Episode 046: Getting rid of People!

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This week I’ll answer the first search term that led according to the logs someone to “Meet the GIMP!. “Getting rid of people in GIMP” was the question. And here, about 9 months later, is the answer.

I took two shots of the same scene with my point and shoot camera to remove some moving cars (the runner shown here was just an accident. But I like the idea and will do a “real” one soon). I used a technique similar to that shown in episode 44, only this time a bit more sophisticated using layer masks instead of the eraser.

But I had no tripod and no beanbag. So unintentionally I moved and rotated the camera between the shots. Registering (adjusting them to a perfect fit) is the largest part of the work to be done. This involves the selection of a point of reference, moving the top layer, setting the centre of rotation and finally rotating the top layer. With more than two layers this has to be repeated for each layer.

I hadn’t thought that this would work out so good and easy. You can just shoot any public place without moving traffic if you make enough images. Imagine a big crossing, all traffic lights red.  ;-) And you don’t need the tripod. OK, it’s better with….

Some links, as promised:

The exhibition in Hannover’s Sprengel Museum and the formidable book from the museum, in German and in English. Helen Levitt in Wikipedia, an interview with her on NPR and some images on “Masters of photography”

The file with the images from the podcast is at the usual spot.

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11 thoughts on “Episode 046: Getting rid of People!

  1. I don’t know if you’ve addressed this in the podcast (currently downloading), but be sure to completely delete them, otherwise you can get some freaky results, like I’ve been seeing over at Photoshop Disasters.

    Ah, now that I’ve watched it, I see that you have managed to mention Trotsky.

    It seems it doesn’t matter what method you use–if you leave a job unfinished, you leave it unfinished.

  2. Nice idea to leave those ghosts. I did not know this meaning of the word “register”. Some surfing around revealed that image registration appears to be a field of interest on its own. I was not aware of that. Btw, my tool of choice for registering images is Hugin for which it is obviously also crucial to align images.

  3. I really like how you did a recap with slides at the end showing all the steps you took. It gave a nice touch. Keep it up!

  4. Great episode as always. Keep up the good work.
    It would be great to see an episode detailing all the shortcuts tho.
    Many of us don’t know even half of them, if any at all!
    It can speed up the whole process if shortcuts are explained.

    Just a thought tho. Take care and Godspeed.

  5. I allways wondered how to “synchronise” two images, because this technic could be used for producing pseudo-hdr images. Maybe You could touch this in a later show?!

    Very good show and Your “fault” will prevent most people to forget to move the centre of rotation :-)

    The greatest improvement in this show was the summary at the end. It would be a good idea to put the summary on the server for seperate download.

    Thanks for the work and keep going, Rolf!

  6. I think for pseudo HDR there is only one solution – the tripod. There are too many seams in those images, and they have to be sharp. With the montage stuff in this episode, there is a lot room for error, because you can blend a bit.

    I have looked a bit into HDR – it’s on the list.

  7. Thanks!! Not just for this one but for all podcasts. I´m not an artist but i need sometimes change some pictures and your site has been very helpfull. Thank you one more time.

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Anything to add from your side of the computer?