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Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool

Lesson 21 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool

Lesson 21 from: Lightroom® 4 Fundamentals

Laura Shoe

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Lesson Info

21. Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool


Class Trailer

Day 1


Pre-Show Banter


9:00 am - Introduction: Why Lightroom®?


The Lightroom Library Catalog


Staying Organized


Backing Up Your Library


Importing Your Photos


Preferences & Settings


Settings Q&A


Reorganizing Files and Folders


Using Views and Labels to Evaluate Photos


Filtering and Stacking Photos


Assigning and Managing Keywords


Keywording Q&A


The Metadata Panel


Searching for Photos


Creating a Collection


Day 2


Day 2 Pre-Show Banter


The Map Module: Assigning Locations


The Develop Module


Fixing Your Photos: Histograms and Cropping


Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool


11:30 am - Upgrading to Lightroom® 4


11:45 am - Basic Developing in Lightroom® 3 & 4


Basic Developing Part 2


Color Adjustments


Tone Curve Panel


Making Subtle Adjustments


Lens Corrections


Local Adjustments: Partial B&W


Local Adjustments: Portrait Touch Up


Additional Local Adjustments


Graduated Filter


Bonus: Day 3 Preview


Day 3


Day 3 Pre-Show Banter


Bonus: Recap of the Develop Module


Virtual Copies


B&W and Creative Effects


Noise Reduction




Sharpening for Portraits


Syncing Changes to Multiple Photos




Creating and Using Presets


11:45 am - Lightroom® and Photoshop


Sharing Your Work


Exporting for Web


Exporting for Print


Workflow Recap


Thanks + Credits


3:00 pm - Lightroom® 4: Publishing


3:30 pm - Lightroom® 4: Video Editing


3:45 pm - Lightroom® 4: Book Module


Lesson Info

Fixing Your Photos: Spot Removal Tool

we're gonna go on to the spot removal tool. So with the spot removal tool, we, of course, can remove little spots. Now, people with a spot removal tool, they try it once they see it looks very unsophisticated and not very powerful. They get frustrated and they never touched again, or they just see how much more powerful photo shop is. But really, the more you use the spot removal tool, the more you're going to realize that it can do. It'll never replace never, never say never. It won't replace the patch tools in Photoshop and some of the new cool stuff, but we can still do a lot with it. So let's go to this photo here with this photo. What I want to do with this spot removal tool is removed. This this piece of this green grass here at the bottom and remove this pipe over here on the left hand side. Now I'm doing two things. First, I'm just zooming in on screen with the Mac just for demonstration purposes. But I also zoomed in on the photo, right, So in the develop module, your mouse is...

