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Removing spots with Adobe Camera Raw


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Removing spots with Adobe Camera Raw

Rich: When we were shooting out in the desert, I did my best to be careful about swapping lenses. Even still, there was times it was pretty windy and a lot of dust blowing. And it was very easy to end up with some dust, both on the front of the lens or on the sensor. As you can see here, I've got a few bits of dust, three little spots. And it looks like potentially a hair there. But as we go from frame to frame, they stay stationary. The good news is, is that if you take good diligence in the shooting and in the field, a couple of spots here and there can be easy to fix during post.

Let's see how. Inside of Bridge here, I'll select all my images, and choose Open in Camera Raw. It doesn't matter if they're raw files or if they're just standard files. I see some of my spots. Let's go for the base exposure here. It's a bit bright for me so I'll take that down. And I'm going to pop the clarity to get the nice rock details. And really bring out the sky with vibrance. I'm happy with that. But the spots are now even more visible.

Choosing my spot removal brush or B, this gets easy to fix. There's actually a Visualize Spots option that has a Threshold slider that makes it really easy to spot the potential problems. This Visualize Spots option is available in some of the newer versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. To remove a spot I just need to click. Now, the Right bracket key makes the brush bigger, left smaller. Clicking, it will auto-detect an attempt to remove for you.

If you have a problem area, you can also create a brushstroke. So, I'll get a small brush here, and brush over that hair. I can toggle to visualize spots. Now, looks like I guessed wrong and I actually missed the hair. So, here's the good news. I can drag that to a new position and set the sample point manually. But the overlay is in the way. So, by moving this and refining it, makes it a little bit easier to see things. And remember you can always click and let it auto detect. It does a pretty good job.

So, before, after. Let's zoom in to 100%. And take a quick look through the image. I'm just using the scroll wheel or the track pad. And this is one of those things that becomes very subjective. And you can drive yourself nuts taking 'em all out. But at 100% magnification they certainly are a little easier to see. These aren't very strong ones but I think they're worth taking out. These look to be dust that was blowed, actually, on the front of the lens itself.

Now, in time lapse shooting this is pretty easy to have happen. You're out there shooting on a windy day and the camera is locked down for several hours, well, there's a chance that dust is going to blow on the front of the lens. And depending upon the shooting conditions, it may even get inside the sensor. So, just go through once at a high level and once at a zoomed level looking for any major offenders. Don't feel like you have to completely eradicate all of them, but take the time to try to find the biggest offense and just paint 'em out. And it does a great job of cleaning that up for you. (SOUND) There you go.

A few little ones there. Alright, I think we just about have it. The good news is is typically those spots only show up in the sky areas so you don't have to worry about the rest of the image as much once you've done the dust busting on the sky. Alright. I think I can safely say I have been nit picky enough.

And now, I just want to apply that evenly to the whole image. So, I'll Select All, choose Synchronize and make sure to synchronize Everything. At this point all the images are adjusted and that's looking pretty good. Notice that over the course of time as the sun set, the shot will get darker and I still want that to happen. It didn't take the exposure of the first image and force everything else to sync, what it did do is take the amount that we adjusted the exposure. In this case, lifting it about a stop and going in and refining the highlights and the shadows as well as the clarity.

And it synched those settings across all the images. But because things changed over time, you will still see changes over time in the shot and get the desired results. At this point I can click Done and store those settings. The image is now updated across the board and I'm ready to move to the next stage.

Removing spots with Adobe Camera Raw
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Removing spots with Adobe Camera Raw provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Richard Harrington as part of the Creating Time-Lapse Video

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