February 5, 2007
One of the more highly requested features in the Public Beta process was the ability to remove dust spots from images. A lot of photographers found that the only real task they went to Photoshop for was cloning and healing out these spots. The Iceland adventure photographers, I think, helped this along and fortunately for us Adobe has included this great feature in Version 1.0.
For those who have used Aperture’s spotting tool, the Lightroom version is much more refined and controllable. There are only a few features in the tool. A Clone or Heal option and a spot size slider. Cloning uses a soft edged circle that copies the selected area and feathers it in the chosen location. Heal, on the other hand, has a hard edged brush that blends well in the offending area. With a single click Lightroom will copy a nearby area, but if you click and drag, you can select the point yourself. After the spotting is done, you can go back and change the spot size. You can also move the source and destination locations. One other little tip is that if you have a scrolling mouse, scrolling will increase and decrease the spot size (as will the [ and ] keys). To help you get a preview of how it looks, I’ve created a Spot Removal Video on how to use it.