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Retouching away distracting elements

From: Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop

Video: Retouching away distracting elements

In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can clean

Retouching away distracting elements

In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can clean up some distracting elements in this photograph working with the spot removal tool. One of the things I noticed in this photograph that I want to get rid of is this oil platform which you can see here in the background. So let's go ahead and click on the triangle icon on the left in order to open up the panels over here on the left. And what we're going to do is zoom in on the photograph. You can zoom in on the photograph either by simply clicking on the image. Notice how this navigator window shows us where we've zoomed into.

We can click and drag to move this around or on the photograph, we can simply click and drag to pan around as well. Either way, what I want you to do is to zoom in really close. I'm at a one to one perspective so that we can view these details up close that we might want to clean up. Well, here, I noticed that we have some details, a little blemish in the sky, the oil platform And then something else out here in the ocean that I want to get rid of. Well to retouch away issues in Lightroom you can work with the spot removal tool.

To select the tool tap the q key or just click on the tool icon. It's located right here it's the second tool in the tool strip. So let's go ahead and click on that to open up some options for this tool. Now first we need to choose the brush, we can either select clone or heal. Now in this scenario because we want our retouching to blend in nicely, healing's going to work much better. Then we need to determine our brush size. I'll make this a little bit bigger. And next we can choose feather.

Well, that is if you're using the most recent version of Lightroom. If you don't have access to feather, no big deal. You can still achieve really good results. Yet if you do, I recommend you bring the feather to about probably somewhere around 40 or 50. We want to feather, which will help us to have nice soft edges, into blend or retouching in even better. Again, if you don't have this slider, no big deal. You'll still be able to achieve great results. Alright, well what about opacity? Opacity has to do with the intensity of the retouching.

Here we want to completely remove this, so lets leave our opacity slider all the way up at 100. Looks like we're ready to go. I'm just going to decrease my brush size just a touch here. The next step is to simply click and paint over the item that you want to get rid of. Now often, what you'll want to do is paint over that with just a little bit more overlap than is needed. That will give you some room to make sure you've completely removed that. When you let go of your mouse button there, you'll see that Lightroom will automatically select or sample an area to retouch that away.

Now currently we can see the overlay graphics, the white outline and the arrow, and those graphics will disappear when I position my cursor off the image, because I currently have my tool overlay settings to auto. I recommend you choose that option, because it gives you the ability to really evaluate how this is going, and how it actually looks. Well as I look at this, I realize that it's added a nice patch on top of this. Or it's healed some content on top of it. But the horizon line isn't level here, so we need to click and drag this down just a little bit.

Notice how we can then line that up so it looks just right, and then also hover off to make sure that that looks good. Alright, well so far so good, next let's deal with these little spots that we have. Here we'll decrease our brush size significantly. And then I'm just going to go ahead and paint over that. Want to make sure that that looks good, just other little issues, you can go ahead and just click on those. Next, press the space-bar key to access the Hand tool and click and drag to pan around.

You know, when you're viewing your image at this 1:1 perspective, you want to make sure that you clean up any blemishes that you're seeing here. I notice a little teeny spot there that I'm get rid of. Position your cursor off the image, as to make sure that it's looking good, and then just click and drag around. I think the rest of our photograph is fine. But sometimes what you'll encounter is that you may have had some dust on your lens or a small little problem. Up here I noticed a little dot that I want to get rid of. And, again, just make your way through the photograph and make sure it looks really good.

All right. Well, I think the photograph looks great. Let's go ahead and navigate back down to the area that we worked on. This time I'll use the navigator panel. We can click into this little icon which allows us to change which area of the photograph we're viewing, and it just gives us the ability to quickly navigate back to this part of the photograph On then here we can see the areas that we've retouched. One nice way to be able to see the before and after is to click on this toggle switch. We can see the before and after, and again just double check to make sure that our detail work, our retouching looks really good.

All right. Well it looks great. Let's go ahead and click done to apply that, and then let's navigate to one of these options which will allow us to view the entire image Here I'll choose fit so that we can now see the entire photograph. We want to make sure that all of our retouching work looks good up close, but that it also looks good when we're zoomed out. And here, in our case, I think it looks great, and that wraps up this step of our progress, on this project

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