Out Damn Spot: Lightroom’s new Spot Removal Tool

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No matter what you do, sometimes you can’t avoid the lamppost in the background! Donegal, Ireland

My last session on Lightroom explained that LR5 was great for helping see and remove dust spots. (Previous Post if you Missed it: Click Here)

Methinks that Lady MacBeth requested this new addition to the Spot Removal Tool. Unfortunately, a little late for her!

So let me tell you about another advantage of the new Lightroom 5. It is an expansion of the Spot Removal Tool. In the past, the Spot Removal Tool was limited to circles. Kinda like dabbing a brush multiple times on a canvas and it worked ok for small areas, but not as much for larger areas (most large areas that need “healed” are not circular,). See the Lamppost in the background above. I had to work a little bit to blend things by using about 4 different Spot Removal sessions, but you never could have done this with just a circular brush.

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Don’t tell anyone, but I think I removed a Life Saving Ring also! 

Now the Spot Removal Tool works like an actually brush, brush the area you want to heal or remove. Like before, Lightroom looks for the best replacement from your image. If the replacement doesn’t work well, you have the choice of moving the sampling area to a place that works better.. Is it perfect? No, and some retouching will occasionally need the help of Photoshop, but it is light years ahead of dabbing a circular spot that we had been relegated to in the past. Once you make the selection, LR pics an area to sample from and shows you what the result looks like. If it doesn’t match well, then click within the sampled area box and move the sample around until it matches better. Sometimes it just won’t work, but it works enough to keep you out of doing this in Photoshop most of the time.

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I like the guy in the red coat, but because he is so visible, we are going to practice getting rid of him! This is hiking up Crough Patrick in Ireland.

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And now you just have the rocky path with a few hikers in the distance. I actually like the first one and would have never done this except for example!

So just think of all those telephone poles growing out of peoples heads and telephone lines across your images. This tool will help you take care of that..

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