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Removing dust spots

From: Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

Video: Removing dust spots

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.

Removing dust spots

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of the tools in Elements
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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