Sounds pretty obvious when you spell it out right? You have spots on your photo (from digital sensor dust) so use the spot healer. I’m not sure when the tool was introduced to Photoshop, but I’ve encountered more than one person constantly using the Clone Stamp to take care of spots, blissfully unaware of the Spot Healing Tool. Also, before anybody else says it I’ll say it first: the Retouch Tool in ACR (and probably Lightroom) is WAY better than the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop — so I’ll cover that one in another article. Back to the Spot Healing Brush…
HOW TO ACCESS THE SPOT HEALING BRUSH
- On your tools palette just above the brush tool, click on the icon that you see in this post (it’s a little bandage with a spot under it).
- OR press “J” to bring up the most recently used healing tool or “Shift+J” to cycle through the tools until you find the right one.
HOW TO USE THE SPOT HEALING BRUSH
- Zoom your photo to an appropriate level so you can see the spots clearly.
- Make sure your Spot Healing Brush Tool is still activated.
- Set the brush size to about twice that of the spot.
- Set your brush hardness fairly low to ensure smooth blending.
- Click the spot.
That’s it. Bye bye. If you want to keep things non-destructive, throw an empty layer on top of your background and make sure you’re sampling all layers. This is a good idea anyways so you can erase stuff or touch it up.
WHEN SPOT HEALING FAILS
No, it’s not the perfect tool, but it’s certainly faster than doing the sample click, click, sample click, click, sample click, click thing with the Clone Stamp. The Spot Healing Brush usually fails miserably around sharp edges. So if you have spots near areas of high contrast or sharpness, you might be better off reverting back to the clone stamp.
Anybody else have tips for getting rid of spots or working with the Spot Healing Brush?