Photoshop Clone Tool makes short order of adding or subtracting a subject to or from your picture.

Are you ready to use the Photoshop Clone tool to remove an unwanted subject from your picture?

In Photoshop the very first thing I always do is make a background copy of the picture I am working on. [Explanation shortly.] There are two reasons for this. First, if I make an irreversible mistake of some kind, I can always close out the copy and just make another one.

Second, Many Photoshop changes can only be made to a copy. If you are working on the locked background, Photoshop will open a window asking if you want to make the background a copy. That means to turn the backgroun into a copy; leaving no original background copy to back up on.

For me, this is a dangerous thing to do. I will spend an hour on a picture only to have it go “Ha, ha, fooled ya! Now you gotta start all over!” When this happens (and it has!) I have to close out everything and reload the picture from the folder in my computer. Good thing Photoshop only loads a copy to start with, huh!?

First, if the little arrow next to the word "Layers" is pointing to the right rather than straight down; it means the Layers bin is closed. You won't see the layers. Also, the gray bar containing the word "Layers" is right at the bottom of your screen like in the picture below.

You must click on the arrow. It will then point downward and the gray bar with the word "layers" will move up to the middle of your screen. Now you will see the layers in the resultant window. Refer to the next picture to see what it looks like.

To make a copy, first click and drag a picture into the photo bin at the bottom. Learn how to load a picture here. Next, click and drag from the “Layers” bin (lower right hand corner of your screen) onto the little square at my red arrow.

This will automatically duplicate the picture and both will be in the “Layers” bin. The result should look as below except both the original and the copy will have the little eye showing in the box to the left of the thumbnail.

Over time you may find you make several or even many copies of a single picture in the “Layers” bin. There are times I make a bunch at once so I can just grab one when I need it rather than making it at the time. Kinda like storing up for the winter, I guess.

The main screen is called the “Editor.” Each thumbnail with the eye showing is simultaneously visible in the editor. I click off the eye on my original background so that layer never shows and I never make any changes to it. That means it is pretty much useless to me except as the all important backup.

Also, notice the original background has a little padlock to the right. That means the layer is locked. You can make very few changes to it. You will make changes to the copy.

If you try to make changes to the original background the time will come when Photoshop puts up this window.

I always click cancel and make my own copy. If you click OK, Photoshop converts the locked background to a copy. Now you have no backup.

Before you do too much work with the clone tool or any other full edit feature of Photoshop, be sure to check out the Wacom Tablet! Richard does a great job of showing why a tablet and Photoshop are the ultimate digital editing tools.

"Clone Tool" is 4 pages.

Continue here.