Photo bombing banned?  Testing the Google Pixel 6 Pro’s “Magic Eraser” tool on holiday photos from Cornwall

Photo bombing banned? Testing the Google Pixel 6 Pro’s “Magic Eraser” tool on holiday photos from Cornwall

There’s often something in a vacation photo that’s stopping you from garnering thousands of likes on social media — like a photobombed passenger or an unsightly lamppost.

Or maybe something you just personally can’t take – an ex-partner, for example.

But Google offers a solution. Its Pixel 6 Pro features a “Magic Eraser” tool that promises to remove “photobombers and unwanted objects” in “just a few taps.”

Two characters were erased from the background using the Magic Eraser tool

Ailbhe MacMahon (pictured at the Eden Project) tests the Magic Eraser tool on the Google Pixel 6 Pro on a trip to Cornwall. The tool promises to remove “photo bombers and unwanted objects” with “just a few clicks”. In the image on the right, two figures have been removed from the background of the shot

A view of Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, crammed with people and a lamppost A few seconds of magic erase cleans up the Porthmeor Beach scene

Going… Gone: A view of Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, littered with people and a lamppost (left). A few seconds of magic erase cleans up the scene (right)

A silhouetted person strolls along the beach at Carbis Bay at sunset The rogue passerby will be removed thanks to Google's magic

On the left, a silhouetted person strolls along the beach at Carbis Bay as the sun sets. On the right is the same image with the rogue passerby removed thanks to Google’s magic

A path leading from the train station to the beach at Carbis Bay The signage was removed from the shot with the Magic Eraser

The photos above show a path leading down from the train station to Carbis Bay Beach, with the signs removed using the Magic Eraser feature from the image on the right

The view of Porthminster Beach from the path leading from Carbis Bay to St Ives The passer-by was deleted using the Google editing tool

The view of Porthminster Beach from the path leading from Carbis Bay to St Ives. On the right, the passer-by was deleted from the original image (left) using the Google editing tool

We tested this feature on a holiday to Cornwall to see if the tool could give our images a premium travel influencer shine.

The result? Nearly.

It’s not a new concept, but unlike dedicated editing apps or Photoshop software, the “Magic Eraser” is built into the phone’s photo album and sits alongside the usual editing tools like filters and cropping.

We’re trying it out before boarding our train at London’s Paddington Station – if people walk into the frame of a photo we’ve taken outside the train compartment, Magic Eraser will suggest deleting them. One click and phew, they’re gone, leaving their luggage behind.

Ailbhe boards a Great Western Railway train bound for Cornwall at London Paddington station The Magic Eraser erased the other train passengers

Ailbhe boards a Great Western Railway train bound for Cornwall at London Paddington station. On the right, the Magic Eraser has erased the other train passengers

The scene outside the train window on the Exeter to Dawlish route in Devon The can of Coca-Cola is gone

The two images above show the scene outside the train window on the route between Exeter and Dawlish in Devon. On the right, the Coca-Cola can has disappeared

The view from Ailbhe's guest room at the Carbis Bay Hotel The view of Ailbhe's guest room with the coffee table cut out - and a shadow left in its place

The view from Ailbhe’s guest room at the Carbis Bay Hotel. On the right, the coffee table has been cropped out of the shot, leaving a “shadow”.

Ailbhe's guest room at the chic Carbis Bay Hotel Ailbhe's purse has been removed from the bedspread

Ailbhe’s guest room at the chic Carbis Bay Hotel. Right her purse was dropped

A serving of seared scallops at Walters On The Beach, one of the Carbis Bay Hotel's restaurants Ailbhe's lip gloss is gone thanks to the editing tool

A serving of seared scallops at Walters On The Beach, one of the Carbis Bay Hotel’s restaurants. Ailbhe’s lip gloss has disappeared from the image on the right thanks to the editing tool

A train ride later we arrive at the Carbis Bay Hotel, which hosted last year’s G7 Summit and is situated on the seafront at St Ives. Our Beach Suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer too good-to-be-true views of the ocean. We capture the view on the phone and try to remove the suite’s coffee table from the shot – it works, but leaves a spooky shadow.

While the beach looks inviting, we spend the afternoon at the hotel’s heated pool overlooking Carbis Bay. The scene is prime vacation album material, especially when we eraser the other swimmers out of sight so it seems like we have the navy blue lagoon to ourselves.

The next morning we follow the path along the coast to St Ives, erasing stray lampposts and traffic cones from our photos along the way. A local tells us that the G7 summit has drawn more holidaymakers to this corner of Cornwall than ever and the conditions are ripe for photo bombing as we stroll past the crowds to pretty Porthmeor Beach.

The Carbis Bay Hotel's heated pool overlooks the bay The Carbis Bay Hotel pool shot with the floats removed from the frame

Above is the Carbis Bay Hotel’s heated pool overlooking the bay. On the right, the floats have been removed from the frame

Pictured is the route through Carbis Bay Hotel to join the path to St Ives Here the hikers were wiped on the route

Pictured is the route through Carbis Bay Hotel to reach the path to St Ives, with walkers on the route wiped off to the right of the picture

Traffic cones on the beach at Porthmeor in St Ives Porthmeor Beach with cleared traffic cones in the foreground of the image

The image on the left shows traffic cones at Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, while the image on the right shows the beach after the traffic cones have been removed

An exhibition of work by Argentine artist Ad Minoliti at Tate St Ives Above the exhibition shot minus the visitor

An exhibition of work by Argentine artist Ad Minoliti at Tate St Ives – with a distant visitor in the right shot

The view of Carbis Bay beach from the walk up to the train station The lamppost has been removed in the Carbis Bay beach image above

The view of Carbis Bay – with the lamppost removed in the right shot – from the path up to the train station

The next stop on our vacation snapshot tour is the Eden Project, an eco-attraction where we see the world’s largest indoor rainforest, plus a few visitors who will soon be wiped out.

While our photos might pale in comparison to those of a real travel influencer – partly because I’m not a big photographer first – the Magic Eraser tool improved them significantly. The tool works best in sunlight when objects are positioned against a clear background, such as a blue sky. Anything with a pattern or three-dimensional surface behind it can be harder to erase and will produce a slight blur in the shot, but overall it’s a much nicer memory of a getaway.

The next day we make our way to the train station looking back at the beautiful Cornish coastline. Luckily we have plenty of perfect photos to remind us of.