a single photo may look much worse than what we perceived.

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Hi Joanna
Yes, i have a dof calculator. I think it uses 0.03 as the circle of confusion based on my camera body but i need to check. Either way, thanks for reminding me about this. I probably am setting the focal disrance too far out. (I usually go for about 1/3 of the way to the most distant object )

Does the huge computer slowdown when lot of correction curves are used is solved in V7 ?
V6 is ok till some amount of work then computer slows down up to unusable depending on the amount of work done (brush sizes probably plays a role in this too).

(not talking about opening images with such correction …).

Ps : my hardware/drivers etc… have nothing to do with this problem.