Dust spots is something that has annoyed most of us on more than one occasion. It could be the result of poor cleaning or challenging conditions. Sometimes the spots are small and barely visible, other times they are taking all the attention away from the beautiful image you have captured. Luckily there is a simple way to remove dust spots in Adobe Lightroom.
Avoid Dust Spots
Before we get started on how to Remove the Dust Spots, I’ll give you a couple tips to avoid having dust spots in the first place. That being said, unless your camera is brand new there will be a few dust spots on your images. Following these tips will help reducing the amounts and their sizes.
- Use a lense cap when you are not taking pictures. The lense cap should always be on when your camera is not in use or laying in your backpack.
- Avoid changing lenses in rain and wind. If you must change your lense during this type of weather, try finding some sort of cover.
- Clean your equipment. It’s always a good idea to bring a air blower and lense wipes. Using a lense pen can also be beneficial.
Method 1: Use Lightroom’s Spot Removal Tool
For 99% of your images Lightroom’s built in Spot Removal Tool will do a perfect job. The tool is made with the intent to remove dust spots or other unwanted elements on your image.
To begin with you have two brush options: Clone and Heal.
Clone: Duplicates the sampled area of the image to the selected area.
Heal: Matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled area to the selected area.
When removing dust spots you should be using the Heal Brush. This brush does a great job replacing the marked area without leaving visible marks. The Clone brush on the other hand does not care about leaving marks, it’s only job is to replace the marked spot with the exact content from another place.
Without zooming in on a image it can be hard to see all the dust spots, even though it is many of them. Lightroom has a great feature named Visualize Spots for making these spots easier to locate. You might wonder why it is necessary to remove spots that are hard to see. Well, everything becomes more visible when you begin printing your images. The larger the print is, the more visible all the mistakes become.
As you can see dust spots become much more visible when you activate the Visualize Spot option. Now it is easy to mark and heal the unwanted dust spots.
Method 2: Use Lightroom’s Dehaze Tool
This version is a less explored option, and few people are aware that it can help reveal dust spots. As I mentioned above, the Spot Removal tool with Visualize Spots works for 99% of images. However, every now and then you will take an image that Visualize Spots doesn’t do a good enough job with.
In this second method we will still be using the Spot Removal Tool, but instead of using Visualize Spots to reveal spots we use Lightroom’s Dehaze Tool. In simple terms this tool decreases or increases contrast in the image.
Setting Dehaze to 100% will drastically increase the contrast of your image. This will reveal all the dust spots. Now go back to using the Spot Removal and do the same as you would have done previously, without using the Visualize Spots option.
When you have healed all spots go back to Dehaze and set it to 0.
Note that Visualize Spots does a better job in most cases.