Finally, a Way to Eliminate Annoying Tourists from Your Vacation Photos

By Noah Kaufman |
FWX GET RID OF TOURISTS IN YOUR VACATION PHOTOS

© Franco Origlia/Getty Images

On a recent family trip to Italy, I made a stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa at the urging of a photo-happy member of the group. Predictably, thousands of slow-moving tourists wandered around the tower like zombies with digital SLRs around their necks. After 20 minutes of shooting and reshooting, we got the obligatory shot of ourselves straining to hold up the building, but not before an army of tourists walked into the frame dozens of times. If only we had waited a couple of months, we might not have had to deal with that problem. 

Adobe, whose Photoshop software can make almost anyone feel like a professional photographer, just announced a new feature called “Monument Mode,” which will identify those annoying tourists and fade them right out of your pictures. It works by differentiating between moving objects (people trying to figure out where the closest espresso bar is) and stationary ones. The feature will take a little extra work on the photographer’s part—she’ll have to take multiple shots as the people (and eventually other problematic items like cars) move in order to capture the image precisely. But based on the demonstration at Adobe’s MAX conference earlier this month, it seems to work well. Check out a heavily bearded Nick Offerman trying his best to ruin a picture in the video below.

Monument Mode hasn’t been launched yet, but it seems a likely candidate for a future filter on your phone or a new stand-alone app. If someone could make all the tourists stopped in the middle of the sidewalk on my way to work disappear, we’d really be talking.

Related: The 14 Most Instagrammable Spots in the World 
How to Take the Best Vacation Photos 
Vacation Selfies Are Out, Travel Photographers Are in

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