Adobe Camera Raw
So here, in Adobe Camera Raw, I haven't done any edits to this image, this is a DNG file, digital negative, I haven't done any work to this at all. And by looking at it, at first glance, you might not think that I even have any problems with it, right? Now, there's a little white thing here that I might want to replace, that would be something I'd do with the Clone Stamp tool, but really what I'm doing in Adobe Camera Raw, is I'm not trying to do any really robust cloning, okay, that's something that I'll stay with Photoshop, because I can do those things on layers. What I'm doing in Adobe Camera Raw will be minor things, minor blemishes, pimples, zits, anything that's minor, and also dust spots, this is actually one of the best tools to use for dust spots. So even if you're in Photoshop, and you see that you have a dust spot after you've done some editing, one of the best things you could do is use Adobe Camera Raw as a filter, hop into Adobe Camera Raw as a filter, and use that to re...
move the dust spots, and that's exactly what I'm going to show you here. Now you won't see these things very easily just by looking at the image. Typically, dust spots tend to creep in on you when you're using long exposures. So I do a lot of long exposure work on the beach, and if you're at something like, let's just say F16 for 25 seconds, all those dust spots will show up like crazy and the reason why, is that, more light is being allowed in for a longer period of time, and anything that might exist on that sensor to block that light that's coming in, will show up as a spot. These things, we can't really see them, one of the ways that we can see them is if we go over to the effects here and we go to Dehaze, and we drop, we bring this all the way up, we can start to see those dust spots. You start to see 'em up there? There's a lot of 'em. I have a really dirty sensor in this case. This is where, when you're editing an image, you'll be able to see them come in, especially with something like Dehaze. 'Cause the Dehaze slider is doing a lot of things when you push it up, it's not just dehazing the image, what it's doing is it's adding some blue, it's increasing the contrast, making it a much more high-contrast based image, it's adjusting exposure, it's doing a lot of things when we jump that up. Typically, I won't bump my Dehaze up to 100%, but the reason why I'm showing you that is you can see those dust spots pretty well. In Adobe Camera Raw there's a little button right here called Spot Removal. So, if we click this tool, we're gonna get a bunch of different options here. By default, this will be set to Heal, and we'll talk about the difference between healing and cloning in a second, and then, if we look down here, there's this thing called Visualize Spots, and then we have the size of our brush that we're using, we have the feather of the brush that we're using, and we have the opacity of that brush. Just like all the brush presets, the left bracket key it gets smaller, the right bracket key it gets bigger, and we'll go ahead and adjust the feather here so we can see the size and the feather of this brush. With the feather set to zero, it's gonna be just like the hardness of a brush, if we set it to zero, there will be no feathering on the edge of this brush. You can see that the inner circle is the hardness of that brush, and the spread to the feather of it is going to be the blue outline that's around it. So, if I bring this feather up, I tend to work with a highly feathered brush in this case, 'cause it blends and it smooths in a lot better. Left bracket key to make it a little bit smaller. Typically, when we're using the Spot Removal tool, we're gonna want to use a brush that's relatively the same size of the spot that we're trying to heal. So, I'm gonna go ahead and press Visualize Spots here. And, now when I press Visualize Spots, we can see a very low-contrast version of our image. What it's doing is, it's taking all of the detail in our photograph and it's outlining the edges, so by bringing the Visualize Spots all the way down we can't see many of those spots, but as we bring this up, it's increasing the sensitivity of Adobe Camera Raw to the possibility of detail in the image. So what happens is, those spots end up showing up as little spots of detail, you see that? Look at that, that's a lot of dirt on my sensor. Now, cleaning a sensor is not a very hard task. It's a very simple task, and I do it a lot now, much more than I did when I was shooting these types of images, especially when I'm doing things with long exposure. But it makes it a perfect image for us to experiment with cleaning up spots. So, with this set to Visualize Spots, I can see those spots, and I have this overlay checked. What this is going to do, if I zoom in, if I press Ctrl + Spacebar in Camera Raw and do some clicks, I can zoom in, the spacebar key while I click and drag around will allow me to move the canvas around temporarily. So, if I go ahead and look at this spot, you can see that my brush is a lot larger than that spot, I'm gonna go ahead a want to make that a little bit smaller to be just about the size of that spot, and then have that feather around so it blends in nice and neatly. When I click it, Camera Raw's automatically gonna find a spot that it wants to choose that looks like that area. Right now, it's relatively close 'cause you can see there's a lot of details that look very similar. But there's sometimes where you'll click on an area and it'll shoot all the way across to the other side of the photograph to find a spot that looks like that spot to fill it in. Now, with this set to Heal, what that's doing is, healing, in any of the tools that we have here, healing is going to look at the content, it's going to assess the content, and it's going to change the colors, and also the look of the diffusion of that look around that to make it blend in perfectly, or it's gonna try to do it as perfectly as possible. I'm set right now to Visualize Spots, if I turn Visualize Spots off, you can't see that low-contrast image, but I can work with this low-contrast image to remove my spots, and this is exactly how I do it. 