a zoom tool, so go ahead and go to this issue in the bottom right hand corner and then click on the spot removal tool. Now, I'm going to talk about the difference between Clone and he'll later, but we're gonna work in hell mode. And as you put your mouse in the photo, you'll see that you have a circle tool. Now, the idea is to make the circle tool a little bit bigger than the problem that you have to fix. So hopefully you can see that on screen. It doesn't matter if my mouse goes into the gray. I'm simply going to click and let go right now. When I did that, I get a second circle, right. So this here in the bottom right is what I fixed. This second circle is where light room decided to take clean pixels from. So it made a decision on where was best to sample from. Okay, so if I come down here a little bit for this, you can see you see how I have this duplicated pattern here. So it took clean pixels from here. Put him over here. It did wipe out that little green weed, but it did create a pattern. I wish it would sample from someplace else. So you can take control. At this point, you can click on this source circle here and say no. You know, I don't want pixels from there. I want pixels from over here. Okay? And once you let go, it will blend in from that point. Now, the circles air kind of in my way of evaluating how good it did. So to get them to hide down here in the filmstrip, it says tool overlay. And I'm gonna change that from always toe auto. Zoom back out here. So with it in auto mode, as my mouse comes out of the photo, those get hidden so I can get a much better idea of how it did. Okay. Now you can also change the size of your fix. So, for example, if this fix was bigger than I needed, I can click on the edge of the fix dragged to make it smaller course. If it gets too small, I'm not fixing the entire problem. So click and drag to make it larger, and it does a fine job Now, of course, that was an easy one for it, right? We didn't challenge it all that much. Now, when you're in the spot removal tool, your mouse is not zoom tool. So you know, how do you zoom in and out, and how do you pan around? Well, two options. One. You can open up the Navigator panel here and click and drag that square and take it over to the building over here where you have the pipe you can. Also, while you're in the spot removal tool, zoom out by clicking on fit. Zoom in by clicking on one toe. One. If you like shortcuts. Controller Command plus and minus we'll zoom you in and out, just like they wouldn't photoshopped those air on my cheat sheet of shortcuts. When you're in something like the spot removal tool, you can't click and drag to pan around. But if you hold the space bar down, the space bar allows you to click and drag and pan around. So if you don't remember shortcuts very easy, just come to the navigator panel to zoom in and move around. Otherwise, controller Command plus and minus in space. Okay, so we have this pipe here. Let's go ahead and get our circle to be a little bit bigger than the problem here. And then I'm just gonna click and let go Move my mouse out of the photo to see how well it did. And it did fine. I still have this little board. It's very subtle. I'm not sure if you can see it's on screen or not. But that's not what I'm focused on fixing. If I didn't like where it took the source from, I can click and drag to take him somewhere else. And then we're gonna take another circle and let me zoom in a little bit more. I'm afraid people may not be able to see this, and we're gonna fix this board. That's kind of sticking out just a little bit here. So I'm just gonna put it overlapping circle with my other one. I can't get too close to the other one. Then my mouse becomes the the adjustment, the tool to adjust the 1st 1 But all simply click let go, move my mouse out, evaluated, maybe zoom out a little bit to get some perspective on it. Because, of course I'm staring at the fix. You know, I'm you know, most people are not gonna be looking at it that closely and you can see now that it looks like it. It was never there in the first place. Now, here in the spot removal tool, you have a switch. So right down here at the bottom of the spot removal tool panel. If you click on that, turn it on and off, you'll see that you'll see before and after on your spot removal work. So I turned it off. Turn it on. Okay. And I'm doing command or control minus to zoom out. And I can turn that switch on and off. Okay. Now, as you're doing your spot removal work, light room is is recording these circles. So you're seeing circles on your photos, These two over here, let me zoom back in this one. This last fix I did is active because it's active. I can continue to refine it by clicking and dragging because it's active and I can see both source and fix. I can also hit the delete key to delete the fix. So delete it. See, that's another reason to buy a Mac. Because when I delete something here, I gotta do this again. You gotta watch this. You're a PC user. You have to see this. See how I get that nice cloud. You don't get the cloud on the PC, so All right, I'm gonna do command or