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Spot Healing Brush

Lesson 44 from: Fine Art Conceptual Photography from Shoot through Post-Processing

Bella Kotak, Pratik Naik

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Lesson Info

44. Spot Healing Brush

Next Lesson: Clone Brush


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Artistic Vision and Inspiration


Personal Projects


Creative Motivation and Defining Your Story


Organizing Your Inspiration


Building A Character


Creating Wardrobe and Props


Location Scouting


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 Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Practice PSD File - Sleeping Beauty
Pratik Naik Retouching Actions
The Royal Collection - Fine Art Actions
Practice PSD File - Location Shoot (~700mb)
Practice PSD File - In Studio Shoot (~1.3gb)

Ratings and Reviews


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!

Student Work