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Photoshop Clone Stamp

The Clone Stamp

The clone stamp in Photoshop is one of the quintessential tools that is almost always used when “Photoshopping” a digital photograph. The clone tool is like a paint brush that allows you to take parts of the image and apply it to other parts. The clone tool creates a few important effects.

Removing Unwanted Objects in Photographs

This is a section of a great photograph. One of the problems with this photograph, along with many other photographs, is that there are a few extra hairs in the model’s face. With a short amount of practice with the Photoshop Clone Stamp you can easily remove those unwanted objects as shown in these pictures. Using the tool is easy:

  1. Select the Clone stamp by clicking on the icon or pushing “S” on your keyboard.
  2. Hold down option or alt and click on a reference point: This reference point is what the stamp will recreate. If you use the tool in a 100 pixel section then all the 100 pixels around the reference point will be drawn, so you may have to pick many different reference points in order to complete a task. In order to remove the small hair in the image below I used somewhere around 20 reference points.
  3. Make adjustments as needed to make your “lie” appear to be true: The Clone Stamp, like the paint brush, has a hardness setting. In most cases you will want to keep it on the soft side. You can adjust the softness by right clicking while the tool is selected. Keeping the tool soft will reduce it’s footprint and keep people from knowing the photo has been edited. Flow is another adjustment that can be made on this tool to make it less obtrusive and create a more gradual change.

Extending objects within a Digital Photograph

Extending objects is essentially all that we did in order to remove the hairs in our picture. We expanded parts of her skin and teeth over the hairs to make them disappear. The limits are really endless when working with the Clone stamp. We could also use it to put hair on a partially bald man, or anything else you can imagine.

Copying and Pasting sections of One Photograph or Layer to a New Photograph

The reference point selected with the Clone stamp is of just one specific layer on the one specific digital photograph. You may take reference of one layer using option or alt then a click, and then apply that reference to another image and it’s layers. You can imagine taking a picture of a home that has not yet been landscaped and then taking a picture of lush grass. You can use the clone tool to select the grass in one picture and then “paint” it onto the other.


  1. I love the clone feature on photography programs. I had an old Adobe photo program which would not work on my new Apple. Since then Adobe merged with Photoshop.

    Be great to know what Photoshop digital programs have a clone stamp feature.


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