control Z to bring that back. And, um OK, so to delete affects, you need to make the circle active. So this 1st 1 that was for the pipe. I need to click on it so that I can see both the source and fix. That tells me it's active, and then I can hit the delete key. I'm just gonna do that all day and on and and delete a fix. Okay, Controller Command Z will bring it back now. Controller commands. He only brings it back because that was the last thing I did. If I deleted and then I do 10 other things and close light room, it's not gonna come back at that point. However, I can always April if I haven't done any more work on the photo, remember that the history panel is recording every step that I do. Okay, So if I click and I delete notice that the delete is in history so I could go back to before before he did that. All right, so all of those circles that you'll have are just records of your work. When you close the spot removal tool by clicking back on it, you won't see the circles. You'll just see your fixed photo. But if you come back tomorrow and want to further adjust them, all you need to do is click back on the spot removal tool. Then you'll see your circles, and you can adjust them, delete them, add more circles, etcetera. Now we're going to do some more challenging things. I just wanted to start out with the basics of the spot removal tool, so let's go ahead and go to a different photo. Let's go to this one. So this photo was shot by John Cornyn cello. Who's a great Seattle photographer in the setting up your own home studio, Creativelive Workshop, which was a great workshop that you guys should check out. And I chose this photo not necessarily because it was the best one, but because it had issues that I thought would be fun toe work on with the spot removal tool. Okay, so he's got a wrinkle in his shirt. He's got some glare on his forehead and he could We could reduce the circles under his eyes using the spot removal tool. Okay, so we're going to start here. It's too far zoomed in. I'm just gonna do control a command minus. There we go. We're gonna click on the spot removal tool, and I'm gonna use overlapping circles. My mouse is too small, so I'm gonna go ahead and maybe just do this size here. That's gonna be Maybe I should zoom in a little bit more here. It's too much. Okay, so when I zoom in, it's going too far. When I zoom out, it's not going far enough. So what I can do is try to be a little bit more specific. So Oneto one is too far. So instead, I'm only gonna go halfway. Gonna go 1 to 2. There. Now, I can make sure that you guys are actually seeing this, so I'm simply going to click up here at the top, and it's going to try to continue the pattern, so it's going to make a bad decision on the source. That's okay. I'm just gonna take a solution here from a clean part of the shirt. And then I'm gonna put another overlapping circle. Take that from same place, come down again, and I'll just keep doing that. I need to move my mouse out of the photo occasionally to get some perspective on how well I did okay by hiding those circles. So I use this Scratches. People have power lines that you're removing, etcetera. You were gonna use overlapping circles. All right, All right, so that's enough of that one. So I'm gonna go ahead and zoom back out. Control Command minus That looks good. Now, he also, as I mentioned, we have the circles under his eyes and we have glare on the forehead. Let's let's work on this circles under his eyes now. We don't want Teoh. That was the wrong shortcut. I just did. Command Z. Okay. Alright, Control a command plus space bar. We don't want to remove the circles under his eyes that you know that we need shadows to indicate three dimensional three dimensionality there. So what we want to do is simply reduce the shadows under his eyes. So I'm going to use the spot removal tool with overlapping circles again. The same strategy so I'm gonna click. Let go, is going to make a bad decision. I'll take it from skin down here. But of course, if I do that, I'm removing the circle under his eye. However, if with this fix active, I reduced the opacity here down to maybe 30% Then I'm only partially covering up. So if you look right here and I turn the switch on and off, you can see before after just right in this area that we've partially covered that up. So let's keep going and doom or at 30%. So I'll just do another overlap here to get too close to that circle. It won't let you. So you have to move away, move it to the side a little bit. Take it from clean skin, come over to this again and you could go over wrinkles as well. I do this on myself all the time. I'm gonna confiscate all the creative live pictures. I'm gonna touch myself up. So Okay. And then hit the switch on and off and you'll see that we've given him a better night's sleep. Right. Okay, Now I've done 30% opacity. Well, I wonder if I could get away with more than that. If you do too hard, you know too much. It's gonna be obvious. So if you want to adjust them, what you need to do is click on each one individually. So I click on the 1st I did to the left, increase the opacity, then