My camera needs cleaning, I am not going to pretend, it really does. The last time I really looked at my images all I could see was spots. The sensors are dirty, and while I know I could probably do this myself, I would prefer to get it done professionally. So in the mean time I have spots on my images. I had the same problem in Airey’s Inlet last year, here take a look.
You wouldn’t believe how bad this image is. Spots on an image can really detract from it. When I look at this image all I see are the spots. If you do lots of post processing they can become even more dominant. They are fairly simple to remove and I think it is a good idea to do it. You won’t have any excuse now.
I am aware that not everyone uses the same software that I do, and as this is a fairly easy task, tiresome, but it is easy, I decided to do this tutorial a little different. I have removed the spots 4 times for you. I have used Photoshop CS6, Picasa, GIMP and finally, Photoshop Elements 8. I tried to do it using Lightroom 4, but it drove me nuts with its updates, not working and then I found it wasn’t easy to follow. I am used to something else.
So on with the tutorial.
From this image I hope you can see how grainy it is. I upped the contrast and the clarity to show how bad it was, but in the end I went to Topaz Adjust and increased the detail so it would be easier for you to see. (The grainy effect was done on purpose for this tutorial, it is not what I would normally do. I did it so the spots would be easier for you to see.)
I enlarge the image, I find it is easier to do this if you enlarge this image and only look at a section at a time. I move across the image and then down in a very logical way, you don’t want to miss anything.
Once the image is enlarged then you press the Spot Healing Brush Tool, which is the first one on Photoshop. You simply make the tool the size you want, (right click on the image and the window pops like the one above and you can move the slider to the size you want) which is, in this case, about the size of the spots. Then you go to all the spots and click on them and then they are gone.
Some of you mentioned Picasa to me, so I thought I would download it and try it out. I’m not really sure about it. I read some reviews and it is more a database, like Lightroom, and also like Lightroom has some editing features as well. It did something all my image files, but I found it really hard to find them. I have my own system, and I like my system. I find my images very easy to find, most of the time. Any way back to Picasa.
I pressed on the retouch button, it seemed the most logical tool to use. It took me quite a while to work out what I was meant to be doing. You have to click on the spot, then click on an area that is close to the spot, and that second click fills in the first one. It was very confusing, normally it happens the other way.
The last time I did a tutorial I used GIMP and someone, Tricia, said that she had downloaded it but that it didn’t work properly so she deleted it. My husband asked if she was running Windows 7, she said yes, and apparently there have been problems. I have Windows 7, so I downloaded GIMP 2.8 for my laptop to see if it worked, and to more spot removal. I didn’t have any problems with it doing this exercise.
The Image was enlarged and the clone button was selected. It has a healing tool, but I had trouble working it out. It doesn’t work the same way as it does in photoshop, I probably need to play around with it more.
However the clone tool worked fine. To use the clone button you need to press the Control (Ctrl) button on your keyboard, keep it pressed, while you select an area near the spot. You select by clicking that area. Then you release the Ctrl button and click on the spot. Don’t do it too far from the spot or it won’t work, remember the first area you select is what will replace the spot.
A cleaner image.
Photoshop Elements 8
I have an older version of PSE, though I can’t see that it would have changed that much. It is very similar to using Photoshop CS6, and would be a great substitute, I believe.
Here the image has been opened in PSE.
Once the image has been enlarged, then you click on the Spot Healing Brush Tool, it looks like a band-aid. This tool works the same way as it does in CS6, you just adjust the size, then click on the spot and it is gone. So easy.
After using these four, I can’t help thinking that Photoshop Elements and CS6 are so much better to use, or rather easier. Though having said that, you have to use what you have.
If you are using something else, then principles should still be the same, look for a healing brush or a clone tool to help you remove the spots.
So there it is, removing spots. It doesn’t matter how clean you keep your camera, from time to time you are going to have to get it cleaned, and the way you will know, is because of all the spots.
I hope this hasn’t been to confusing. It is a fairly simple task, but I wanted to show you how to do it using different editing software. Please feel free to ask questions if you need more help and if you are confused.