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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the digital context, prior to Lightroom almost all retouching was done in Photoshop, but now with the advent of Lightroom a lot of our retouching is actually taking place inside of Lightroom. And here's the beauty of it. What we can do is we can apply nondestructive retouching to your photographs. In other words, we can always undo anything we've done and in addition, it doesn't increase file size, and there's no render time. In other words, we can do this much more efficiently. All right, well let's go and zoom in on this image to a 1:1 view here.
One of things you'll notice there are some small little variations. Let's say that we want to get rid of those little skin variations. What we will going to do is access what's called the Spot Removal tool. You can access this tool by clicking on it in the toolstrip here or by pressing the Q key. Now, we have a couple of options. We can select Clone or Heal, and the difference between the two has to do with how the edges are blended and how the content is blended onto what's underneath it. We have a brush size. When I hover over the image you can see my brush size.
Press the Left Bracket makes that brush smaller. Press the Right Bracket, and it makes the brush bigger. All right, now typically what we want to do is we want to have our brush size just a little bit bigger than our blemish. There are couple of different techniques we can use when working with this. We can simply click. Now when we simply click what will happen is it will show us the area that we're correcting as well as a sample area from which it's selecting a good source of skin in order to make the correction. And one of things that you going to want to do is to try to find something that's pretty similar in regards to the overall tonality there.
You can also alternate between Clone and Heal and here you going to see that Heal is going to work a little bit better because of the blending. Now these circles sometimes become a little bit distracting. You can toggle those on and off by pressing the H key. That changes our tool Overlay view from Never to Always. You can also use an option of Auto. What Auto does is when you're working with this it show you the circles; when you hover away, those circles disappear. All right, well, in my own preference what I like to do is to leave them on as I'm working and press the H key to toggle them off.
What about if you find another blemish you need to remove? In this particular case what you can do again it's either simply click and then drag to reposition the source area or drag to reposition the area it's correcting. You can also hover over the edge of the circle. Here you're seeing that my icon changes. You can click and drag to make the smaller or larger depending on the area that you're working on. Now another way that you can use this is you can actually click and drag and as you click and drag what you can do is sample a particular area.
Let's go ahead and turned this on so we can see these circles. Now in this particular case I have a problem. I actually replicated a blemish. How do I get rid of one of these little areas? Well, hit the delete key. As long as you've clicked on to the area you want to work on you can then hit the Delete key and change it. Another technique that you can use that you can use is you can hold down the command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC and then click. It will hover over the blemish and here you can see I've then corrected that little area. So again we have a couple of different options either to simply click or to click and drag to choose our source area, or the last option which allows us to hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC, click to encircle the problem area, and then reposition this so that it's successfully correcting that.
All right, well one of things that happens is once you start to have a lot of these circles it's hard to know if you're making any progress. So at this juncture, what you'd want to do is press the H key to hide all these circles and then press the Backslash key. That will show us our before; press it again and it will show us our after. Now, in my particular case, I haven't made a ton changes, but let me zoom in a little bit closer and just make a few more changes here. I going to press the H key so I can see these different circles as I go and I work on the nose up there and again I'm just looking at remove a lot of these small little variations that I'm noticing.
Anything that's catching the light and is making itself stand out there. And I moved through my image this way, again hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC, or simply click and then reposition those little circles. And now that I've modified a few of these, we will see if I'm going in a little bit better direction, and then what I point out one more thing here. One of things you may notice is that there's a little circle inside of that I need to retouch. Well you can actually have these overlap. So if you hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC, you can see that I now have two circles there so I'm actually retouching this area twice.
So you can do that, kind of stack it up and build it up. You can also lower the Opacity if you want just a little bit more blending there. Let's press the H key. Here are all of our circles, all of the different adjustments, and the little spot removals that we've done. Let's press the H key one more time to hide those and then press the Backslash key. Here is our before, press it one more time. There is our after. Lot of times what you want to do is zoom out and when you zoom out you want to press that Backslash key, before and then after, because when retouching, of course, we need to get in really close and get into those small details.
But we also need to step back and say hey, have we actually improved the image? Does it look good overall? Not just little specifics but overall, does it also look good? All right, well as you can see this is a pretty powerful tool, the last thing that I want to point out here is that when you're ready to exit this tool, all you need to do is to simply press the Q key one more time, and that will close or exit this particular tool.
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