You might have been to a place for sight seeing or vacation and might have captured some really amazing shots. The first thing that we do is share with our friends or on social media and enjoy with the likes and comments that we get. But what if these images have some spot in it where there is a wire or plastic item in front of a beautiful scenery or some kind of dust which can distract your image viewers. For this to be removed there is something called ‘spot healing’.

Recently, I had been to Himalayan trekking for 8 days where even after cleaning my camera, I could still find few dust spots in the final image. This was because there was dust in the lens and my camera sensor. This might have entered while changing the lens. One small dust particle was enough to spoil the entire image. To fix this I had to use spot healing using some of the photo editing tools.

As shown in the image below once the image is opened in Lightroom/Photoshop it will be in your library. Switch to ‘Develop’ mode and click on the spot healing circle (marked in red to the right). Once you click on this, you get more options under spot edit where you can adjust the size and opacity. Once it’s set, click on the spot that is to be healed – circle A in the image below. To select a larger region increase the circle size or just drag around the selected spot in the image. Once this is done the software will auto select another region of the image from where that part of the image is copied. If you are not happy with it then you can select another region by moving the circle B to a different region. I would recommend to zoom into the photo and then do this activity and also select small regions instead of large circles.

spot healing in Lightroom

Spot Healing using Lightroom

Most of the photo editing tools have this feature called spot healing, but when it comes to Photoshop or Lightroom the spot healing that is done is just too good. These two tools have an algorithm called ‘content awareness’ using which it will look into the best match to spot that is to be healed by looking at the spot surroundings.

Note that this may look good for posters, printing or on social media but when it comes to photography competition spot healing is not allowed and will be considered as manipulating of the original image. Give it a try and leave a comment on what you think.

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