The Main Reason I Upgraded to CS5

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I am not alone in choosing to upgrade to Photoshop CS5 for, primarily, one reason: Content-Aware Fill.

Adobe pimps this new feature, stating: “Remove unwanted image elements with astonishing ease, and see the space fill in as if that content never existed.” In his book, The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers (which I will be reviewing here soon), Scott Kelby states, “…as amazing as it is, it’s incredibly simple to use, so don’t let the fact that it only took four pages in the book to cover perhaps the most famous feature in all of CS5 throw you off.”

Adobe’s claims are NOT just hype, and Kelby’s description is spot-on. It seems, for such a fascinating capability, that it should be complicated to use. It most certainly is NOT complicated. It is as simple as selecting the area you want to remove, and pressing the Delete key.

That’s it. I’m not kidding.

Take this photo of a practice run that I shot during our attendance of the Indianapolis MotoGP race this past August. It’s a great shot, the rider is tack sharp up to Actual Pixels magnification, and the background is blurred just enough to suggest motion. But, there’s this pipe smack in the middle of the shot that is very distracting.

With the photo open in CS5, I selected the pipe using the lasso selection tool:

Then I simply pressed the Delete key. When the Fill menu came up, I kept the default settings and clicked on OK.

The pipe was removed, and the background was intuitively filled in as if the pipe was never there. I didn’t touch up the photo any further than the steps I just showed you.

Is that not the coolest thing ever? The post-processing possibilities are endless. No more tourists in my vacation photos! Aberrations are a thing of the past! I can even cut MYSELF out of pictures (as much as I love to be behind the camera, I’m pretty loathe to be in front of it). The Content-Aware Fill feature is fantastic and, in my opinion, worth the cost of the upgrade.

Photo credits (all): Tiffany Joyce

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  • llort

    I’ve been photo-editing for about 7 years, 4 years professionally (family hire). nThis is fake, no program can do that. It takes days to edit something like that out of a photo.

  • Joseph A. Desiderio

    To which program exactly are you referring? Is this feature available in Photoshop CS5 Extended?

  • dexter

    I’ve used CS5 and it is that easy.

  • Tiffany

    Hi Joseph, it is available in both CS5 and CS5 Extended.

  • Tiffany

    Ilort, if you’ve been photo-editing professionally for as long as you have, I can’t see how you’ve missed all of the press and enthusiasm for this feature of Photoshop CS5. I assure you, it’s not fake, and I’m not lying.

  • Nathan

    While I wasn’t standing behind Tiffany when she worked on the photo, you can see a demo at, if it was fake you’d think she’d put in the extra five seconds to erase the post’s shadow. It’s not a perfect fix, but it cuts out a few minute’s time cloning. And it looks great. The demo video is amazing, but it’s cool to see it work for ‘real people.’

  • Tiffany

    :D Thanks, Nathan!

  • Steve Russell

    I had to see whether Tiffany or llort was correct so I had a photo that had a boat in it that I didn’t want. It took a total of 5 minutes to get rid of the boat. Even in dog time that’s only 35 minutes which is not even close to days. Content Aware rocks.

  • Sherry

    I also use CS5 and I can assure you that it is absolutely not fake. It works very quickly. It’s not always perfect, sometimes it makes mistakes but almost everything that I’ve removed from a photo has had fantastic results and it takes minutes.nnI most definitely do not have the time and patience to spend days doing that sort of editing so the Content Aware feature is a lifesaver.nnThough I am a little confused as to why you would feel it would take days anyway. I could remove that same pole from Tiffany’s photo by using the clone tool. It would take a lot longer than the Content Aware feature but certainly not days.

  • Anonymous

    These are really awesome designs.

  • kdastonjr

    A fake and days to edit? Come on it only takes minutes to remove that pipe even with CS 3 or 4. You can look on youtube or photoshop TV for proof! Content aware fill is awesome but sometimes it helps if you correct in camera as well.