click on the 2nd make it active, increased capacity on that one, and keep going with each one to adjust the opacity. So that's how you would do that. And again, if you get get too too strong, it will become. It will become obvious, but it's a great improvement. I can see I have kind of an odd line in there that I need to do a little bit of work on, but but otherwise very simple. Yes. Is there a way to select the group of them, say five at a time and then tweak the capacity and everything like that? No, unfortunately, there isn't, and another question. It's from Alex. B. 58 are the spot. Healing circles similar to brush is in photo shop, in that you can set the hardness of this spot healing circles. You cannot set the hardness. Okay, but this the larger your brush is the softer it iss. So if you if you're working, sometimes people work using back in here, they work with very have to zoom in a lot because I want you to see a small brush. They work with very small circles. So let me I'm sorry. I'm trying to figure out what between the Mac zooming and the photo zooming my brain is is on overload. So let me, uh Okay, so let me go back to 100% opacity so that you can really see what I'm gonna do here. Anil, zoom in on the Mac, and I'll do a small fix, and, yeah, I'm still having a mac care. Do you see how harsh that edges? That's because the fix is small. Okay, If I make my brush bigger and I do that same fix, it's gonna be obvious. But you should be able to see that the larger you make your fix the, um the softer the edge. Okay. Not demonstrating as well as I'd like to, but so my my trick, my tip to you is go a large as you can If you're seeing too much of an edge. Laura. There is a question from life by Rebecca. When you change the A pass ity, does this affect the other heal? The other spot removal is that you've already made. No, as long as it does not. Generally, it's only gonna affect the active one. And if you have made none or there aren't any active at the time, it's going to affect your next spot removal fix. So they work independently. They're not linked together. There is one more. Well, there's a few more. But from hello, Gaeta, can the fix shape be anything other than a circle? I wish someday, right? I mean, it's like I would have loved to see a lot more functionality in here in light room four. But they could only do so much in any anyone released. So, yeah, I'd love the patch tool in photo shop because you could define any shape that you want. Now we still have just a circle here. I still would say, you know, challenge light room. You know, try to fix things that you wouldn't think that you could, because you'll often find that just with this tool and overlapping circles that you can accomplish a lot, but it does have its limitations, so that that is one reason why why you need to tune in tomorrow? Because we'll be talking about how to move back and forth between Leiterman, Photoshopped and elements so that you can access those more powerful tools. Let me show you one other thing we could fix here, which is the glare on his forehead. Now I'm going to zoom in on the photo here, hold the space bar down, and we're going to use a spot removal tool. And again we may end up it low opacity. But let's just try to full opacity. First, slide your opacity slider to 100 and I'll click on this area where there's some glare and I'll sample from clean skin and then I'll move my mouse out, and then I will reduce the opacity to try to get it to blend in a bit better. Now we'll hit the switch on and off in the spot removal tool, and you can see that we've added some color into their We've we've minimized or reduced that glare. Now it does have its limitations, but it's certainly a quicker way than going into Photoshopped and doing doing more sophisticated things. So if I get the space bar and I come down to his nose, we could do similar things here. Would take a little bit more time, but I could. I could click on his nose here, sample from clean skin over here, and then it's a challenge to have it be strong enough to get rid of the glare without making without changing the shape of his nose. Right by, uh, in this case, it seems like it's worked perfect. So for after. So I put some clean skin there, your hands him out. Now there's one thing, one additional thing I want to explain here because I know it's gonna come up and it's important. And then if there any more questions will go into it. But that's the difference between Clone and he'll. Now I'm gonna do something kind of silly to make make it. Uh, Hang on. Let me zoom in here. I'm gonna, um, do something kind of silly to make it look obvious to you, So I'm gonna fix his forehead, delete the glare fix. We're going to start over. I'm gonna fix his forehead, but I'm gonna do it in clone mode. Okay, So I'm gonna put a spot on his forehead, and I'm gonna take the fix from his chin. Okay, silly. But it will make it very obvious. What I have is a straight copy of pixels from his chin Teoh to his forehead. Right? So not only do I see the stubble, but I also see that it's red and it's darker than his forehead. So Clone is