Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Removing objects, part of Using Lightroom and Photoshop Elements Together.
- Sometimes you'll wanna remove some objects from a photo. You can do some of that here in Lightroom's Develop module, but when you have a rather large item or you need more sophisticated tools, you'll wanna pass the photo from Lightroom to Elements. Before I do that in this case, I'll make some basic adjustments to the photo here in Lightroom's Develop module. I'll go to the Basic panel. I might increase the Exposure a bit, add some contrast, bring the Highlights slider to the left to bring back highlight detail, and open up Shadows by dragging the Shadows slider to the right.
I'll hold the alt key or the option key on the Mac as I drag the Whites slider a bit over to the right. And again, the alt or option key as I drag the Blacks slider to the left. And I do that until I just see a few spot of black. Then I might add some clarity by dragging the Clarity slider to the right. Now, I think that the photo actually looks too saturated right now, so I'm gonna take the Saturation a bit to the left and I also might take the Contrast back down again, too. So when I'm happy with my results, I'll start working on removing some of the items that I don't want in the photo.
So let's say that I wanna clean up some of the rocks in the foreground here. The tool you can use to try to do that in Lightroom is the Spot Removal Tool. I'll click on that tool. I'll leave it set to Heal, which will blend the spot removal that I'm about to do with the surrounding area. And then I'll come into the image. Now with this tool, you can just make your brush tip bigger than what you want to remove, like this little rock over here, and click. And sometimes it does a good job, but in this case you can see that the rock that I removed has actually been replaced with another rock because what's happened is that the tool is sampling from up here, where there is another larger rock, and placing the patch that it's sampling from here, down here, where I actually wanted grass.
So at this point I could click inside of this circle and drag to another area to try to get more of the look that I was after. But as you can imagine, this could take a while if you have a lot of rocks to remove, and it doesn't work very well if you have lots of rocks in the same area because you can't really overlap these circles. So that's one issue. Another issue is what if you wanna remove something large, like this colt? Well, I could try to click and drag over him with this tool. Let's see what happens. I'll start over here with his shadow and I'll go all around on top of the colt.
And that, obviously, is not the result that I wanted. And I have this great big patch up here that I could try to move around, but I'm unlikely to be able to find a clean area to move it to. So I'm doing to delete that by making sure that these pins are selected and pressing the backspace or delete key on the keyboard. So this is a task for Elements Editor. Let's take the file from here in Lightroom to Elements. I'll go up to the Photo menu, choose Edit In, and Edit in Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor.
I'll edit a copy with the Lightroom adjustments. And here in Elements Editor I'll make sure I'm in the Expert edit workspace. I'm gonna go over to the Tools panel and there I'll select the Spot Healing Brush Tool or the Healing Brush Tool, whichever one happens to be in the tool slot at the moment. You'll remember that the Spot Healing Brush Tool doesn't require you to sample good pixels. It does it for you. So I'll give this a try first. I like to make my corrections on a separate layer, though, so that they're easy to re-edit if I need to. So I'll come up here and make a new layer and I'll call this no colt, and then I'll come down and make sure that Sample All Layers is checked in the tool options for the Spot Healing Brush Tool.
I'll also make sure that Content Aware is selected here. This is what will make the patch blend with the surrounding area. And then I'll make my brush tip bigger by pressing the right bracket key a number of times until it's just about bigger than the colt's head, and I'll quickly click and drag over the colt. I'll make the brush tip smaller, and I'll click and drag over the shadow. And it's done. Now, that isn't a perfect job because as you can see, it's a little bit blurry here.
So in that case, I would select another tool, the Clone Stamp Tool. I'll make sure that it's set to Sample All Layers as well, and I'll come in here with a little bit bigger brush and I'll just start to alt or option click to sample some good grass and place it down on top of that blurry area. I'll try it from a different source area. I like to move around to different source areas to make the result look more natural and less repetitive.
And that's a pretty good patch. So at this point I'll save the image to take it back to Lightroom with this change. I'll go to the File menu, I'll choose Save, I'll leave the File Name and the File Type and all of the options as you see them here, and I'll click Save. Yes, I do wanna replace the TIFF. The TIFF was made at the time that we passed the file from Lightroom to Elements. I'll click OK at the TIFF options and I'll close the photo from Elements by clicking the X on the document tab, and I'll go back to Lightroom.
And here is the resulting TIFF in Lightroom. If I bring up the filmstrip, you'll see that the TIFF with the changes that we made in Lightroom and in Elements is right here next to the original PSD that contains just the changes that we made in Lightroom, the removal of the small rocks over here. But the horse is back, of course. So that's how to use Lightroom and Elements together to clean up content in a photo.
In this course, photographer and author Jan Kabili shows how to combine both programs. She begins with details on how to set up Lightroom and Photoshop Elements for maximum compatibility. The course then covers strategies for working with photos in a variety of formats (including raw), and practical scenarios for using Lightroom and Photoshop Elements together. Learn how to composite multiple photos with layers and selections, retouch portraits, and add creative effects and text to photos. Want to move to Lightroom permanently? Jan also shows how to upgrade a catalog from Elements to Lightroom.
- Why should you use Lightroom and Elements together?
- Setting up Elements as Lightroom's editor
- Editing raw photos and TIFFs, PSDs, and JPEGs
- Blending bracketed exposures
- Stitching panoramas
- Adding creative effects, text, and graphics
- Upgrading a catalog from Lightroom to Elements