Jul 312015

Lightroom - get rid of spots and objectsLightroom’s spot removal tool with its incorporated advanced healing brush is great for getting rid of spots and some objects, as well as for retouching tasks such as reducing the appearance of wrinkles and softening skin.

Watch the two video tutorials that Adobe asked me to make last year on how to use this tool.  In the first video, learn how to get rid of sensor dust or annoying objects in your composition, and learn the difference between healing and cloning. In the second, learn how to use the visualize spots feature so you don’t miss hard-to-see spots, do a quick portrait touch-up, and see how to go to Photoshop for advanced retouching. 

Click on the image below to go to the Adobe video tutorial page, where you can download the practice files and follow along in Lightroom as you watch the videos. If you enjoy the tutorials, please complete the quick feedback survey below the videos to let Adobe know!



Note that you’ll need Lightroom 5, 6 or CC for all of the features demonstrated. If you have Lightroom 2,3, or 4, do still watch the videos, but note you won’t be able to click-and-drag to do non-circular fixes, and you won’t have the Visualize Spots feature.



May 272014
In this video tutorial I show you how to easily brighten, whiten, and fix flaws in teeth, using Lightroom’s adjustment brush and spot removal tool. (This video was made with Lightroom 4 or 5, but is applicable to CC and 6 as well.)
For best quality, hit Play, then click on the Youtube sprocket wheel. in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

Related Video Tutorial:

Spot Removal and Advanced Healing

Using Lightroom’s Spot Removal Tool / Advanced Healing Brush

Apr 182013

lightroom-5-healing-brush-visualize-spotsWatch my video tutorial below for how to use all of the new features in the Spot Removal tool in the Lightroom 5 beta — including the new advanced healing brush, which is great for both removing objects and doing retouching, and for the new Visualize Spots feature. For me, these new tools alone will be worth upgrading for when Lightroom 5 officially comes out. I will also be making far fewer trips to Photoshop!

(Update 12-01-14: For those looking for Creating a Faux HDR Effect in Lightroom and Save It as a Preset (Lightroom 4 & 5), please click here.

For best quality, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

Summary of what is covered +  shortcuts for healing and cloning:

  • 2 types of spots available:
    • Circle spots – the preexisting functionality within Lightroom
    • Brush spots – can be used for arbitrary shapes (retouching: at low opacity)
  • Usage options:
    • Click + Drag – create brush spot
    • Single click – create a circle spot from auto-find source
    • Shift + Click – connect the selected spot with the new spot via a straight brush stroke
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Drag – Create a circle spot from user-defined source
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Option + Drag: Create a circle spot that scales from center
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + Drag: Create a circle spot that scales from anchor
    • Backslash (/) – select new source for existing circle or brush spot
    • Shift + Drag – Constrain brush spot to horizontal or vertical axis Continue reading »
Oct 232012

As I have written before, I find myself still discovering cool hidden features of Lightroom. This one I picked up from Sean McCormack’s new Craft & Vision e-book, Essential Development (which as I wrote in my last post, you should definitely check out).

The traditional way to set the size of the spot removal circle is to use the slider in the spot removal options panel. However, I have always found it to be faster and more convenient to use the scroll wheel on my mouse to set the size. Here’s an even faster way, to both set the size and apply your fix at the same time:

  • Select the spot removal tool.
  • Hold down the Ctl key on a PC or the Cmd key on a Mac.
  • Click and drag in your image to define the circular area you want to fix.

Removing the Crow: Ctl/Cmd-Click and Drag to Define the Circular Area to Remove


  • Let go of the Ctl or Cmd key and the mouse button.
  • Adjust the source circle as needed.



For those of you who need more of a foundation in using the spot removal tool, or who are looking for more great tips for getting the most out of it, watch below the Lightroom 4 version of my video on using the spot removal tool. This is one of the 55 videos in my  Lightroom 4: The Fundamentals & Beyond series, available now on DVD or by download. (Note that this lesson applies equally to Lightroom 2 and 3!)

(For best quality, once you hit the play button, click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right, and choose 720 HD.)


Read More About Lightroom 4: The Fundamentals & Beyond — 10 1/2 hours of training on 55 videos.

Jan 192012

Do any of these happen to you?

  • You have to crop a photo, perhaps because it isn’t straight or you applied lens corrections, but the crop cuts out something you really need?
  • Something in your photo is right on the edge of the photo, and needs to be moved up a bit?
  • You need to fix two things that are really close to each other, and the spot removal tool won’t let you?

If so, you will want to watch my 5 minute video here showing some cool tips for using the Lightroom spot removal tool.  They won’t always work, but when they do they are quite handy. These tips apply to all version of Lightroom, and to Camera Raw as well.

I find that the more I challenge the spot removal tool, the more I discover that it can do for me.  Yes, it still has its limits, but it is much more powerful than it initially appears!

Related Content:

Learn How to Use Lightroom’s Spot Removal Tool, Including a Cool Hidden Feature

Jul 272011

Sometimes I find that for cloning or healing I need to put one Lightroom spot removal fix right on top of another.  If you have used this tool, you know that this isn’t directly possible — putting the cursor over an existing circle just gives you the hand tool to move that circle.   It finally occurred to me how this can be done… maybe I am the last person to figure this out, but I thought I’d share it.  I will demonstrate it using Lightroom, but it works the same way in Camera Raw.

I am working to remove the cars from behind this girl’s head:

Continue reading »

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