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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.
If you notice that you have one or more spots in the same location on multiple photos, it could be that you have some dirt on your camera sensor or lens. Well, you can clean your camera lens or have your camera sensor cleaned, but what are you going to do about all those photos you already took that have dust spots? Well, you can use the Spot Healing Brush Tool in the Expert Edit workspace to quickly eliminate those dust spots. Here's how I would do that. I have three separate photos here, each of which have a dust spot in the same location. This one, this one, and this one.
Starting with any one of these, I'm going to go over to the Layers Panel and I'm going to click the Create New Layer button there to make a brand-new empty layer. I'll double-click the default layer name, and I'm going to call this fix, and press Enter or Return on my keyboard. Then, I'll go over to the Toolbar, and I'm going to select the Spot Healing Brush Tool. Down in the options for the Spot Healing Brush Tool, I'll go to the Sample All Layers checkbox, and I'll make sure that I've checked it. That's really important because what I want the tool to do is to sample the content from the photo on the background layer, get some good pixels from there, and put them down on the fix layer right on top of this black spot, and that will cover and hide the spot.
To make this work, I'll make sure the fix layer is selected. I'll move my cursor over the spot, and I need the brush tip to be just a little bit bigger than this spot. So I'll go back down to the Options, and I'm going to click and drag to the left to make the cursor smaller. And then, I'm going to click right on top of this spot, and in just a moment, it's hidden from view. Now, the spot is still there on the photo on the background layer. If I turn the fix layer off, you can see that. I'll turn the fix layer back on again. What's hiding that spot is the content of the fix layer.
I'll turn the background layer off temporarily, and you can see that on the fix layer, there is a little blue spot made up of sampled good pixels from the background layer. I'll turn the background layer on again. So, that's how you can fix one image. If you have multiple images with a spot like that, you could open each one and go through this procedure on each image. But let's say that you've taken a lot of photos in the same location, in the same light, with approximately the same settings. Here's a way that you could quickly use that little fix that you just made to repair or to hide the dust spot on multiple photos.
What I'm going to do is save that fix layer as a separate image. So I'm going to take this background layer, and I'm going to drag it up to the trash can at the top of the Layers Panel. Now, the only thing in this image is the fix layer. I'm going to save this with a new name in a new location. I'll go to the File menu, and I'll choose Save As. I'll navigate to my Desktop, and I'll go down to the File name field. I'm going to give this file a new name. I'll call it spotrepair. I'll save it in the Photoshop Document format, and I'll click Save.
I don't need to have this image open. I'll go ahead and close it by clicking the X on its tab. So, now let's say I have many other photos with the spot in the same location, like these two photos, this one, and this one. With either one of these photos active, I'll go up to the File menu, and I'll choose Place. Then, I'll navigate to my new spot repair image, select it, and click Place. And then, in the Expert Edit workspace, I'll click the green checkmark, and that commits the place. As you can see the spot is no longer showing in this photo either.
And the reason is there's now a new spot repair layer that I've placed right on top of the background photo. So, if I make the spotrepair layer invisible for a moment by clicking its eye icon, you can see that that spot is still there on the background layer of this photo, but it's being covered up by the spot that I placed from the spot repair image. I could go to this other photo too and do the same thing. I'll make it active by clicking its Document Tab. Then I'll go to the File menu, choose Place, navigate to my spotrepair image, and click Place.
Then I'll click the green checkmark. So, whether you have a spot on one image or on many, you can use the Spot Healing Brush Tool to make your photos as good as new.
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