The Tools: Rubber Stamp

A very useable tool often also referred to as "the clone tool" 


Here we have a simple to use, yet powerful and highly useable tool available in most photoeditors.

I use it in almost all of my photographs - and for various reasons. I use it for removing blemishes in human skin. For removing dust specs originating from the CCD chip in my camera. For rearranging  or removing items in a photo. For smoothing colours. For copying surfaces or items from one photo to the other. And for many other reasons, too.

The reasons for you to use this tool are incountable when you have once become friends with this sweet tool. If you haven´t used it before, chances are that your photos will radically change for the better.

But how does the thing work, then?

It´s simple. It copies from one place in the hoto to an other like painting with a brush.

Let me show you an example: I have this photo of a field ready for harvesting. But I really would like the field to be bigger than on the original photo. So I decide to "raise" the horizon skipping a section of the sky.


I chose the clone tool, shown as a small stamp, in the toolbox to the left. When chosen, I select a proper size, mode and opacity in the top bar. In this case I don´t want the background to show through, so I select an opacity of 100%. Leaving the mode as normal and selecting a reasonable size for the task I´m ready to go.

I select a typical grain field spot in the photo - and placing the tool over the spot and then left clicking and at the same time pressing "Alt" I choose where to start cloning from. Next I move the tool to the place in the photo where I want the clone made, left depress my mouse and start "painting". See how the picture duplicate itself from the place where the cross mark is to where the circle mark is placed. I see to it, that I chose new "clone from" spots very often. If not, this will soon beging to look like a repeating pattern in everything cloned. 

Try for yourself. Once you get the hang of it, it´s a fun and nice process to go through.

You will soon find out how to chose your clone-points. Has to do with texture and light that should go well with the surroundings where the cloned parts will end up. You will also, by experimenting, learn how you can use opacity to create smooth surfaces on skin and many other places.

If you´d like to remove spots - like a freckle - from a photo, it´s very easily done. Choose an opaciy of about 70%. Select a spot very close to the freckle to clone from. Clone by clicking on the freckle a couple of times while moving the mouse just a bit. Voila - the freckle has disappeared!

Now, go play with this tool for yourself, if you wish. Have a nice time. Enjoy!