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Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom – Barry Callister Photography

December 10, 2019


Do you want to know how to use this spot
removal tool in Lightroom classic CC, Lightroom 6, or Lightroom 5? I’m about to
show you how so don’t go away Hi there Barry Callister for Barry Callister Photography, giving you hints, tips, and tricks for better nature photography. Welcome to my channel I’m glad you found one of my videos. Here on my channel, I do gear reviews, camera tutorials, Lightroom and Photoshop tutorials, and much more so if you’re new and you want some of that kind of stuff, hit Subscribe and ding
that notification bell, so you get notified when I make a video. As I said
in the intro, this video is about the spot removal tool specifically in
Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom 6, and Lightroom 5. Now the spot removal tool is
an awesome tool that can help you to remove unsightly spots or blemishes in
your photos that may have shown up as a result of a dirty camera lens, or a dirty
sensor, or maybe there’s just something ugly in the photo that you want to
remove. Now at any stage during the video check out links in the video description
for more information on where you can find me online. Let’s jump straight into
this tutorial on how to use the spot removal tool in Lightroom classic CC. So here we are in Lightroom in the Develop Module. If you don’t know how to get to
the Develop Module from your Library, you can either obviously click develop up
the top right hand side here, or you can press D on your keyboard. That’ll take
you straight into the Develop Module. Now I’m going to use some photos of my
greeting cards today to help you with this tutorial. If you want to check out
my greeting cards or any of my other stock, I’ve linked up my Etsy store in
the video description below, so go there to check those out. So the first thing
you need to know about your spot removal tool is obviously where to find it. So on
your right hand panel here you’ve got this row here of tools and brushes. Your
spot removal tool is this circle with the arrow pointing out of it to the
right hand side. And you can see if I hover over it with the cursor, it tells me the keyboard shortcut there in brackets,
which is Q. So you can press Q on your keyboard, that will open
you’re spot removal panel, or you can simply press the icon as well. S the
basic usage of your spot removal tool is simply to zoom in to 100%, or 1:1. You can do that by pressing Z on your keyboard, or you can….you can close your
spot removal tool and you’ll see that the cursor turns into a little
magnifying glass with a plus symbol in it. You can click that, that’ll bring you
into 1:1; if you had 1:1 selected up here in your navigator. You
must make sure that you have 1:1 selected. If you’ve got 2:1
selected, it’ll take you back to there. So select 1:1. You can also zoom up
there by clicking that up there too. So zoom in to 1:1. Open your spot removal tool. And we’re looking for dust spots, blemishes,
anything you want to remove from the photograph. So there’s quite a few dust
spots on this photograph here so what you simply do, is just find one and click. And you can see the spot removal tool will remove it. So that’s the basics of
how to use it, now let’s get into the nitty-gritty and
all the details. So let’s have a look at our Brush Control Panel over here. You
can see you’ve got Clone or Heal, that controls how the brush works. We’ll talk
about that in a minute. You’ve also got your Size Slider here
which is pretty self-explanatory; changes the size of the Clone Tool, brush there. You’ve got Feathering, which changes the outer circle, the width of the outer
circle there. I’ll talk about what that does in a minute. And you’ve also got
Opacity, which changes how transparent your selection will be. So we’ll look at
those things, starting from the top here with Clone or Heal. If you’ve got it set
for Heal, you’ll see that when you click on a spot that you want to remove, that
creates a selection here; this circle here is your selection. This circle over
here is where it’s sampling from, so Lightroom is sampling from there
and copying the information into here. And when you’ve got it set for Heal, what
it’s doing is it’s copying the lighting, shading, and texture from this circle
here, and putting it in here. So that’s what that does. Clone makes a copy of
what’s here and puts it in here. So if I click with my mouse button and drag
across to the feathers here, you can see it’s copying the information from the
circle over here into the selected circle there. So that’s the difference
between those two there. Okay, let’s look at your Size Slider. So the Size Slider
as I said, changes the size of the clone tool or the brush. Now there are other ways to do this. You can, if you’ve got a mouse with a…with a scrolling wheel on it, you
can use your scrolling wheel to make it bigger or smaller. Or you can use the
left and right bracket keys on your keyboard. The left bracket key makes it
smaller; the right bracket key makes it larger. If you press and hold, it will
slowly get bigger or smaller, or you can tap it to go in increments. So there’s
three different ways to control the size of your spot removal tool. And you’ll see
if I click and I have an active selection here, I have an active spot
removal going on there. If I click and drag this size slider, it’ll change the
size of that as well. So if you’ve clicked in this…and it’s too small, you can come
over here to your size slider and resize it like that. If you want to, you can also do
that by hovering over the selected circle and clicking it with your left
mouse button and dragging. You can also do that on the sampled circle as well, either one… …as you can see there. So I’ll keep this
