Laura Shoe's Lightroom (and Occasionally Photoshop) Blog for Digital Photographers

Spot Removal in Heal vs. Clone Mode

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

You may or may not have noticed that when you are using the spot removal tool, you can work in either Heal or Clone mode.  Let’s take a look at the difference.

Here is an image before any work:

(c) A. Nowacka

First I clicked on the spot removal tool to select it, and then on Clone:

Let’s do something very obvious for the sake of illustration:  let’s “fix” the father’s cheek, borrowing from the baby’s forehead:

As you can see, Clone is a straight copy of pixels, in this case from the baby’s forehead to the father’s cheek.

Now let’s try the same, in Heal mode:

As you will see if you click on the image to make it larger, Heal has taken the texture from the baby’s forehead, but adjusted the color and tone/darkness of the fix — made it darker and redder — to fit the destination better.

I find that Heal is almost always the option that works for me.  Occasionally though, because Heal pulls in color and tone from the surrounding area, it can show some bleeding around the edges, which makes the circular fix obvious.  What I advise is that users start in Heal mode, and then if they encounter this bleeding issue, switch to clone mode.

For more on using the spot removal tool, see my video.

Ok, now let’s “fix” the baby’s chin, for the fun of it:

These sorts of things happen when a Photoshop instructor takes my Lightroom class!  (Thank you, Nicole Dement, for the inspiration.)


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