It’s absolutely normal to find imperfections in your final images, even if you pay attention to almost everything. For this reason, it’s very important to learn, how to use Spot Removal tool in Lightroom to transform good images into perfect ones.
Spot Remover tool is a great advanced tool in Lightroom to fix the imperfections. If you know how to use it properly, it can be a great help to produce stunning images.
How you access the spot removal tool and what it serves for
The Spot Removal tool is located in the Develop mode, in the right-hand panel. You can open it also by pressing Q button (the keyboard shortcut). Read about my most used Lightroom shorcuts I use every time. You can also download the pdf of these shortcuts from my VIP e-Library.
The Spot Removal tool gives you two options (you can see them under the right hand tool panel)
- Clone – serves to copy (duplicate) exactly the area you choose onto the area to be fixed
- Heal – is to be chosen when you want to match the texture or light from the chosen area to the selected one.
Then, inside of these, you can find other 3 options, which are:
- Size of the edit you are going to do. Size depends on how big imperfection you need to fix. You can adjust the size or by the slider directly in the right hand panel, or just scroll down and up using the mouse.
- Feather is how gradually your edits will be applied on the image. You can choose from 0-100, where 0 means, your healing/cloning will not apply any graduation of the changes around the corner. It’s recommended to start at 50 and then just adjust more or less for the best result. You can adjust it or by slider in the right hand panel, or with the mouse by holding [shift] and scrolling up or down.
- Opacity is how transparent the healing or cloning will be. 0 means completely trasparent, while 100 is going to be completely opaque. Which value you set for your images, depends on the imperfection you need to cover.
How to use the Spot Removal tool
The first thing when using the Spot Removal tool is to understand if you need to use the Heal or Clone option.
This depends on each situation. I mostly use the Heal option, because it gives better results. But there are cases in which cloning is the only choice, as you need to delete something completely from the picture and copy exactly some specific area in the image.
Today, I will show you one example. In the image below, you can notice the corner of the phone, behind my hand. I didn’t hide it very well, so I needed to fix it in Lightroom. To delete the object completely, I chose the Clone option. Then, I had to repeat the cloning more times, until the phone completely disappeared.
When you open the Spot Removal tool, you can choose between automatic corrections or you can do them manually. Practically it means, you can move the sampled area that is selected by default and choose the area that fits the correction better.
Visualize Spots feature of the Spot Removal Tool
Another great feature in the Spot Removal tool is “Visualize Spots“.
If you print an image at full resolution, there might be some imperfections you can’t notice on the computer screen. It can be a dust, some water drops or anything else. Visualize Spots feature will help you to fix all those invisible imperfections.
When you turn on the Spot Removal tool, you find Visualize Spots feature below the image. When you select it, the image will get inverted and you can see those imperfections clearly.
The slider next to it, serves to vary the contrast of the image so you see those those imperfections in details.
More complicated imperfections
Spot Removal tool in Lightroom is a great help already, and I use it for fixing almost 90% of my images. However if you are looking for a more advanced Spot Removal tool, Photoshop is the right choice.
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