The red spots indicate where each person in the shot was standing, identifying them for removal.

Can you remember the Techlife column from 3 years ago? “I can’t even remember what I had for lunch yesterday,” you are probably thinking. If you can remember, you probably have what is known as a photographic memory.

Back in the column, Image Resizing and MS Paint – Techlife TV Double FeatureI covered the amazing video by Ariel Shamir talking about image resizing or retargeting. Simply the idea of cropping and scaling are not always the best ways to keep the key parts of an image intact while allowing it to fit the space required. The video from the column gives plenty of great visual examples of using an algorithm to remove or add content to an image.  Another name for this process is seam carving.

After targeting the people, the final shot looks serene and peaceful.

Recently I came across code ninja Gabe Rudy’s work in the same space. (pun intended)  Gabe has created software to allow Mac and PC users to easily run the unique CAIR (Content Aware Image Resizing) algorithm on their own machines. I easily downloaded it and tried quite a few different images using the many settings the software provides.  Included for your review are two successful images that used only Gabe’s application Seam Carving GUI for Windows.  No Photoshop, image editors or other special tricks were used to create these unique images.

Bonsai Tree after Seam Carving with all elements vanished with the push of a button.

Bonsai with a few key points in red to target for removal. They could easily be targeted to keep as well.

So the challenge Techlife readers, download the program, and try it out.  If you get a few good shots leave a note in the comments with a link to your before and after shots. And the next time someone says they have a photographic memory ask them if they can selectively edit, retargeting the important memories and seam carving with the best of them.  Enjoy the blank stare. Whom just carved whom?

This original shot had people dotting the landscape, what if we could remove them?

The original shot prior to any seam carving and retargeting.