Whenever I photograph wooden fences I watch for light leaks. The eye is always drawn to bright areas and the smallest slit in a fence can become a distraction.

Lundstrom Garden, design by Susan Morrison

I knew I wanted to photograph this quiet, shady spot in the corner of a tiny backyard garden created by designer Susan Morrison. In the early morning light shoots through the crack in the fence and there were no angles that would avoid it.

No worries. The light leak will disappear with Photoshop’s Content Aware Patch tool.

With Photoshop and many editing tools that come with simple apps, it’s easy to erase the distraction. I have no idea how a computer can figure this out, but it is such an easy fix, I use it all the time.

Before and After Slider


This tool has different names in different applications but Photoshop Patch is so powerful it is nearly impossible to see the retouching.

Photoshop selection for retouching light leak in fence

Photoshop selection for retouching light leak in fence

In a fresh layer of Photoshop I selected the area to be patched (dotted line) and simply moved the selected area a bit to the right, telling Photoshop where to find the content for the patch.

Always look carefully at the photograph you are about to take and be aware of any distracting elements that are not part of the main story: telephone wires, cracked pavement, dead branches, or light leaks between fence boards. Being aware of the flaws ahead of time makes it an easy fix later – part of the pre-visualization process that makes a good photograph.