Skip to main content

Fine Art Conceptual Photography from Shoot through Post-Processing

Lesson 44 of 48

Spot Healing Brush

Bella Kotak, Pratik Naik

Fine Art Conceptual Photography from Shoot through Post-Processing

Bella Kotak, Pratik Naik

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

44. Spot Healing Brush


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 04:47 2 Artistic Vision and Inspiration 17:06 3 Personal Projects 18:59 4 Creative Motivation and Defining Your Story 15:15 5 Organizing Your Inspiration 16:26 6 Building A Character 03:19 7 Creating Wardrobe and Props 33:59 8 Location Scouting 12:55

Lesson Info

Spot Healing Brush

Another really interesting tool is the Spot Healing Brush, okay. I will change my shortcut to put R, but you can put whatever you want. If I have Sample All Layers enabled, it allows me to just highlight it. I don't even have to source anymore. I just highlight it. And I'm done. That's great. Yeah. Why does that work? The same thing goes for this. I'll just heal it out, heal it out, heal it out. Even if there is a mesh, it's fine. It's not as ... Let's see here. What I'll do in a situation like this is continue the mesh itself and let Photoshop figure it out and any other areas that are not 100% perfect, I'm gonna even out the lighting with Dodge and Burn. Okay. Okay, let's see here. The same thing with these lines. Clone Brush. So what are you healing? What are you thinking while you do this? Basically, anything that detracts from the eye. And I think takes away from the expression. Okay. Because, you know, when you pay close attention to the expression, you want to take a...

way anything else that competes against it. Okay. So I'll go over here and do the same thing. It's the same philosophy as color tuning, in that sense. Exactly, that's very true. Let's see. Okay, I'll fix that in a bit with the lighting. Next, let's see here. So let's zoom in a little bit, and I'll fix maybe even the redness, just a touch. So I'll heal that out. And again, redlines are just, again, if you prefer them or if you don't prefer them, it's up to you. So, Clone Brush. I have a question. It might be a weird one. Okay, let's hear a weird question. Okay. So you can see the octabox in her eye. And say, for example, if you do your final image, you don't really want to see an octabox in her eye. Is there a way to change the shape of that? Oh, okay, yes. So to cheat a bit, so it can be like a circle or something. I don't know. That's true, 'cause some people actually will change the shape of the catchlight to change perception. You can increase it, decrease it, yes. And one way is to liquefy. You can actually liquefy the ends over here, or you can simply clone, 'cause since it's just a color, it's a flat color ... Yeah. You can get away with simply cloning the shape of the catchlight. Okay. And so what happens is you can do that. Yeah. And modify it that way. That's really good, because I always notice that whenever, yeah, if you drew a picture, or if you're looking at a photo, a drawing or an illustration, they don't really have ... They have circular. They do, that's right. That's interesting. I would have never even thought of that. But yeah, you get the idea. Great. So you can go and do that. And suddenly, you have a roundish catchlight that's a lot different, so yeah, that's how you'd normally do that. Great. We'll keep it one round and one an octabox. (Laughter) We'll throw people off. Sometimes I notice that if there's an area that I'm trying to heal and part of it is in a lighter shaded area, and part of it is in a darker shaded area, or shadow, if I go through that area, that transition spot gets a little funky. Is there anything you could recommend to deal with that? Absolutely. So, for example, let's pretend that we are gonna be healing this line. Let's pretend this is an extreme example where you have an area that's brighter and darker. What happens is, when you start healing from one point to another, you start getting that smudgy kind of look. What I recommend is, instead of sampling from left and going right, sample vertically along the same contrast line. So, for instance, if I sample on the edge of this line here and started brushing here, what tends to happen is it removes it without smudging anything. In comparison, if I did that and I went like this, it doesn't know what to do, and the reason for that is, when you go from non-contrast areas to contrast areas, it just throws it off. So use the Healing Brush on the contrast line or on the areas of contrast, so sample ... I'll do that again. Sample from this area here, Healing Brush on the line itself, and then when you start brushing, you do that. An interesting little tip is, you notice I didn't even need my clone source? And the reason for that is, when I sampled, I'll come up top here. I'm gonna hit Option one more time to line it up without actually brushing, then I'll go and start brushing, and so I know it lines up without using Clone Source in those small instances where I want to quickly just paint over it, okay? It came back. I know. Oh, that pesky little thing. Or else you could use the Clone Brush as well. I'll just leave that in there for a minute. Okay, so you get the idea of how you do something like that. Same thing over here, you just go on down and heal, etc.

Class Description

It’s one thing to have a creative imagination but bringing your visions to life requires a specific skillset. You need to understand the technical challenges facing you to move from concept to planning production and finalizing your image. The amazingly talented duo of Bella Kotak and Pratik Naik will walk through every detail to creating your conceptual vision. Bella will help you understand how to evaluate locations and environment, pose your model, see color in a new way, and create beautiful props on a budget. Pratik will share his vast knowledge of color theory, color toning, and compositing images to streamline your retouching workflow. This class will offer an in-depth look at creative production and retouching process. 

You’ll learn: 
  • How to concept and develop a scene
  • Color theory and how it applies in camera and in post production
  • Location practices to guide your eye toward beauty in common environments
  • Communication tactics for collaborating with other artists
  • Lighting techniques for composite images and fine art portraits
  • Basic retouching of an image
  • Color toning techniques in Capture One
  • Compositing techniques for bringing an image together



Great class and great instructors. Genuine and informative. Practical tips to create stunning images. Seeing them work through the process from shoot to finished image was great and I loved that they shared the thought processes behind the creative decisions. Definitely recommended!


Truly a remarkable duo. Bella is so down-to-earth and humble for a photographer with such a strong beautiful and ethereal voice. Her explanations of her process really inspired me--I was sketching concepts throughout the class. Pratik's process really opened my eyes to "smart" retouching--understanding what can be done in fewer brush strokes and slimmer PS files. All in all a really unique and inspiring class that makes me excited to realize my next conceptual shoot. They're also adorable together!

Mai Her

I've gained sooooo much from this I can't even contain my appreciation and excitement! So much inspiration and so much generous advice and tips to help me! Thank you so much Bella and Pratik and Creative Live!