'Cause if I turn that Visualize Spots off, we can barely even see any of the other spots. They won't rear their ugly head until we start to really push the contrast in our image. And that typically happens when we go into Photoshop and we're doing things like luminosity masking and our shadows, and then, boom, there's a dust spot, and it's like ahh, crap, I should have fixed that in Adobe Camera Raw. So I'll turn that Visualize Spots on, make this a little bit smaller, click on this area, and if you ever need to move it, so right now, the red one is the area that it's fixing, the green one is the area that it's selecting from. If I just put my cursor inside there, I can click and drag that anywhere around the image, so that I become the one that picks where the selection is gonna come from. So if I click right around there, it's gonna make a selection from there, click there, there, click there, click there, and it's pretty good, it does a pretty good job. See how that one shot all the way over here to get something that was relatively close to that? We turn that Visualize Spots off, we can see exactly what it's pulling from and why this color is more close to this color than any of the other colors around it. It's pretty smart, pretty intuitive. For the most part, you just have to kinda click around like this and it'll do a pretty good job of filling in all the areas that you need to be filled in on your dust spots. When you look at a sensor like this, it's actually pretty embarrassing, it's like when someone comes over to your house and they see your clothes all over the place, like, oh, let me clean this up real quick for ya. (laughing) And this one, see when we clicked on this one, it needs to go right around here, to grab an area that's a little bit more closely related to that, and that's a little bit better. So, Adobe Camera Raw did a great job of trying to find something for me, but I just needed something a little bit closer to that area. If I move around, that is going to be using the actual Healing Brush portion of this. Let me turn Visualize Spots off and I'll come down here. I did talk before about things that are white, that stick out to you, that just pop right out in front of your face. This would be one of those areas that I would say could probably be fixed in Adobe Camera Raw. So, if I go ahead and move around on here like this, see how it's coming up here and it's grabbing up here from the sky? and then it's filling it in and trying to heal it and, yeah, the color looks good, but it just looks like a blurry mess. So, if I bring this down, something like over here, the heal is working a little bit better, but I want it to be a literal copy of that area. And if I want a literal copy of that area, I can change this from Heal to Clone, and now it's gonna take exactly what it sees in that other area, and based on the settings that I have here from my feather, I can help it blend it in a little bit better and be more hard-edged, or more soft-edged to make that just kinda blend in a lot better. And, again, I'm trying to find an area that does not have a repeating pattern. So if I were to come right here below this rock, and do something like this, you see if we turn the overlay off, it doesn't look good. It's not connected, that line should be connected, and if someone were to look hard enough at this they would see that I took an exact copy of the portion right below that image. So let me turn the Show Overlay on, and then move this over to another portion of the photo that I had before, like something like that, that doesn't look too bad, or something that might be relatively close to that, like maybe that portion of the rock. And if I increase or decrease that feather, again, that helps with the blend. If I bring the feather all the way down and turn Show Overlay off, you can see that it's a literal copy, an exact copy, an exact clone of that area. Where if I had turned that Show Overlay back on, and then maybe boost up that feather, we'll turn this off so you can see how this looks, boost up that feather a little bit, you can see how it blends in a little bit better without showing those overlay areas around it. Turn that overlay on. So, Visualize Spots, just does a really good job of showing all the areas around it. The overlay is actually showing you what spots it's selecting, so that by the time I'm done, you can see all the nastiness that's happening in this photograph. But, now, if we go back and go to our effects and pull our Dehaze up, you can see I did a pretty good job of getting rid of all of our spots except for this one little one right here, not that big of a deal, I could pop right back over here, Visualize Spots, zoom in to the back of this image, that's even a difficult one to find. Let me turn this Visualize Spots off, there it is, we can just, boom. Now we have it all cleaned up. Again, that Dehaze all the way up, not something I suggest doing, other than just checking to see where your spots are. If you turn that Dehaze up, and you also go into something like your exposure and put your exposure down, that can also be a way to find these, and even boosting up that contrast, 'cause that's really gonna hyperextend those detail areas, especially in those spots.