Background

Shrine of Remembrance - Without People or Tourists

Whenever you travel to a popular destination, you want to get great shots of these location. Often the problem seems to be getting a clean shot of the subject without unwanted people or tourists walking into your photo. One of the easiest way is to get their very early or go very late when most people would have gone already, but that doesn’t always work. You might be with a tour guide and other tourists so you have to kind of stick with the schedule.

This is where applying this technique and some patience pays off nicely. I have successfully used this technique several times both hand held shooting and while using a tripod. Obviously using a tripod is always useful, as you don’t have any issues aligning all your images.

Method without Tripod

When you can’t use a tripod, make sure your camera settings are such that the shutter speed is fast ie. 1/250th of a second or higher.

Step 1

Setup your camera in Aperture Priority (Av Mode for Canon and A Mode for Nikon). Dial in an aperture of F8.0 or higher, works best for landscapes. However you can use wider aperture values in certain situations/light conditions (low light) if you know how to use them correctly.

 Step 2

If your camera has multiple focus points (as most do), the little red dots that light up in the viewfinder when you focus, select one only so that it will be same for each photo.

Step 3

Hold your camera as close to your body as possible, tuck in your elbows. Align the focus point with an anchor point on what you are shooting, what you want to do is keep them lined up for each photo you take.

Step 4

Take your first photos, keeping track of what clear portions you have in the photos. Take the next photo when you get different clear portions and so on until you have photos giving you all the clear areas you need for post processing.

You will need to be patient and probably take anywhere from 5 to 20 different photos to get every portion in the clear

Method with Tripod

Its pretty much the same as above but you can read the exact steps below.

Step 1

Setup your camera in Aperture Priority (Av Mode for Canon and A Mode for Nikon). Dial in an aperture of F8.0 or higher, works best for landscapes. However you can use wider aperture values in certain situations/light conditions (low light) if you know how to use them correctly.

 Step 2

Mount your camera on your tripod and setup your composition. If your camera has multiple focus points (as most do), the little red dots that light up in the viewfinder when you focus, select one only so that it will be same for each photo.

Use a Remote Cable release or wireless trigger if you have one handy.

Step 3

Align the focus point with an anchor point on what you are shooting, this will remain the same for each photo you take. You can also change your lens from Auto Focus to Manual Focus after the first photo but be careful not to move the Camera or the Tripod.

Step 4

Take your first photos, keeping track of what clear portions you have in the photos. Take the next photo when you get different clear portions and so on until you have photos giving you all the clear areas you need for post processing.

Final Editing in Photoshop

After you have your photos downloaded on your computer, load the photos into Photoshop as Layers rather than individual photos. Inspect the photos to find the best ones that will give you the cleanest photos with least effort. Of course you can use every photo if you like but I find less is more and it’s faster.

Use Layer Masks to extract the clean sections from each photo, giving you the final image. Watch the video below for step by step instructions.

Finalised Results

Here are two photos showing the result of this technique.

The Shrine of Remembrance was shot without a Tripod where as Sculpture by the Sea was shot with a Tripod.