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

Putting One Lightroom or Camera Raw Spot Removal Fix On Top of Another

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

(If you are reading this from the blog home page, click on the post title to view the post larger.)

Sometimes I find that for cloning or healing I need to put one spot removal fix right on top of another.  If you have used this tool, you know that this isn’t directly possible — putting the cursor over an existing circle just gives you the hand tool to move that circle.   It finally occurred to me how this can be done… maybe I am the last person to figure this out, but I thought I’d share it.  I will demonstrate it using Lightroom, but it works the same way in Camera Raw.

I am working to remove the cars from behind this girl’s head:

I start with one big circle, adding plants from the right side of the image.  However, I don’t like that rectangular black hole with the strip through it at 5 o’clock just up from the bottom yellow flower.

If I put my mouse over that object to apply another circle, all I get is the hand tool to move the existing circle.  So here’s the solution:  I put a circle of the size I want anywhere I can:

Then I move it where I want it — in this case right on top of the big one!  I drag the fix circle (the right one in this case, dragging from inside the circle, not the edge of the circle) over my problem, and the source circle down into the plants to the right of her head:

That’s it  — just put it anywhere that works, and then drag it to where you want it!

Here’s the almost-finished result.  It needs a tiny bit more finessing, but I think if you didn’t know I had done it, you’d never see it (and you would be focused on the girl anyway.)

There is one complication to this technique:  Let’s say you come back later and you want to work on the inner fix.  The problem is, if you click anywhere in the outer circle, you are moving or working on that outer circle.  The only way to work on the inner one is to temporarily move the outer one out of the way.  

Here’s hoping that Lightroom 4 allows a more direct application of one circle on top of another, but in the meantime, this is better than nothing!

To learn much more about the spot removal tool, here is a link to a video I did back in 2008 (my first video, so the volume is pretty low).  Of course there is a newer video on my new Lightroom traning DVD —  Click here to find out more.

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