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Under ten minutes to do the vast majority of work, thanks to Content Aware.
Patch Tool in Content Aware mode to remove the pylons and some wires. Same tool to remove vehicles from the bridge (the one at left edge could be better), followed by Healing Brush Tool to replace some barrier and bottom of a lamp pole. Spot Healing Brush Tool in Content Aware mode stroked along a path on each of these two highly noticeable white "cables" (which looked painted onto the image ) under the bridge and some other blemishes. There were marks that suggested you had done something similar under the bridge.
Just a little more work with these tools would remove the remaining wires.
Edit: Your "before" and "after" source photos were shot a few seconds apart, I believe.
Thank you very much for your help.
A few words about me, if I may.
I'm self-taught in Photoshop, and am now using CS5. I have been a professional advertising photographer for many years- shooting all formats of film up until about 6 years ago. I also use Lightroom 4. BTW, do you know if content-aware works better in CS6 than in CS5?
I'm fairly proficient with the clone and patch tools as well as content-aware fill functions. But, what I really need to do is to get much better at extracting selecting, and moving elements. I'm not at all adept with the pen tool. With the boat photograph, and in retrospect, I could have done that- cut the boat, retouch the clutter, and then place the boat into the retouched background image.
The biggest problems for me w/ the boat image were retaining the fine detail I wanted to keep, such as the wires and masts which ran over the tower in the background. I wound up painting back some of this detail with brush and pencil tools.
One other thing: I now realize that the "before" image I posted is not the same as the "after" image which was the one I did retouch. Apologies for that.
I'm happy to have found this forum - it looks like a great place to hangout! Thanks again.
[...] do you know if content-aware works better in CS6 than in CS5?
I do have CS5.1 as well as CS6, but very rarely used it, so almost all my Photoshop experience is with CS6. Patch Tool did not have Content Aware before CS6 and that tool made it a trivial operation to remove the pylons, trucks and some regions of wires.
My recommendation is for you to run the 30-days trial of CS6.
I wound up painting back some of this detail with brush and pencil tools.
History Brush Tool might have helped with that.
Great info! re: the new patch tool and using history brush. I guess I've got to consider CS6 after all. I swore I was "done" with upgrades.