I know I already wrote about removing blemishes and spots from photos in Adobe Lightroom, but I just couldn’t help myself when I thought of this image. I had to follow up with a quick post that let’s you in on a new tip or two.
Basically, what I want to dive a bit deeper into are two areas. First, I want to give you an example of what these painted faces look like at different levels of the Visualize Spots feature and second, I want to offer up a nice keyboard shortcut that easily hides all of those annoying circles that appear every time you make a correction. I think these two tips can really help your workflow when using the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom.
Launching Lightroom & Selecting the Spot Removal Tool
The first thing I’m going to do is to launch Adobe Lightroom. When that’s done, I’ll navigate to the photo I’d like to work on and select it. Then, I’ll activate the Spot Removal tool by clicking on it in the right panel.
Using Visualize Spots
Now that I’ve activated the Spot Removal tool, I can visually look for any blemishes I’d like to remove. Already, I can see two on the chin of the girl in the middle.
I can remove them easily, but what I’d like to do first is create sort of a baseline for any further blemishes like this. To do so, I’ll click on the Visualize Spots feature that’s located down under the center image.
Part of the reason I’m writing this post is to show you how you can adjust the Spot Visualization feature so you can see spots more clearly when you’ve got a busy photo, such as the one I’m using here. As you can see in the above screenshot, this feature is of no use as it stands. To either increase or decrease the intensity of this tool, I can use the slider that’s located to the right of the check box and push it to the left or to the right. Pushing it to the left will remove much of the noise and leave the more distinct spots behind and pushing the slider to the right will increase the noise. I’d say that’s useful for photos with very little activity in them. I’ll push the slider all the way to the left now.
Okay, doing this helps a lot with the lower blemish and sort of with the upper one. If there were tons of blemishes, I could definitely see the value of this tool. Also, using the Visualize Spots feature is perfect for photos like this, where blemishes mix in with paint or other facial attributes. It helps clear away distraction and lets you hone in on the problem areas. It really depends on the contrast between the blemish and the surrounding area.
Viewing Before & After
A feature I always use when editing images in both Camera Raw and Lightroom is the Before / After tool. Basically, by hitting just one key on the keyboard, I’m able to make any changes I previously made disappear and then by hitting the key again, I can make them reappear. This is perfect for taking an objective look at edits and reducing the “blindness” that occurs after a while of making changes.
The Before / After shortcut key is the backslash (\). You can either use the shortcut or you can head up to the toolbar at the top of Lightroom and find the View > Before / After > Before Only menu item. Click that and it will have the same effect. The keyboard shortcut is a heck of a lot easier though, so you really should consider using that.
Hiding the Overlay Graphics
In this final section, I’m going to show you how to hide those annoying overlay graphics that appear every time you remove a spot. To exemplify this, I’ve gone ahead and make a boat load of edits. These weren’t really necessary – I merely wanted to have something there to show.
If you look at the above screenshot, you’ll see that I clicked on the Tool Overlay drop-down box that’s located to the left of the Visualize Spots slider. This is what controls those graphics you see scattered all over the center girl’s face. To hide those graphics, I can click on the Never choice. Doing this will keep the corrections, but will hide the graphics that indicate where the changes have been made.
An easier way to accomplish the same thing is to press the H key on your keyboard. What this does is cycles the drop-down between the Always and the Never options. The best part is, you can click H as many times as you’d like and it will continuously turn that feature on and off.
There you go. I know this was a short post, but I wanted to talk about these two areas a bit more. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!