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Great start with this assignment.
I liked that you’re experimenting with cleaning up unwanted parts within a composition. That being said, I actually like the branch in the photograph. It acts as sort of a “frame within a frame” helping you draw your audience’s attention towards the water.
Either way, this way more of a technical assignment so let’s discuss some of the technical issues with the shot. For starters you’ve done a decent job of hiding your removal of a portion of the original composition, but there is still some room to refine that process. One of the best tools to use for this is the “clone tool”. This tool allows you to select a pre-existing area of the photograph that you want to replicate and you can draw the area that you want to look like a close. This allows you to duplicate the same colors, textures and patterns in an environment.
One of the problems with your fix, is that the gradients in the clouds are lost. You’ve used a sort of solid grey to fill in the areas when the rest of the clouds are much more complicated than that. When the image is small it’s not that noticeable, but when you enlarge the image it becomes very noticeable. Focusing on these small details will help you become a much better photographer.
Great start to the world of digital erasing!
Here is a link to an introduction to the clone tool. (please note there are 5 pages to the article)