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Cleaning up blemishes

From: Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

Video: Cleaning up blemishes

Sometimes despite your best efforts, you're going to end up with blemishes in an image that you need to clean up. That can include things such as dust on your image sensor or an object that got into the frame that maybe you didn't notice at the time the image was taken. Lightroom enables you to clean up these sorts of blemishes with the Spot Removal brush. It's a little bit limited in that you can only clean up circular areas at a time, but for many simple spotting issues it actually will work out quite nicely. Let's take a look at how we can work with this tool to clean up some of these blemishes.

Cleaning up blemishes

Sometimes despite your best efforts, you're going to end up with blemishes in an image that you need to clean up. That can include things such as dust on your image sensor or an object that got into the frame that maybe you didn't notice at the time the image was taken. Lightroom enables you to clean up these sorts of blemishes with the Spot Removal brush. It's a little bit limited in that you can only clean up circular areas at a time, but for many simple spotting issues it actually will work out quite nicely. Let's take a look at how we can work with this tool to clean up some of these blemishes.

I'll go ahead and click on the Spot Removal tool on the toolbar at the top of the right panel in the develop module. That will bring up my options for that tool I can work with this brush in a clone or heal mode. The cloning mode will literally just copy pixels exactly as they are they healing mode will blend those pixels into the destination area. In most cases I use the Heal option, but of course there are certainly circumstances where you might want to use the Clone option. My general approach is to start with the Heal option, and then only switch to the Clone option if I find that healing is simply not working as I intend it to.

In most cases, I'll leave the opacity set to 100%. In other words, I want to eliminate a blemish altogether, not just tone it down. But in some cases, you may want to just tone down a blemish rather than remove it all together. And in those cases you can reduce the opacity control, and then the Size allows us to adjust the size of the blemish that we're cleaning up. I typically leave that size alone and work with keyboard shortcuts in order to adjust the size. I'll go ahead and move my mouse out over the image, and I can find a blemish I want to fix. I'll go ahead ,and zoom in and then pan across the image so I can get a closer look at those dust spots in the top left corner.

And then I'll move my mouse out over the image. And then I'll adjust the brush size, I generally use the smallest size possible to clean up a blemish. So right about there for example seems to be pretty good. Once I have that brush sized as needed and my mouse is in the proper position, all I need to do is click in order to add a clean-up spot there. If need be, I can move the source of pixels, in other words where pixels are being copied from, and I could even move the destination area, which portion of the image is being cleaned up.

I can even resize both of those by clicking and dragging on the edge of the circle. So, that gives me some good flexibility in terms of fine-tuning the cleanup effect. But notice, when you initially click, Lightroom chooses a source for you automatically. In many cases, you'll find that all you need to do, is click on a dust spot, and it will magically disappear. You can adjust the brush size, as needed, in between spots. I have my tool overlay set to Auto, so if I move my mouse out away from the image, you see those circles disappear. And if I mouse over the image, you'll see that I'm able to view those areas.

As I mouse over each of the clean up areas, you see and indication of where the source for that particular spot is. Now we can also see an indication of the relation ship between the currently active addjustment. That looks to have produced a pretty good effect. So I think were good as far as those dust box are concerned. But if I pan over to the right side of the image. You'll see that I have a little bit of a branch that was sticking into the frame. That I didn't notice when I took the image in the first place. I'll go ahead and increase the size of the brush here and in this case I can get away with a relatively large brush, I think.

In other cases I might need to use several clicks of a smaller brush along that branch in order to clean it up. But since it's right on the edge and it's in an open area of the image I think clicking just once with a relatively large brush will work out just fine. Sure enough you can see that that blending has produced a very good cleanup. So, for this image, with the particular cleanup I needed to perform, I didn't need the clone option at all. I was able to use heal. For all of that cleanup work. And I find that to be the case most of the time. Most often I can work with heal rather than clone. So, I only switch to the clone option if the heal option is producing some sort of blooming, some artifacts, or areas left behind by that cleanup work. I'll go ahead and switch to my fit view, and I'm going to turn off and then on again, the Cleanup Work, and you can see that we've got a very good result in this image.

If I'm not happy with one of the effects, I can go in and change it obviously by clicking on it, and then resizing the circle or moving the source or destination around as needed. Or if need be, I can remove one of those cleanup spots altogether. I'll first click on the spot in order to select it, and then press the Delete key on the keyboard, and that spot is removed. Of course in this case I do want to clean up that dust spot, so I'll go ahead and add an additional cleanup item there, and I think now we're in great shape.

I'll go ahead and click the Done button, I could also click the Close button associated with the Spot Removal brush. But in this case, I'll go ahead and click the Done button, and I'm left with an image that's much tidier than when I started.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop
Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

34 video lessons · 1476 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
  2. 15m 9s
    1. Overview of the Develop module workflow
      3m 8s
    2. Evaluating images
      3m 26s
    3. Seeing a before-and-after view
      3m 40s
    4. Correcting mistakes with the History and Snapshot features
      4m 55s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Starting with a Develop preset
      4m 9s
    2. White balance adjustment
      4m 8s
    3. Basic exposure controls
      3m 26s
    4. Highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks
      3m 15s
    5. Adding clarity to an image
      2m 15s
    6. Boosting colors with Vibrance and Saturation
      3m 4s
  4. 31m 39s
    1. Fine-tuning with the Tone Curve adjustment
      7m 22s
    2. Advanced color adjustments
      5m 5s
    3. Sharpening an image
      6m 33s
    4. The Graduated Filter tool
      5m 2s
    5. Painting adjustments into an image
      7m 37s
  5. 24m 11s
    1. Cleaning up blemishes
      5m 4s
    2. Cropping and straightening photos
      5m 55s
    3. Applying noise reduction
      3m 52s
    4. Lens correction adjustments
      6m 2s
    5. Removing red-eye
      3m 18s
  6. 18m 41s
    1. Creating virtual copies
      2m 52s
    2. Converting color into black and white
      3m 51s
    3. Adding a color tint
      2m 30s
    4. Split toning effects
      3m 20s
    5. Adding a vignette effect
      3m 56s
    6. Adding a film grain effect
      2m 12s
  7. 12m 31s
    1. Adjusting multiple images with Quick Develop
      2m 49s
    2. Duplicating the previous adjustment
      2m 38s
    3. Copying and pasting Develop settings
      3m 54s
    4. Synchronizing Develop settings
      3m 10s
  8. 17m 16s
    1. Basic Photoshop workflow
      5m 41s
    2. Stitching panoramas
      5m 1s
    3. Working with HDR images
      6m 34s

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