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Most of the time, I find that my image cleanup work involves removing blemishes from an image. And removing them altogether, I don't want to see that blemish at all. But in some situations you actually might want to simply tone down an area of the image, rather than removing it completely. In those cases, we can remove a blemish, but then tone down the effect of that removal. Let me show you an example here. I like the reflections on the water, especially in the foreground here. I like the rippled sand. But the area in the middle here, to me, seems a little bit too bright, especially compared to that background area and even the foreground area.
It just feels like it's drawing the eye a little bit too much. I like the texture in the foreground so I don't mind your eye being drawn there, and I certainly don't mind your eye being drawn up to the sky with the sun and the beautiful color in the sky, but this area I just feel is a little bit too distracting. So I'm going to remove that area but then I'll tone things down so that I'm just reducing gut strength of the brightness there. I'll get started by adding a new image layer, I'll go ahead and just call this clean up. And then I can chose any technique I'd like to clean up that area on this clean up layer, I'm just simply going to use the spot healing brush tool with the content aware option making sure the sample all layers option is turned on. Then I'll click and drag across that area.
And that looks to be a reasonably good clean up. I'll click and drag into a couple f other areas here. Now bear in mind I'm currently cleaning up that area in its entirety, and so I need to keep in mind that ultimately I just want to tone down that area, so I probably don't need to clean it up completely. But at the moment you can see that the reflections are, for all intents and purposes, completely removed from the image in that area. But to allow them to show through just a little bit, I can reduce the opacity of my clean up layer. It's important to keep in mind that we don't want to use the same clean up layer for areas of the image that we want to completely clean up, as well as areas that we only want to partially clean up.
And so you might even create a separate clean up layer for each area of the image where you'd like to tone something down. For example, I might create separate clean up layers. For this mid-ground area and more distant area, if I wanted to turn down both of them, that way I can adjust the overall intensity of a clean up effect individually for each of those areas. To actually turn down the clean, up so that I can see some of the reflections there I can simply reduce the opacity for the clean up layer. So with the clean up layer active on the layers panel, I'll point to the word Opacity at the top of the Layers panel and I can simply click and drag to the left to use that scrubby slider feature in order to tone down the opacity for my cleanup layer. If I reduce the opacity to 0% then you'll see that the cleanup has no effect whatsoever.
If I increase it to 100%, you'll see that the reflections disappear altogether, so I can fine-tune, depending on how much I want to be able to see that portion of the image. And I think right about there looks like it blends in a little bit better. So I'm using opacity, in the case, of 31%. I'll turn off my cleanup layer and turn it back on again. And you can see that I'm just toning down the intensity of those reflections. So I've completely removed the blemish so to speak from the image but then reduced the opacity of my clean up layer so that blemish in this case just the reflections are merely toned down. They're not removed all together.
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