Clone to perfection in Affinity Photo – N-Photo 148 video tutorial

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Retouching is usually associated with portrait editing, but it can be equally effective for landscapes. Often a little tidying up can go a long way towards achieving the perfect image. Here we have annoying electricity wires on the left side, the large ships on the right are a bit of an eyesore and the shrubs sprouting up in the foreground interrupt the flowing curve of the river. The busy image would be stronger without the distracting details. 

Affinity Photo offers a host of useful retouching tools. In this project we’ll look at two of the best, the Inpainting and Clone tools. Inpainting works by automatically filling in areas you paint over, based on the surrounding pixels. The Clone tool, on the other hand, simply lets you copy pixels from one place to another. As such, the Inpainting tool is smarter, but the basic nature of the Clone tool often makes it more predictable and, therefore, better suited to some retouching tasks. 

While these retouching tools can be very useful in many situations, they’re not always the best tools for the job. Here we’ve used a great trick for enhancing a dull sky that doesn’t involve any form of dodgy sky replacement. In the original image the right side of the sky is rather featureless, so we’ve enlarged the left side to cover the entire area. This could potentially be done by cloning the area, but it’s a much simpler approach if we utilize the power of layers and masks to copy pixels from one area to another, transforming the image.

Download the project file(s) to your Downloads folder

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James Paterson

The lead technique writer on Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine and N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, James is a fantastic general practice photographer with an enviable array of skills across every genre of photography. 

Whether it's flash photography techniques like stroboscopic portraits, astrophotography projects like photographing the Northern Lights, or turning sound into art by making paint dance on a set of speakers, James' tutorials and projects are as creative as they are enjoyable. 

As the editor of Practical Photoshop magazine, he's also a wizard at the dark arts of Photoshop, Lightroom and Affinity, and is capable of some genuine black magic in the digital darkroom, making him one of the leading authorities on photo editing software and techniques.