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fence / wire removal in photoshop

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by JerseyJay, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Any tips or tutorials on how to remove fence / wires in photoshop ?
  2. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    What I did to get rid of the fence in this picture was played with the levels...
    This one was pretty easy to do, but the next example wasn't as successful.
    Here is the same 2 pictures

    No leveling at all

    Leveled to help get the fence out.
  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jay :

    Slightly off-topic, but the ultimate answer is to avoid getting them in the shot as much as possible. I shoot as close to wide open as I can with the lens in use, and stand relatively close to the fence. The DOF tends to "drop out" the fencing, albeit with some loss of detail in the image (the camera does not, after all, replace the areas of blur).

    As well, the bokeh gets kinda strange with the effects of the fencing, often creating a geometric pattern rather than the creamy soft OOF items so many desire in their photos. Sometimes that's addressable, and other times not so much. I've had varying responses to this, some finding it attractive, others vehemently opposed to the look. I suppose it could be addressed with a Gaussian blur, but I generally don't want to play that much with photos in post-processing.

    Here are three examples of varying quality.

    Fairly crisp subject, but funky bokeh. Note the fence effects on bokeh seem most pronounced in the background around the beak of the bird in this shot. This was shot with a 70-200mm AFS/VR which typically has more attractive bokeh than this.


    Another shot with fair detail, but note that the beak is OOF due to the choice of aperture to blur the fencing out. Still pretty detailed on the feathers, but the bokeh again is changed.


    And one with black mesh between the subject and camera, shot at an upward 45 degree angle, and the light illuminating the mesh more than the subject, hence the diagonal "scale" of illuminated mesh. In the thread where I presented this one, Gale kindly offered some post-processing to address the problems, but that image is no longer on her photosharing site.


    I know that this is probably a bit late for any shots you just took (or took sometime back), but it's been the most effective approach for this issue for me [and I had a recent gig shooting for an Aviary (some of which I've posted here on the Cafe), so I had a lot of practice].

    As for Photoshop, that's almost a case by case sort of thing. I've seen several discussions and tried to apply the techniques discussed and found it's been highly variable in response. Cloning, levels, even "sketching" the wires in a layer in Photoshop with a tablet and then altering to match the rest of the photo has all been pretty much variable.

    After trying both approaches, I've been more content with the results of shooting wide open than Photoshop post-processing. Nothing we do, however, can completely replace the details lost either from the DOF adjustment or the post-processing.

    I hope this is of some use.

    John P.
  4. It really depends on the specific image and the type and extent of interference you want to remove. For broad near-field OOF smears, as in Dave's example, his technique can sometimes help. An alternative that sometimes works is to separate the RGB channels; clone in detail from an unaffected channel to one that is affected; and then recombine channels. The latter approach usually requires further cleanup. When the interference is small and well defined, simple cloning of neighboring or similar areas is effective.

    In the final anaylsis, John's recommendation to avoid the problem, whenever possible, is the only sure solution.
  5. John,

    Thanks for your well described feedback.

    I'm very familiar with your approach and that is what I use every time I shoot through the fence. However not always I can be close to the fence and not always I can shoot wide open.

    I know I saw excellent tutorial couple years ago which worked like a charm. I can't find it now.

    Thanks all !
  6. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jay :

    We help where we can. :D 

    If you find that tutorial, please let me know. I'm in the same position as you are with these things - sometimes I just can't get a good angle or line of sight to "blur out" the fence/mesh.

    BTW, where in NJ are you ? I'm out there (central NJ) with my wife from time to time to see her family. In fact, I spent my last high school years in NJ (maplewood), and then returned there (Princeton) for work about fifteen years back.

    John P.
  7. John,

    I'm in Clifton (North Jersey) now but I lived for 5 years in Lawrenceville (10 minutes away from Princeton) and worked in Princeton Hospital for 3 years.
  8. Is it possible to see a sample of the image you have the problem with...
    There is different ways to deal with your issue. But if I could see the image I (might) have the ability to help a little more.
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