selection here active, and we’ll show you what the Feather Slider does. What I’ll
do is, I’ll drag this over here and we’ll make it a little bit bigger. Now if you
watch this selected circle here. If I’ve got it…if I drag my feathering up; you
can see it slowly bringing in from the edge more of what’s around this circle
here. So what it’s doing is its blurring the edges of your selection, or making a
smoother transition from the area around it to your selection. So that’s what
Feathering does. I normally leave mine set at about 50 but it depends on what
effect you’re going for, and how realistic you want the spot removal to
look. So that’s what feathering does. And while we’re here, we’ll have a look at
the Opacity slider. At the moment you can see I’ve got it set at 100%, so that’s a
hundred percent opaque so you can’t see through the result. If I drag it back,
you’ll see you start to slowly see what’s… the information behind it. And if it’s
down to one, you can’t see anything at all, it’s not doing anything at all. So that
just makes it…sliding it to the left makes it more transparent. Sliding it to
the right makes it more opaque. And that can be handy in certain situations where
you want it to look more realistic and blend more in with the image when you do the removal. It helps to not make your spot removal so obvious. So let’s have a
look now at these controls down here. You’ve got a couple of controls down
here underneath your picture. Now I’ll just do a few
different removals to explain this Tool Overlay here. Click and drag that one, you
can click and drag that to anywhere you like….this here, we’ll take this one, we’ll take
this one, maybe that one there, that one there. So you can see I’ve done a few spots removals here, they dotted around all over the place. This Tool Overlay
controls how you see those; how you see these spot removals that you’ve already
done. I always set it…I always leave it set to Always, so that you can see all of the
ones that you’ve already done. You can do just the selected one, so that’s just the
active one that you’re working with at the moment. Or you can select Never which shows you nothing. That can be handy if you want to see your result without the
distraction of all the little circles everywhere but I always leave it set to
Always. Auto will show you, when you hover your cursor over the picture, it’ll
show you where you’ve been. If you drag the cursor away, they
move away. So that’s kind of a quick…it’s a quicker way than choosing the Never
setting. You can leave it set to Auto so that when you’re here and you’re doing
your work, you can always see them, and you can quickly drag your curser off the
image and see what the results are. So that’s kind of handy. But I like to leave
mine set to Always, because then I can see where I’ve been. Next to your Tool Overlay here you have the Visualize Spots checkbox. I’ll just zoom out by
pressing Z on the keyboard. Now if you click visualize spots, you can see that
Lightroom changes your image into like a black and white photo negative. Now
this helps you to see the spots that you need to remove, so…if…and you’ve got this
slider here, this controls the intensity of this. So if we zoom in again…
Now when you’re zoomed in, just a side, quick side-line here. When you’re zoomed
in, to move around your image, you can either click in your Navigator window
up here. Cick inside the rectangle and drag it to any part of your image that
you want. You can also do that in your viewing window here by just pressing the
spacebar and clicking with your left mouse button, and dragging. Click and drag, let go. Click and drag…click and drag… So that’s another handy way of doing it. Then you release the spacebar and you’re back to your spot removal tool. So, back
to our visualize spots slider here. You can see that if i dial it back…you can
see much less, it’s much less intense. If I dial it right up, you can see it’s very,
very intense. Now we might use…I’ll go to another image to demonstrate this
because this one is quite a dark card. We’ll go to this one here because this
card here doesn’t have as many spots on the photo itself, but it will have some
in this white area around the card. So I’ll just choose that area there, click visualise spots. So there’s not many there. If I click and drag around you can see the odd spot of dust there. I’ll stop here and we can…if I… increase the intensity, you can see these spots down below here come
become much more visible. I don’t use this on a higher setting because, quite
honestly, you’re going to be here all day if you’re trying to remove all these
spots. Because, what I do is I set it to about halfway, or maybe a bit above, and I
just remove the brightest spots. Because you’ll see, if you look here, look at this spot over here… If I turn off visuali….keep your eye on
this spot here. I turn off visualise spots, you can see that you can see that
with the naked eye. However, these two here, these rather soft ones; this one
here and this one here…keep your eye on this one here. If I turn off the
visualise spots, you can’t see that with your naked eye, really. So you leave it
set to about 50% and then you can scoot around your image, taking away all the
spots that you want to….just the brightest ones is what I’ll remove, or the biggest ones. But this is obviously a personal thing, it’s up to you if you
want to set it higher and sit here all day removing every little blemish,
that’s up to you but that is what you visualize spots
slider does, so…and the checkbox. That’s really helpful. Alright now I just want to add a couple of tips and tricks on using the spot
removal tool. Some keyboard shortcuts that might make it a bit easier for you.
