I love people as an element in the scene for photographs, but still looking for a nice and clean shot sometimes, or you plan to sell image license to your client. It’s really hard to get a people less image during peak hour, like sunrise and sunset, especially when you travel to somewhere for just a few days. To make sure you can get a high-quality image that worth the money you spent on every trip. I would love to share this tips here to help someone that may need the same request as myself.

First of all, you need a camera, tripod and Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom(maybe optional) for the standard request of equipment and software to start with this tutorial. For more accessories which may help you out with the part of shooting is camera remote control, Neutral Density filter, Graduated Neutral Density filter, and filter holder.

Step #1: Stay steady and take several shots

The very first step is to place your camera at the spot you wish to take photographs, remember to set your camera to Manual mode to keep focus at the same depth. Then create several photographs of the same scene at the different time, try to space them a few seconds. Watching how people walk through and where they’ve stood, make sure people are in constant motion.

Step #2: Editing your images

In Adobe Lightroom:

I edit my photos in Adobe Lightroom when review batch of them at the same time, especially for travel photos or maybe events. Lightroom gives me the easiest way to do the color correction, export to different size and format and write metadata, the sync tool is highly recommended. In Lightroom, we can sync our setting to all of them after the first one has done.

Open files in Adobe Lightroom
Correction colors and tones in Adobe Lightroom
Export to JPEG when you done the job of correction and ready to remove
Export to JPEG format

In Adobe Photoshop:

Open your Adobe Photoshop select “File” then “Scripts” choose “Statistics”.


You will see Image Statistics window, then “Browse” all the files for this process, choose stack mode as “Median”. I’m using my JPEG files which edit in Lightroom previously, you definitely can import your raw files here to instead. DO NOT forget to select “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images” at the bottom.


Click smart object icon (red area) to open stack layer to edit.
Disable layer mask can make selection easier by using the brush tool.

Step #3: Filter and finish

The last step is to make the photo perfect, I usually do dirty dot removed, correct balance, cropping and color filter.

Correct the balance
Add color filter into photo make it more bright and strong vibration.



Now, my Grand Central photo looks cleaner, but if I could wait for a little longer those people at the right will be removed as well. That is why one great photograph can take a very long time, the remarkable moment worth to wait.


I hope you enjoy this tutorial which is the first one I’ve written in my blog. Thank you for reading. Please simply leave a comment or send me a message for any question.


I’m a professional photographer and travel blogger. If you like my artworks and want to support, please feel free to share this page. Fine art prints are available on Etsy and more. Photo licensing is available on many stock agencies. Follow me on social media (Instagram: @ccyminum, Facebook: @ccyminum). Leave a comment or send a message to me are welcome.

Published by Edi Chen

I'm a black and white fine art photographer specializing in architecture, conceptual, documentary photography. My version of photography is a way of finding myself, to extract beauty from ordinary subjects and places.

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