a straight copy of pixels from one place to the other. He'll blends in. So with this same circle active, I want you to watch what happens as I click on hell. Well, that was not supposed to happen. That's a bug. Let me see. Clone that. Um, let's do it over. Fixes forehead. Take it from here. Okay, I've seen this a couple other times in in light room for where it's it's It's a bug that happens. Almost never. Let me just go to a different photo here, and we will go ahead and use this photo. So I'm going Teoh, That doesn't mean texture. Let's see. All right, I'm gonna fix her lip. Here, I'll click. Put it in clone mode. Click. Take the fix from here. And, of course, I have skin on her lip. No surprise Clone is a straight copy of pixels if I switch it to heal mode. Okay, this one worked, so I switched it to heal mode. What I have now is I have the texture from the source, but it's taken that source and adjusted the color and the brightness and darkness to fit in where it's going. Okay, so he'll blends in. Most of the time I'm in hell mode because I want my fix to blend in with the surrounding area. So let me show you a more realistic example here in this photo of doing this. If I want to fix her cheek here, your cheek is just perfect as it is. But if I want to fix her cheek here and I want to take clean skin from her neck, her neck is brighter. Then her cheek lighting is gonna vary across the face. So I wanted to blend, and when I let go, in fact, you'll see that it blended in beautifully. It took clean pixels from here. They became darker. They became more red and it blended in perfectly. So most of the time, I'm gonna stay in hell mode 95% of the time I use he'll mode. The issue comes in when you're up against the edge of something. So I'm gonna daringly go back to this photo and see if it will behave for me for this. Um and I'm going to fix something up against the edge of his hairline here, and I'm gonna do it in hell mode. So I'm gonna click here, take my source from here. Do you see how it pulled in? Did you see that happen? So if I do command z toe undo, delete this and I do it again, take the source from here. It leads in. It pulls in from the surrounding area to blend in. So if it's up against the edge of something that's very different in tone, it's going to create a problem for you. So at that point, that's when I would say, Let me see if Clone can do a better job. I really need to go with a straight copy of pixels. Of course, that becomes challenging because clone will not darken something. So I need to make sure I can sample from an area that has a tone that's close enough that it's gonna work. Questions on the spot removal toe A question from Vail Fuji Is there a way to cycle through spot removal spots if you want to select the one that you want, but they're close together and it keeps electing the one that's on top, I you know, that's I don't know if there's a shortcut. Now, let me just point out a couple things as faras shortcuts go, since that this will remind me to do that in any module in light room, you can go to help and then down to shortcuts. Now there's a lot here in every module ill. That's why I like my favorites, you know, one pager. But sometimes you know this will be useful to you to Seymour shortcuts, not to get a great complete list of shortcuts. You could also go out to, um, light room queen dot com, go out to Victoria vamped on site, and she has a complete list. Extensive list of shortcuts. So you might find something there, So I'm gonna go ahead and click out of this just hit. Let's see. Where is the close button on the Mac here. All right, on the sea that this is why I have a PC, Because this just automatically goes away on its own. So help. It seems to be stuck there. I may just jump away from it. Okay, now, all right. Five. Okay. Okay. Panic mode. Life on camera. All right, um, so cycling through it does get it does get challenging. When you're close, you can always move one out of the way. As I was talking, I've kind of messed up my examples here, but let me go back into the spot removal tool. And as I've got all of these circles here next to each other, if once getting in the way of doing something at that particular moment, you can always click and drag and temporarily move it out of the way while you're working on another one and then come back to it. Okay, then come and put it back on top. So that would be my suggestion after that. Um, that Kim girl asks which is better for blemishes and pimples? Is it clone or he'll because of the color variations I would definitely say, Hugh. Yeah, because of the color variation, it's just natural that as you're shooting a I mean with a face, you're gonna have color variation, you know, shadows and highlights through the face. And you want it That fixed to blend in hell will give you more options on where you take the fix from, because you can actually take it from a slightly darker area, and it will just blend right in. So I'm almost always in hue mode. Okay. All right. Okay, so that's the spot removal tool. There's one more tool I'm gonna show you. And that's and that's gonna be the