We’ll just zoom in on our little Koala here. And we’ll click visualize spots
again, and I’ll find a few areas…we’ll just undo the ones I already did and I’ll re-do them. Now if you click and it samples from the wrong area, sometimes it’ll sample
from the wrong area and it’ll look terrible. So you can change that by
moving your cursor inside the….the sampled circle….so not you’re selected
circle, but your sampled circle. You’ll see it changes into a hand symbol. You
left-click your mouse and drag you can drag that around to any way you want. Another way of doing this is by pressing the forward slash key, and you’ll see
when I press the forward slash key, it randomly selects; or randomly samples
from another area. So that’s another way of doing that. Now to delete a spot removal that you’ve done that you didn’t quite like. You can
simply press the Delete key and you’re sampled, your active one will be deleted.
So you can see this one’s active because it’s lit up, so you just press Delete on
your keyboard that will delete it. You can also right-click inside either the
sampled area or the selected area and just scroll down and click delete. Another way of doing this….I’ll just do a few more here. If you hold the Alt key,
(that’s option on a Mac), you’ll see that your cursor turns into a little pair of
scissors. You just hover that over your, the ones you want to delete and click and
delete them. I’ll just undo those by pushing ctrl or command Z. Now if you’ve
got a whole lot of spot removals that you’ve done that you want to remove. If
you hold alt or option and click and drag with your mouse. You can see you can drag a marquee around them. And you release your mouse button and all those
are deleted. So that’s a good way to delete a whole area of spot removals
that you didn’t want. Now to control where Lightroom samples from as you
click on a spot, you can hold ctrl (or command on a Mac), click and drag your
mouse. And you can see I now have control of the sampled area and I can move it to
a wherever I like. Until I get the desired result, then
release my mouse button, release my command or control and you’re good to go. To change the size of your selection as you’re clicking, you can do this by
holding ctrl + Alt on Windows (that’s command + option on a Mac). You’ll see the cursor turns into a plus symbol. Click with your left mouse button..drag, and you
can see as you drag this selection gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. So you can
control your size there. Release your mouse button, and release ctrl + alt (or
command + option), and you’re good to go. And lastly, the one thing that I haven’t
shown you which is really important is how to remove something that’s not tiny
and circular. That…sometimes there’ll be hairs on your image, or there might be a
smear of dirt somewhere or something. Hopefully not….hopefully your censor’s
not that dirty. But let’s just, I’ll just demonstrate this by using this line on
the edge of the card here. So if I…in order to select something like that you
just click and hold your left mouse button, then drag. And you’ll see that the
spot removal tool creates a line. You release when you’re done, and you can
move your selection to anywhere, and you can remove That…I’ve got it set to clone, let’s change it
to heal. Obviously it’s done a terrible job of
that but….bad example…bad example. Let’s go back to our little yellow Robin card
and I will take off visualise spots We’ll zoom in here. Let’s say I wanted to
remove one of the whiskers here for example. I’ll just make my tool smaller. I
might going in to 2:1, just so I can see what I’m doing. So if I just click
and drag along this top whisker here and you’ll see I can move that wherever I
want. And I’ll just close the removal tool and look at that. That’s done a pretty good
job of removing that. So there you go. That’s how you use the spot removal tool
in Lightroom classic CC. I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, give it a
like and hit subscribe and ding that notification bell. Be sure to check
out those links I mentioned in the video description, there’s a link down there to
my Etsy store where you can buy the cards you saw in the video today. Beautiful handmade cards with my photographs on the front. There’s also
other information down there about where you can find me on Facebook, Instagram,
and anywhere else on line. Until next time, I’m Barry Callister for Barry Callister
Photography. Get out there. Take some wicked shots. And I’ll see you soon

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