Using the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom and Camera Raw

9/2011: Here’s an updated video tutorial on how to use the spot removal tool to retouch photos in Lightroom.  I also show how to use it to reduce the appearance of circles under eyes. This is from my Lightroom 3 Fundamentals and Beyond video series, available as a download or DVD.  Check it out if you have Lightroom 3.  And click here to check out the Lightroom 4 version!          

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Painting Back What You Take Away

Sometimes you want to make an adjustment to your image almost everywhere. You could use the adjustment brush and paint almost everywhere, but that could be slow. Instead, make the adjustment everywhere, with a global change in the Basic panel, and then use the adjustment brush to change back the area you didn’t want to affect. This works in both Camera Raw and Lightroom. Here’s an example. I want to give this portrait image that glow that is popular these days, but I don’t want it to affect the eyes or the mouth. I will give the image the glow by reducing clarity to -60 in the Basic panel. I also boosted contrast and vibrance. With the adjustment brush set […more]

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Chromatic Aberration

When you are working on an image for print, or any application where it will be viewed full size, it is important that you zoom in to 100%, and inspect the entire image for issues that you can’t see when it is smaller. I was working on this image today and when I zoomed in to 100% I discovered a red and cyan colored fringe around the bird in the image. Here it is zoomed in to 400% so you can really see it:

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Lightroom 2 Adjustment Brush Tip

If you are using the adjustment brush to make local image enhancements, you can hover over the pin to see the mask that you have drawn, but it shows for just a moment. To keep it on as you brush, type the letter O, for Overlay. To turn the overlay off, type O again. If instead you use the adjustment brush in Camera Raw, simply check the Show Mask check box to see the mask. (Why isn’t this check box in Lightroom?)

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Are you clear on Clarity in Lightroom?

The clarity slider was introduced in Lightroom 1.1, and is also now in Camera Raw. A positive clarity value punches up an image, makes it look a little more three dimensional, by enhancing contrast along edges. The changes are concentrated in the midtones, and do little to highlights and shadows. Here is an example, a portion of an image with Clarity set to 0, and then set to 60.

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