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In this installment of the Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials series, author and teacher Chris Orwig guides photographers through the process of improving images with creative color, sharpening, and other effects in the Lightroom Develop module. The course covers each of the tools and features in the Develop module, and shows how to perform basic adjustments, such as exposure enhancement; how to improve image quality through noise reduction and clarity adjustments; how to apply creative effects, such as split toning and vignettes; and how to perform advanced tasks, such as correcting for lens distortion. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here we're going to be taking a look at the difference between working with the Spot Removal tool on Clone, and Healing. We'll be working with this file here: daisy_05. You can find this in the subfolder, daisy, and here we are in the Library module. And one of the things that we may do in the Library module is review our picture. This is a photograph of my daughter with her brand new puppy. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on this image in order to evaluate it, and let's zoom to, say, 1:3 zoom ratio. Now, when we do that, and we get close to the dog's face, you'll notice there is a little fly that landed on the dog's forehead. A little blemish; a little problem with the picture that we want to correct.
Well the Spot Removal tool would be perfect for this. So let's go ahead and navigate to that tool, but let's do this by way of our shortcut. Do you remember the shortcut? It's the Q key. Press the Q key. That will take you to the Develop module; we'll activate this tool. Now, if you forget the shortcut, you can just click on Develop, and then select the tool, or click on the tool there. Before we actually remove this small little blemish, the fly, I want to illustrate how Clone and Heal work. And I am going to do this in a way that may seem a little bit goofy.
It won't make sense, it's not going to be an improvement, but it will help us understand how the tool works. Okay, well let's say that what I want to do is click on a part of my daughter's skirt here, and then I'm going to bring my sample area up to some of the fur on the dog. Let's make this, perhaps, a little bit bigger, or why don't we just zoom in, so we can see that a little more clearly. What we can see here is something really interesting. Well healing, what it's doing is it's actually bringing this texture over, but it's removing the color.
It's really trying hard to blend that content in. Well how would this differ from, say, cloning? If we go to cloning, for example, what we'll be able to see is that it's going to be a different type of effect. And here you can see that it's bringing that content over in a little bit more of a literal way. We can see the actual color of the fur there, coming over into this area. So in this case, it doesn't do as good of a job when there is a real strong difference. In other words, when you have a lot of variation, cloning, well it's just not going to cut it.
Healing, on the other hand, does a good job of blending things together. Okay, well I obviously don't want this type of spot removal on my image. This doesn't look good. Well how do you delete one of these points that you've created, that you don't like? That's really simple; just press Delete or Backspace, and it will remove that. Okay, well now onto working on the area of the picture that we want to focus on; this small little fly here. We'll hover over it, press the Left Bracket key to change our brush size, and then here, we can simply click.
Now when we click, we can then reposition the sample area, and the problem with this is, if you could get really close, is that the little fur on the dog's forehead there; it doesn't work, because it's kind of recreating these lines, but these lines don't line up. In other words, the content has too much variety in it to use Clone. Therefore, what we want is Heal. So we'll go ahead and choose Heal, and then you may want to just change your brush size here. Kind of experiment a little bit with how small of a brush size you can get.
Because ideally, you want as small a size as possible, and remove the blemish successfully without having to do too much there. Okay, well next we need to see how it looks without the circles. Press the H key, that will hide those circles, and see if it's looking good. You may want to move these once you see how that appears, and again, we can move this one way, or another, just trying to find the right spot, kind of lining everything up there as far as the different little pieces of fur on the dog's face. You also may want to try Clone out here at this point too, where you have those circles turned off.
Clone, in this case, well, it doesn't look as good. We can see a little bit too much of that in there. I'm going to go back to Heal. I think Heal is going to be the one which will really work well in this scenario. Next, perhaps lower the Opacity a little bit. This sometimes just softens up that effect, and you can see how we're bringing back more of that detail. We want to have the Opacity high enough so that that blemish is gone, but we don't necessarily always need this at 100%. So again, find the sweet spot for your improvement, and then of course, you almost always want to zoom out.
You kind of want to see the image in its entirety. You know, whenever you're retouching, you get in really close, and work on the small blemishes, and sometimes you're almost too close. Sometimes you're looking at the image, and kind of overanalyzing it. Every once in a while, it's helpful to just step back, and say, hey, how does this look? And then zoom back in, of course, and get both of those perspectives in order to evaluate your progress. And in this case, I think it looks good, so here I'll go ahead and press the Q key to exit out of this tool.
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