Removing Dust Spots in Lightroom

When I first starting using Lightroom I basically used it for color correcting my images and making other simple changes like brightness, contrast and exposure. I always thought Lightroom was for simple changes and more complex changes where done through Photoshop. It wasn’t until months later when I really started to explore some of the really cool features like Brushes, Gradients and found the Spot removal. The spot removal is just like using the healing brush in Photoshop and a quick and easy way to remove dust spots from your photos in Lightroom. Since I shoot a lot of portraits and love to shoot at f/2.8 or lower I tend to forget about cleaning my sensor after every shoot like I should. Then when heading out for a landscape or something with a lot of sky I get these pesky dust spots everywhere. So here is a quick review on how to remove these dust spots.

The spot removal tool is located right beneath the Histogram in the Develop module in Lightroom (remember you can always use the shortcut “D” to enter the develop module).

spot removal

spot removal tool

Once you select the Spot removal tool you will have a brush to make your selection. Adjust the size of this brush to be slightly larger than the size of your dust spots.

spot removal in lightroom

When you click on one of the dust spots with your brush it will create a 2nd circle to the side with an arrow pointing back towards the main circle. This area is where Lightroom is going to take the sample from to fill the data where the spot is. Move this second circle around until you have a perfect sample that fills the area with the same tones to perfectly blend the image. You can continue adding as many points to the image as you need to by simply placing your cursor over any other dust spots and clicking the mouse to create another clone point.

lightroom tips and tutorials

After you have placed a point down on the image you can also delete this by clicking back on the circle and pressing Delete on your keyboard. You can also click on the Spot removal tool to hide all of the circles from the image. This way you can see what the photo looks like with all of your changes, but without distracting circles everywhere. Another tip if you need to change the size of the circle after you have placed it on the image place your cursor on the edge of the circle and it will give you the ability to drag the circle larger or smaller.

Quick and easy. But remember no matter how easy it is, its still much easier to remember to clean your sensor before your shoot. Is there something specific you would like to learn with Lightroom (or Photoshop or Aperture)? Drop us a line in the comments or on our facebook wall, we do take requests :)

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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