Skip to navigationSkip to content

Adobe has developed an algorithm to remove the annoying tourists from your photos

Tourists use a selfie stick on the Trocadero Square, with the Eiffel Tower in background, in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Selfie sticks have become enormously popular among tourists because you don’t have to ask strangers to take your picture, and unlike hand-held selfies, you can capture a wider view without showing your arm. But some people find selfie sticks obnoxious, arguing that they detract from the travel experience. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere
Been there, loved that.
By Alice Truong
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The problem with being a tourist is that by the time you’ve reached your sightseeing destination, every other tourist is there too. Not exactly great for vacation photos.

Short of removing the crowds, Adobe’s hoping to do the next best thing—removing them from your shots. This week, the company showed off at its Max conference an algorithm that can remove annoying tourists from photographs.

Though Adobe didn’t spend much time explaining how this feature, called Monument Mode, works, it appears its algorithm can detect stationary (the Eiffel Tower, for example) and moving objects (tourists) in real time, removing the latter from the shot.

Before and after.

Here’s actor Nick Offerman (of Parks and Recreation TV show fame) and Adobe community manager Kim Chambers demonstrating the feature (in an incredibly awkward five minutes):

Adobe often uses its conference to preview new technologies that could be integrated into its products. Given how Monument Mode removes objects from a photo before it’s captured, it’s most likely destined for a mobile app, though there are no guarantees when, or if, it’ll ever be available to consumers. In the meanwhile, there’s Photoshop.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.