Today I want to share a quick tip on cleaning up lint, dust, cat hair, and things like that from clothing or other areas of your photo. I'm super picky, and even if the image is a 5x7 and the dust may not even show up on the print, I like to fix things like that on my large files anyway. You never know when the customer may come back later and order a wall portrait from that file they only previously purchased a 5x7 from, and I don't want to have to go back in and re-retouch the image.
Something like today's tutorial only takes a few seconds to do, so I always do it regardless of chosen output size or medium.
Traditionally, healing or cloning is used for small pieces of dust, but there’s a much faster way and it’s built right into Photoshop.
Here’s How to Do It
- First, make a copy of your working layer (command/control-J)
- Go to Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches...
- Adjust settings to remove the desired areas from photo, while not over-blurring the rest (this is the key). In other words, start with none, then raise the settings until it barely removes the unwanted dust from your photo.
- Apply a layer mask to that new layer and invert.
- Using a white brush, paint only over the areas you wish to correct.
As with everything like this, there are multiple ways that can accomplish the same task. I like this one because it’s literally made specifically for this, and it works well.
Other Non-Traditional Uses
The Dust & Scratches filter can also be used for other things as well. Try it on studio backgrounds with some small wrinkles, and even outdoor settings, like sidewalks with dirt or small debris. This underused tool is pretty valuable when used properly and not overdone.