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Basic image cleanup

From: Getting Started with Lightroom 4

Video: Basic image cleanup

At times you'll find that you need to clean up a variety of different blemishes in a photo. That could be dust spots on your image sensor, for example, or just objects in the frame that you plan to get rid off. The image cleaner tools in Lightroom are relative basic. They are not going to allow you to clean up every blemish. But they will enable you to clean up some basic spotting issues. In this image for example, I have a couple of issues. There's something in the grass here, a little dark spot of some sort, maybe a leaf or something, and I'd like to get rid of that.

Basic image cleanup

At times you'll find that you need to clean up a variety of different blemishes in a photo. That could be dust spots on your image sensor, for example, or just objects in the frame that you plan to get rid off. The image cleaner tools in Lightroom are relative basic. They are not going to allow you to clean up every blemish. But they will enable you to clean up some basic spotting issues. In this image for example, I have a couple of issues. There's something in the grass here, a little dark spot of some sort, maybe a leaf or something, and I'd like to get rid of that.

And I also want to get rid of some of the blemishes over on the left-hand side on the top of this wall. To get started in the develop module up at the top of the right panel, I'll click on the Spot Removal tool. I can also press the letter Q on the keyboard to activate this tool. I can choose whether I want to clone or heal. Do I want to replace pixels with an exact copy of other pixels in the image. Or do I want that cleanup to blend into the surrounding area? In most cases, I work with the Heal option. Unless I find that that's leaving a little bit too much evidence of the blending between the source and the destination areas.

The size I'll typically adjust while I'm working within the image. And the opacity, I almost always leave at 100%. So far things are relatively straightforward. I can then move out into the image in order to start cleaning up some blemishes. I'll go ahead and start with this spot in the bottom right corner of the image. I can press the left and right Square Bracket keys to adjust the size of the cleanup. The left Square Bracket key will reduce the size, and the right Square Bracket key will increase the size. Generally, I want to use a brush size that's just about the same size as the object I'm trying to cleanup, or perhaps just a little bit larger. Then all you have to do is click on that spot and Lightroom will attempt to automatically fix that portion of the image.

I'll go ahead and zoom in. I'll just choose the one to one zoom, and then I'll hold the spacebar and click and drag to move to the corner of the image. So that we can take a look at the correction I have just applied. You can see there is some obvious indications duplicating some elements in the grass. I can change the source, notice that the source area is pointing to the destination. So this is the area that I'm cleaning up and this this the area that being copied in order to cover up another blemish. I can view the before version of the image without any of the clean up applied by turning off the switch with the Spot Removal tool. That will show me the original image, without the correction. I can flip the switch again, to see the correction applied. And then I can go ahead and move the source area. I can decide which portion of the image will be used in order to replace the blemish.

In addition, I can move the destination area. I can move the area that's actually being cleaned up. That looks like a little bit too obvious to duplication. I'll come down over here and that looks much better. It looks a little bit more random. Generally speaking, when I'm cleaning up an image, I'll set my tool Overlay to auto. This will cause those circles to disappear when I move mouse outside of the image area. When the mouse goes back out over the image area I'll be able to see those circles that represent the source and destination for the clean up. I'll go a head and resize the image to the Fit option. And I could go a head and clean up some of the other blemishes. I'll click on this blemish, for example, and then simply drag the source over to a different location.

That looks pretty good. I'll get rid of that dark spot, and once again, probably fine-tune the position of the source. And I can continue in this manner, cleaning up any of the blemishes that I feel are less than ideal within the image. I can even change the size of the area that I'm working on. I'll go ahead and zoom in once again. And pan over to that bottom left corner. And we can examine the effect I've created here. Notice that some of these spots are doing just fine.

But this one, I think. Is not quite the right size. I can click and drag on the edge of the circle. In order to re size both the source and destination. Think in this case I need it to be even bigger. And right about there looks like it'll work pretty good. I just need to move the source and that looks like a much better cleanup. A larger circle in this case helped produce a better result. As you can see its reasonably straight forward working with the Spot Removal brush.

It's a little bit limited. We can only work in circular areas at a time, and so some corrections might take a little bit of effort. An in fact, in some cases you might want to send an image over to Photoshop, in order to further cleanup a variety of different blemishes. But for basic work, especially for simple spots in the image, the Spot Removal tool works pretty well. Once you're finished working with this tool you can click done, in order to close the controls and then move on to other adjustments for your image.

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Getting Started with Lightroom 4

37 video lessons · 4669 viewers

Tim Grey
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