end of the day. No, no, there's one more tool I'm gonna show you, and then we're going to go into the basics panel, so we're gonna go through the red eye removal tool. So let's go ahead and go to this photo here. I can't believe I used to look like this, but it's a long time ago, and I'll put the spot removal tool away. Now, the only time I see red eyes with a point and shoot camera. So if the flash is too close to the lens you can get red eye. So I'm gonna zoom in on this photo and clicking to zoom in. Doesn't Sumi in foreign now, So I'll open the navigator panel. I'll click on the drop down and I'll choose to tow one, because this is just a low resolution file and I can see the red eye much more closely. Then I'll open up the red eye tool by clicking on it, and it just has instructions here, drag from the center of the eye or click to use the current size. Well, I'm gonna drag from the center of the eye out and just roughly defined the the eye area. Now, when I let go, light room is going to do whatever it wants. And sometimes it does a beautiful job right up front. Sometimes it changes the shape, so I don't panic. At that point, I take control and take charge. So I'm gonna click inside the circle, the place it over the center of the eye, and then I'm gonna click on the edge of the circle to change this shape and the size of the fix. Now, your goal is to get rid of the red without getting rid of the colored iris around the pupil so brown. In this case, once you have a circle that's pretty close, you can do fine tuning here in the options box. Here, you can change the pupil size, make it a little bit bigger, smaller to try to recapture that brown without getting the red, and you can dark in the pupil or brighten it up. Now that I've done the first fixed, I'm gonna come over to the second I here and this time I'm gonna live dangerously and click it like Oh, and sure enough, it still didn't it didn't it didn't behave well, so I'll click and put it in the center, and I'll click and drag on the edge to make it a little bit bigger. So all the red eye tool is doing is finding the red and de saturating, taking the color out of it. So if I click on this circle and I move it down onto my face, you can see that it's just taking read out right. It's just a circular area that has taken read out of put it back up here, and then what I've done, I can put the red eye tool away, and that's all there is to it again. It's nondestructive, so I can always come back. I can edit those those fixes. If I click back on the spot removal tool, I can click on one. I can delete it, click on the other, delete it Controller Command Z to bring it back. Questions on that Vivian Vivian hyphen Photo asked. Sometimes when I use the red eye removal tool, it tells me it's unable to find the entire I. So why is that? I would assume that it's not finding the red, so I would I would simply click and drag a larger area. And don't be afraid to drag too large of an area, because once you get it started once, it actually has a circle here. You confined to knit as I discussed, and a question from Grace. One. How about yellow Eye for animals? Great question. So, pet eyes, you don't get red, you get yellow or blue or or some other color so that you're not gonna fix with the red eye tool. You're gonna fix that with the adjustment brush, so we haven't gotten any Justin brush and we won't for quite a while, but you used the adjustment brush to paint local changes. So dark, enlightened de saturate. You'll use the adjustment brush and you'll use negative saturation to take that color out. And then you'll also use negative exposure to dark in that area. So it's mostly a darkening issue with, along with the D saturation. If we have time, let's say I don't have that exact example, so you would darken it dramatically, and then you would do a second adjustment with the adjustment brush and and go very bright, positive exposure positive whites and add back a catch light. So that's there's an article on my block that goes into fixing flash filled animal eyes as well.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Day 1 Slides.pdf

bonus material with enrollment


Ratings and Reviews

Miguel Lecuyer

Great workshop! New to Lightroom and found it very helpful. Saved me a couple hundred dollars and time by not taking an evening LR class. Creative Live workshops match my learning style perfectly. Laura is awesome! My only complaint is maybe Laura can use a PC next time which is what she seems more comfortable using. Her shortcut mix-ups on a Mac were making me a bit dizzy :)

a Creativelive Student

I cannot express enough how impressed I was with Laura and this class. I learned more in the 3 days of this workshop than I did in all 6 weeks of a class I took online that cost three times as much. I left not only impressed by the class but MOST importantly - refreshed and energized to put my new knowledge to use! Thank you for that!!!

a Creativelive Student

Excellent workshop bar none. I learned more about Lightroom than I did from any other tutorial/workshp that I previously encountered. Thanks Laura!

Student Work