I have had PS Elements around forever, but I seldom used it as I had CS. However, when my desktop went down (by the way, it's back and running fine) I turned to Elements which is on my laptop. On that program I found something called "Magic Extractor." What a nifty tool!
It is really a pain in the neck extracting a portion of an image in Photoshop. Cutting in on something as delicate as this gull with a 2 pixel brush takes time, lots of time.
Magic Extractor allows you to just click a few points on the object you want. You then use another tool and click a few points on the area you want to delete. You then click a "preview" button and go pour yourself a cup off coffee. The compter does the rest. Miraculous in my book!
You can select any size brush you want from rough to very fine. In this case I used 2 pixels to get a lot of detail on the edges. The results pretty well speak for themselves.
This last image was made using the "Magic Wand" in PS which son Will reminded works pretty well at extracting an image. The Magic Extractor works better, for me, when the foreground and background are more muddled. However, if there is a sharp contrast in color and tone between foreground and background, the Magic Wand is super fast. I just clicked once on the blue sky in this image, and BAM! it was gone.
You pays your money and takes your choice.