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If you are shooting with a digital SLR, a common problem is that you might get dust in your sensor and then that dust can actually show up in your actual images. Like in this example here, I've got these little dots and we are just looking for a really quick way to get rid of dust. And yeah, you could use your Healing Brush, or your Spot Removal Brush, or the Clone Stamp tool, but because this is a title about blend modes, let me teach you a really quick way to do it with blend modes as well. So I'm going to start by getting my Selection tool. Just press the M key for the Rectangular Selection tool. I'm just going to make a really quick selection of the offending area, these dust spots here. We are going to duplicate the selection up to its own layer. You do that by holding down Command+J or Ctrl+J on Windows, and you have just created a duplicate layer here.
I am going to switch to my Move tool, press V for the Move tool, and I'm going to move these pixels over, after I change the blend mode to Lighten. So a keyboard shortcut for that, Shift+ Option+G or Shift+Alt+G, will change your blend more to Lighten for this layer. Because the pixels are exactly the same and at the same position you won't see any change. But if I just start nudging these over, I'm just using my arrow keys on my keyboard, did you see that? I just nudged it four times to the left and those dots or dust spots magically disappeared.
So I'll turn that layer off, the top layer. There is before and there is after. And remember what the Lighten blend mode does. It looks at the top pixel and says, "am I lighter or darker than what's underneath me?" And if I'm darker than what's underneath me, I'm going to make myself lighter. So the Lighten blend mode to the rescue, a very quick way to get rid of spots or dust in an image.
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