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In this movie, I want to highlight another new improvement with the Spot Removal tool, and also want to share with you a few tips and tricks which will help you to use this tool even more effectively. Here, in this movie, you'll be working on a landscape photograph. Let's go ahead and zoom in on the picture by clicking on it. And what I want to do is, I want to remove a few of these little distracting elements, these poles which we have in the frame. To do so, we'll be working with the Spot Removal tool. Go ahead and click on the tool, in the Tool Strip, or press the q key to select it.
Now when we position our cursor over the image, we can see our Brush Overlay graphic. As we increase the Brush size, we can see more of that graphic. And as we increase the Feather amount, you'll notice that we have two concentric circles. I want to talk about this a little bit more, so for demo purposes just for a moment, I'm going to decrease the Exposure, here in the Basic panel to darken the photograph, so that we can actually see these Brush Overlay graphics. Now what do these graphics actually mean? Well, the center circle is showing us the area of the photograph which will be affected at full intensity.
Then the outer circle, that's where it's going to be diffused to that edge. That's the transition area, where it's going to become softer, where it's going to blend in. As we change our Feather amount, you can see that we can increase or decrease the area or that transition area that we're working on as we start to retouch away a blemish or distraction. Alright, well, now that we know a little bit about the Brush there, let's just go ahead and increase the Exposure so that we can see the overall image.
And, what I want to do, is start to take a look at how we can remove a distracting element. Say, like this element, here, which is part of this fence. Well, the Brush size is obviously too big. So, I can either decrease the Brush size by using the slider, we can decrease it this way. Or we can also do so by using some really helpful shortcuts. They're the same shortcuts that you use when changing either brush sizes here in Lightroom, or brush sizes in Photoshop. Tap the key, that will make your brush smaller.
Tap the key and that will make your brush bigger. What about the Feather? Well, to change the feather amount, just hold down the shift key, and then press shift + to increase the feather amount, shift + in order to decrease it. So those may be some handy shortcuts. Yet if you forget them, you can always just use these sliders here as well. Now when you're thinking about the size of the brush when you're retouching something, often what you'll need to do is have a little bit of a larger brush size than you actually think.
You have to keep in mind that you're just covering up that center area if we're going to paint over this. Yet, as we start to paint, the overlay graphic that we see here is a little bit bigger then what we're actually going to affect because there's going to be an area of transition. Now, when you let go of that, Lightroom will automatically select a sample area to try to remove the distraction. And in this case, it did a really good job. Now, the new feature or the new improvement with this, is that what you can do is tap the / key.
That's a slash which leans to the right. This will allow Lightroom to automatically sample an area to try to clean up or retouch away any kind of a distraction. And here as I tap this, you can see Lightroom's getting better or worse results sometimes as I start to press my / key. Yet, why this is an improvement is because this now works much better in regards to the auto sampling when you have areas of texture, say, like the bark of a tree or in this case, grass in a field.
It allows Lightroom to find those areas a little bit more effectively, in this case it's really lining things up nicely. Now, one of the only problems with this, is that, I see that one little shrub here is being repeated. Well, if you see a problem like that, you can always retouch on top of an area which has already been retouched. If the results don't look very good, tap the / key until you get a patch which looks a little bit better. And all that I'm trying to do is sort of hide my tracks so it's less noticeable, in regards to the area that I've worked on.
And here you can see, we now have two areas which we have retouched. All right, what about this guy over here? My brush is a little bit too big, so I'll tap the key a few times to make the brush smaller. And then just paint over that area. If the results aren't perfect from the get go, tap the / key and keep tapping that until it leads you to better results. As you can see here that now looks phenomenal. And of course you can always flip this switch to look at your before and your after.
Now in this case these details are pretty small so it may be difficult to see so you'll need to experiment with this with your own photographs on your own monitor and really see how this works. Yet, most importantly what I wanted to highlight here was how we can start to change our brush size and how we can do so either by using the sliders or by using the shortcuts. And also how we can take advantage of what's called Auto Selection by pressing the / key, which is the slash which leans to the right, in order to have Lightroom automatically select, or try to find an area, which will help us to better retouch away a distraction or a blemish.
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