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How Lightroom’s Spot Healing Tool Saved My Life

Okay--so it didn't really save my life as in bring-me-back-from-the-dead kind of save my life. But it did save me TONS of time as I have removed one LARGE dust spot from all my photos for the the last 3 MONTHS (that's right--I totally just typed 3 MONTHS!! And, YES, I am a little embarrassed to admit that to you!

You might think this sounds like a time consuming process, but let me assure you that Lightroom makes this so easy. Easy enough that I let it go for 3 MONTHS (did I already say that?!?!)

To find out more, you can watch this video or continue reading the tutorial below!

You'll find the Spot Removal Tool in the Develop Module in the right-hand panel underneath the histogram.

Lightroom's Spot Healing Tool | Pretty Presets Lightroom Tutorial

When you click on the Spot Removal Tool a little box will open that gives you some options.

Lightroom's Spot Healing Tool | Pretty Presets Lightroom Tutorial

First, you need to choose whether you want to use the Clone Tool or the Heal Tool. I have found that they each work great depending on the type of photo and the spot you are trying to remove.

Sometimes Clone works better and sometimes Heal works better. You'll have to experiment with your spot to figure out what works best. For this photo, the Heal tool worked better.

Lightroom's Spot Healing Tool | Pretty Presets Lightroom Tutorial

Next, you need to size the brush. You can use the slider in the panel that opened up or you can use your right and left bracket keys to do this (hint: you can use this same shortcut to resize your brushes in Photoshop.) Make sure the brush is just slightly larger than the spot you are trying to remove.

You also have the option to adjust the opacity of your "Clone" or "Heal" spot. For this type of spot, I am going to leave the opacity at 100. However, if you were working on skin, you may find that you adjust the opacity to keep the skin looking natural.

Now, I am going to hover over the spot and "click!" Like magic your spot will disappear. Lightroom automatically choose the spot it is going to Clone or Heal from. However, you have full control to move it where it looks best. AND you can move it ANYWHERE on the photo!

Lightroom's Spot Healing Tool | Pretty Presets Lightroom Tutorial

The best part is that you don't have to do this to each individual photo. First, select a group of photos that all have the same spot. (Hint: This works really well for a dust spot, but not so well for healing acne on the skin. Humans tend to move slightly each time the shutter is clicked so the spot will not be in the same spot in every frame!) Next, "click" the Sync button. Then, make sure that the "Spot Removal" box is checked. Last, hit "Synchronize!" Now, like magic, the spot has been removed from every photo!

Lightroom's Spot Healing Tool | Pretty Presets Lightroom Tutorial

REMEMBER, that if you don't like the way that it "SYNC"ed the spot in one of the photos. You can go in and change it. Just pick the photo, select the "Spot Removal" Tool, hover over where the spot you just removed, and move the circle Lightroom chose to a spot that looks better!!

Hope this helps you fix all those bothersome spots!

About the Author of this post:

Hi!! I am Gayle. I am a wife to my handsome husband and mom to 4 beautiful kids. In my spare time, I am a photographer and blogger at Mom and Camera. I have a passion for sharing my love of photography with others. I teach local photography classes and regularly share photography tips and tricks on my blog. I hang out there a lot—I’d love you to stop by and visit!



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