In Part 1 of this six-part series, I talked about the first six tools in the Photoshop toolbar. I hope you’ve experimented using each of these tools, and are developing a comfort level with them. In this post, I’ll be covering the clone stamp. It gets its own post because it’s one of the most-used tools in Photoshop. I know I’d be lost without it. Let’s get started with how to edit photos in Photoshop using the clone stamp tool.
Disclaimer: “This post contains affiliate links.”
Photoshop is the premier editing program for creating and manipulating images. It’s a must-have among graphic designers, photographers, and web developers. The versatility of Photoshop is unmatched. So many editing and customization options are available, that at first glance, it can be quite overwhelming.
Once you get familiar with the tools and the interface, however it becomes a lot more user-friendly. If you didn’t read Part 1 of this post, you can refer to it here. Now let’s get acquainted with the clone stamp and pattern stamp tools.
Using The Clone Stamp
The “Clone Stamp Tool” is undoubtedly the most used tool in Photoshop. This holds true for me at least. The clone stamp tool lets you copy one area of your photo, duplicating it to be used in another area. It’s an indispensable tool that allows you to remove elements in your image, you no longer want, and replace them with elements you do want.
I have used the clone stamp hundreds of times to remove blemishes on people’s faces, to eliminate fly away hairs, to duplicate leaves on a tree, or to move distracting elements in the background of an image. There are so many different applications for the clone stamp. Here’s where you’ll find it:
In the image below I want to remove the three people on the rocks as they don’t add to the image, and are distracting.
To do this, I select the clone stamp, while holding the down the “Shift” key. Editing is much easier if you zoom in. On the horizontal bar above the toolbar, you’ll see these controls where you can customize the brush size and hardness, and lower the opacity. Incidentally, I always leave the “Mode” to normal for simple edits like this.
For the picture below I used a small brush with a hardness of 46%. These settings will be different for each image so you just need to experiment with them until you get the result you want. Here’s what the brush drop down menu looks like:
You can also customize your brushes in the brush tool bar above the layers palette.
Here’s what my photo looks like with the people removed. I think the image looks much better, and it took me all of 15 seconds to complete that task.
If you use Photoshop, the clone stamp will be your new best friend.
Watch the video tutorial below to see the clone stamp in action.
The Pattern Stamp Tool
I use the “Pattern Stamp Tool” to make a photograph look like a painting. It’s a great tool to create interesting textures and brush strokes, and these strokes can be subtle or bold.
Begin by going to “Edit” and “Define Pattern.
You’ll see this screen where you can name your pattern. I’m naming mine “lighthouse.”
Now select the pattern stamp tool, and go to the brush drop down menu and choose a brush.
You’re going to need to fiddle around with the brush settings until you get the look you want. This will take some experimentation.
Alternatively, you can also import your own brushes if you have them. You’ll see this option by hovering over the little gear icon. Select “Import Brushes” to import brushes you’ve previously used.
Go to the upper toolbar and select the drop down menu to the left of “Aligned.” You’ll see these boxes:
Choose the picture that you already named. Mine is at the bottom. Keep both “Aligned” and “Impressionist” checked.
Now create a new layer by going to “Edit” and “New Layer.”
Name this layer “Black” and set the opacity to 80%.
Add another new layer and name it “Paint Layer.” Leave the opacity at 100%.
It’s now time to paint. Make sure that you are painting on your first layer. For me, it’s my “Lighthouse” layer.
Choose a brush from the brush palette. This is the one I’m choosing.
This is where it’s up to you to experiment with the brushes and the settings. You’re going to need to play around until you’re happy with the look. Change the “Opacity” and “Flow” in the upper tool bar as well, and erase any mistakes by deleting them in the “History” box.
Change the size of your brush depending on the area of the image you’re working on. Smaller areas will require a smaller brush. Alternate between long and short brush strokes to see which effect you prefer, and change the pressure where necessary.
Here’s my final product. See how it looks more like a painting now than a photograph?
When you’re finished painting, click on your “Black” layer and bring the opacity back up to 100%. That’s it! Either save your image as a PSD if you want to work on it further, or flatten it and save it as a JPG.
Be sure and save the brush you used as a preset so you can use it next time you use the pattern stamp. In the top, left-hand corner, you’ll see the icon for the pattern stamp. Click on that, then the little gear icon, and “Save Tool Presets.”
Name your brush and save it for future use.
Good job. You now know how to use the pattern stamp in Photoshop.
Watch the tutorial below to get a feel for how the pattern stamp tool works in real time.
The “Clone Stamp” and “Pattern Stamp” in Photoshop are versatile tools that can be used for a wide range of applications. One such application for the clone stamp is to eliminate any distracting elements in a photo’s background. I use the pattern stamp for turning an image into an impressionistic-looking portrait. Both tools are so fun to use, and can greatly enhance your photos.
What’s your favorite way to use these tools? Let me know in the comments:)