Spot, Heal, Clone: The Perfect Combination

You've just taken what you're sure is the absolute best photo you've ever captured, only to get back to your computer to find that disaster has struck. Right in the middle of your beautiful composition is a blemish that just can't be unseen. Instead of heading back out to try and capture the moment again, modern technology has a better option: the blemish removal tools in Photoshop.

Removing Blemishes in Photoshop: The Basics

If you're stuck with a blemish on a photo that you want to get rid of, Photoshop has two great options for you: the Spot Healing Brush and the Clone Stamp Tool.

The type of blemish you're dealing with will determine which tool is best suited for the job. If you're dealing with something minuscule like a spot of dirt on an otherwise clean wall, you can use the Spot Healing Brush. To do so, use the bracket keys to make the brush size larger than the spot of dirt. Next, click the spot of dirt once, and presto - an entirely, clean wall. If only it worked that way in real life, right?

Spot Healing

If you're talking about a blemish a little bigger than just a speck of dust on the wall, you can use a similar technique. Instead of clicking on the spot, however, simply paint a crack like you would paint a brush stroke and soon, the crack will be no more.

Healing vs. Cloning: What Are My Options?

The Healing Brushes are ideal for completely removing something from an image. If your finger just happens to cover an otherwise perfect picture of a bright, blue sky, the Healing Brushes are perfect for zapping that unwanted finger and getting the finished product exactly where you want it.

If the object you want to remove happens to be touching something you want to keep around, you'll need to turn to our old friend, the Clone Stamp Tool. Instead of erasing something from an image, the Clone Stamp Tool is great for essentially covering over it by repeating visual information from somewhere else in the image.

Let's say you took a picture of a wall in your home but you didn't like a poster that happens to be hanging in the frame. With the Clone Stamp Tool, you can sample a bit of the wallpaper from the wall by holding the ALT button and then clicking on a portion of the wallpaper. You can then use that sample to paint over the poster like it was never there at all.

Stamp Tool

For best results, you'll want to use a combination of both of these tools for that polished look you're after. You can use the Healing Brushes to remove the item in question and the Clone Stamp Tool to put the finishing touches on it. With these two tools in your toolkit, no one will be able to tell there were ever any blemishes in your images to begin with.

How Do I Do That in Photoshop?: The Quickest Ways to Do the Things You Want to Do, Right Now!

by Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby, the world's #1 best-selling photography technique books author, is here with an entirely new concept in Photoshop books―one that's designed from the ground up to get you straight to whatever it is you need to do in Photoshop right now, get your answer fast, and get you back to editing your images in Photoshop.

Thanks to Adobe's incredibly popular Creative Cloud Photography plan, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom, photographers are extending the depth and power of Lightroom by jumping over to Photoshop to do all those things Lightroom just can't do (or Lightroom can do, but in Photoshop, it's faster and easier, or the results are just better). Because Photoshop has so much power and depth, sometimes the things you need are...well...kinda hidden or not really obvious. There will be a lot of times when you need to get something done in Photoshop, and you know Photoshop can do it (because Photoshop can do just about anything), but you have no idea where Adobe hid that feature, or what the "secret handshake" is to do that thing you need now so you can get back to working on your images. That's why this book was created: to quickly get you to the technique, the shortcut, the setting, or exactly the right thing you need to do right now.

Here's how it works: When you need to know how to do a particular thing, you turn to the chapter where it would be found (Layers, Printing, Fixing Problems, Special Effects, etc.), find the thing you need to do (it's easy, each page covers just one single topic), and Scott tells you exactly how to do it just like he was sitting there beside you, using the same casual style as if he were telling a friend. That way, you get back to editing your images fast.

This isn't a book of theory, full of confusing jargon and detailed multi-step concepts. This is a book on which button to click, which setting to use, and exactly how and when to use it, so you're never "stuck" in Photoshop again. This will be your "go to" book that sits within reach any time you're working in Photoshop, and you are going to love having this type of help right at your fingertips.