Correcting missing parts in photos
You don’t see it in finished photos, but quite often, especially with panoramas, you may have missing parts in a photo. It’s mostly in the corners. When two photos are merged into a panorama, the software has to distort them to match them, and the result is not a rectangular shape. Here is an example of that in a photo from Hallstatt:
You can see that the corners are missing and also part of the sky and water as a result of the panorama merge. I could crop it all off, but then I would loose a lot from it, as seen here:
And that’s just not acceptable. So instead, I would crop it to the desired compositon I want, and then fix the missing parts afterwards. So let’s say I crop it like this:
And lets fix the problems.
Using content aware
Content aware tool is great for areas of single color or areas with smaller repeating details. So for a sky, wall, water, forest in the distance and similar, it creates some great results. It’s really not great for very detailed objects, where the details change.
Here it works best on the sky, water, and the mountain in the distance. Just choose any selection tool, select the are a little bigger than you need and then choose Edit/Fill (Shift + Backspace) and choose Content Aware from the drop-down selection and confirm.
You usually get god results, but sometime one need to select the transition area again and repeat.
Using clone stamp tool
The clone stamp tool is the best on repeating patterns. You can also use it on single color areas and similar, but that’s usually simpler to do with content aware. Again, it’s not really that great for detailed object like bushes for instance, where you will never match the objects exactly.
To use it, just choose the clone stamp tool from the toolbar on the left, hold down alt and click on the source location that you want to copy, and then paint in the missing ares. I personally prefer to do this on a separate layer, as that makes it easier to go back or blend only parts of the correction.
Be careful when using it not to create visible repetition (if there should not be one).
Warping parts of the image
If nothing works, you can try warping the image. By this I mean selecting a part of the photo, next to the missing area, and stretching it around to fill the missing spot.
You have to be careful not to stretch any straight lines or objects, as that is very noticeable. This works best on organic things, like bushes, water, clouds and similar.
What you do, is to create a rectangular selection around the area. You go a bit wider than you need. Than you choose Edit/Transform/Warp (or hit Ctrl+T, then right click on the selection and choose Warp). Now choose the corner or the middle point (base on where the selection is) and drag it outside the photo.
Don’t over do it. Once a hole start’s appearing between the selection and the rest of the image, it’s too much. In this case, undo what you did, and do it again but in parts. Drag the point a bit. Confirm. Create new selection and repeat. Piece by piece you will fill in the spot.
Once you are done, sometimes you get a very noticeable distortion inside. In that case, reselects it, go into warp, choose a spot inside and drag it towards the distortion. What you want to do, is to get the distortion over a bigger area, so it’s not so visible.