Want to get rid of telephone wires that mar an otherwise beautiful landscape photo, or did a pimple ruin a wedding photo? Conversely, perhaps the flowers in your garden picture are looking sparse and you'd like to add a few plants here and there. The clone tool (also called a rubber stamp) is a special kind of digital brush that uses portions of your photo to paint away or add elements in your picture. In other words, it's a type of grafting tool that works so well (when used properly) that you can't tell what changes were made. (See accompanying sidebar figures.)

In this photo of Cuddles as a puppy, the broken box, chair leg and chrome table leg are distracting.

Cloning (Continued)

Using a clone tool, we painted away the box and furniture legs. It's easy to do, as long as you're careful. First, define the area you'll be using as the source of your color, texture, light, saturation, and so on. Then, pressing your mouse button and moving your cursor around will apply those image attributes to a new area.

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