Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Spot removal: Clone versus Heal, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 04 Develop Module Advanced Techniques.
So, that we can better understand how we can use the Spot Removal tool. In this movie, I want to do two things. First, I want to highlight the difference between using the Spot Removal tool on Clone versus Heal. And then second, I want to take a look at how we can reduce some shadows in this portrait in order to improve it. Now first what I want to do is zoom in on the picture, so let's go ahead to the navigator panel. And then let's click on the option for 'fill', which will give us a closer view of this photograph. Next press the Q key, or click on the Spot Removal tool, which is located right here and let's begin by working with the Clone option.
Now, what I'm going to do here is going to seem or appear a little bit silly, yet stick with me. Because I'm going to do something in order to demonstrate the distinct difference between Clone and Heal. I'm going to go ahead and single click on the cheek with a relatively large brush size. Then what I want to do is click and drag and move this around. Here you can see that I'm choosing a sample area which has this background color of this painted wall here, which is bringing that color over to the cheek. Now, obviously this isn't improving the photograph, yet I wanted to do this to highlight something which is really important about how clone versus heal actually works. So next I'm going to zoom in even closer.
Here I'll click on the One to One option in the Navigator panel so we can really focus in on what we have here. Well, you can see that it's bringing over some of that content from the sample area. In this case, it contains a color. We're noticing it's bringing over the color and the brightness, and it also has a really nice, soft edge. Now we can increase or decrease the size of this by clicking and dragging on this, here. And you can see that we can create a larger area that we're working on, or we can re-position this as well. As we re-position this, it's still going to bring over this content in the way that it's bringing this color and brightness, into that area. Typically cloning works really well, but in certain situations it just doesn't. In certain situations you'll have to reach for the healing option. When we change this to heal, all of the sudden, the color is gone. As I click and drag and reposition this around, what you're seeing is it sampling a relative brightness and color from the underlying area. Notice how it's darker over here.
And then it's a bit brighter over here, because what healing does is some advanced blending. And sometimes, healing really is the option which will save the day. Yet you'll also notice that with healing, the edges aren't quite as soft. Sometimes what you have to do with healing, at least in my own experience, is you have to decrease the opacity so it's not quite so intense. And that can help you especially when you're working with shadows like we're going to do here with this photograph. Alright, well let's go ahead and delete this area. To do so, let's click reset.
Then, what I want you to do is to press the Space bar key to access the Hand tool. And click and drag to reposition so that we can view this part of this portrait here that I captured. Well I captured this portrait in natural or available light. And whenever you do that, when you have a bit of overhang or maybe when you have a cloudy day, you'll tend to get some shadows underneath the eyes. Well, I want to reduce those shadows. To do that, we'll use the Spot Removal tool, and we'll use it on the option for healing here let's take the opacity up for starters, eventually we'll lower it.
But I'm going to leave it high, so we can see how this works. Next I'll decrease the brush size, so I have a relatively small brush here. And then what we want to do is we just want to paint over the shadow area. So, here I'm going to go ahead and paint over those shadows. We also will need to be careful to paint over a few other areas as well, like these wrinkles, because you can't remove shadows in one area and then not another. Well currently we've painted over this area. Next what I need to do is decrease the opacity. As we decrease it all the way you can see that that shadow will come all the way back.
Now I'm not interested in removing that all together because that will remove the character or the character lines or qualities of this portrait. But I do want to soften the shadow. So here on an opacity maybe around 40, we can see how this looks. Press the h key in order to hide the overlays. Then tap the backslash key and you can see here's the before and then now here's the after. It's pretty subtle and pretty nice, and advanced retouching that we've done here. Well, let's press the 'h' key to bring back that overlay. Next I'm going to work on this other area over here, so again I'll just paint over this eye, this will retouch this at a low opacity.
want to go ahead and select this. I don't necessarily like the sample area that it chose, so I'm going to bring this over here to this other side of the cheek. I want that skin tone to match up. Then I'll go ahead and decrease my brush size I'm going to decrease the brush size have a nice small and I'll press the right bracket key perhaps to make it a little bit bigger. I just want to work on these wrinkles here and you want to do this again just as that you have consistency as you're working on these different areas. Looks like that sampled in other wrinkles I'm just going to make sure to go ahead and paint over these. Now, all of these overlays are starting to get really distracting here, so I'm going to go ahead and turn those off by selecting never. That will then hide the overlays, so that as I start to work with this, I can then paint over these little wrinkles here.
And just nicely remove or soften all of the shadows that we have in that part of the photograph. Alright, well now that we've done that, let me just go ahead and take a look at a few more little areas here, where I'm noticing some shadows. I want to have this nice and consistent. Press the Hand tool and click and paint over a couple other areas as well. I'm just going to go ahead, and click, and paint over theses spots, and a couple other little spots, and blemishes that I am noticing, as well. This will just reduce those, it won't remove them all together. Rather, this is about reduction, here. We're doing some healing on lower opacity.
Let's take a look at how this image looks. If we tap the back slash key then you can see the before, and then tap it again, and then you can see the after. If we zoom out a little bit more, say to the perspective which allows us to fill the frame with this photograph. And then tap the backslash key, you can see that this looks really nice and natural. Here's the before and then click again and here's the after. Now in this case I just wanted to subtly reduce those shadows. If we needed to reduce them even further of course what we could do is we could go back to showing the overlays here. Go ahead and turn this on to always, then we could select one of those overlays. And here we could crank the opacity up, that would reduce more of the shadow. Or we could find just the right spot for getting rid of that. Again, if we wanted to go for more intense shadow removal, we might increase the opacity values of that area.
Then what I like to do is to tap the H key to hide those overlays, and then evaluate by tapping the \ key, that will show us the before perspective, and then the after. Let me zoom in even closer so you can actually see this, because I think it's difficult when these movies become small. Here it is. Our overall before, and then now the after.
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
- Enhancing the sky with the Graduated Filter tool
- Improving exposure and color with the Adjustment Brush
- Modifying tone with the Tone Curve controls
- Creating better black-and-white photos
- Reducing noise with sharpening
- Split toning to create a sepia tone
- Correcting distortion
- Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom