Video – Retouching Tips in Lightroom

When Lightroom 5 came out, they made it so the Spot Removal tool was actually a brush. Before LR5, it was simply just a circle. All you could do was tiny remove spots (and maybe some larger spots if you were creative). But in LR5, now you can brush just like you could with any other brush, and it makes for a great retouching tool. But there’s 2 key tips that help out a lot in making it a better tool for retouching. Let’s take a look:

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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16 Comments

  1. Matt, this is a great tip! It’s amazing how we get use to using a tool and forget there are options for it. I was just using LR 5 on some family photos, but instead of using LR 5, I jumped into PS and did the retouching there, and then back to LR. Now I can try my luck with LR! Thanks!

    Hey quick question. How do you get the eye dropper to pick a color in the photo, when using the color patch in the adjustment brush? I’m trying to match a color in the photo to enhance it with the adjustment brush, but couldn’t figure out how to move the eye dropper on to the photo.

    Dennis

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    • Hey Matt,

      Never mind answering my question. I found out what I was doing wrong. I have to click then drag the eye dropper. I was thinking the eye dropper worked the same as the white balance one.

      Dennis

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  2. In some circumstances I miss the functionality of the old lightroom spot removal tool – is there some kind of keyboard shortcut that re-enables ‘classic’ mode for when we want to revert back?

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Carol.
      What feature are you looking for. If you just want a circle, then just click on the photo. Other than that it should be the same tool and act the same way.

      Post a Reply
  3. I used to apply the spot circle, hold down option key and put the capture circle where I wanted it. Now if I hold down the option key the brush turns white and paints. I’m looking for the ability again to position the transparent capture circle exactly where I want it. Worked great for lining up edges, etc.

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    • I’m not sure why you were holding down the option key. You’re able to reposition the points with out it and you should still be able to just like always.

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  4. OK I’m on the right track now. Thanks for replying. I don’t remember how I got started with the option key, but it was an ingrained habit and was confusing the issue for me in LR5. Hands off the option kay – now works fine, as you say – just like before;-)

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  5. hallo,
    thanks for the tip but i really find this tool a toy.
    coming from capture nx2 or ononesoftare suite 8, i really wonder how adobe can make such a bad tool.
    i expected a content aware brush.
    moreover like V4, we cannot make several passes to improve more and more because lightroom doesn’t allow overlapping of two retouching.
    i need to run photoshop cc just and leave non destructive editing to remove a small object.

    best regards
    marc

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  6. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your website.
    I was actually used to follow up your videos on Itunes podcast and was disappointed that they stopped end on 2012.
    I just discovered that you still publish new videos on your website (I dont check it regularly) the there’s no more link to Itunes podcasts. Would you know how to get them through the itunes podcasts again?
    it is much easier since I watchning them on my iphone.

    Thanks again for your work,
    Cheers,
    Guillaume

    Post a Reply
  7. Hi Matt, nice video.

    When LR5 came out (not the beta) I’ve got a trial and found that tool extremely slow.

    On a brand new high end PC (quad-core, 16 GB of RAM and all the nine yards) the cursor would even move slowly when the tool was activated. Trying to move the selected region would take seconds.

    I contacted back then the NAPP Computer Helpdesk and there was nothing they could tell me to fix that (as usual they were amazing).

    Do you know if they fixed it in LR5.2? Would you have any tip to make this work properly?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Cris

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Cris – I haven’t heard anything of that issue or it being fixed. If you’ve got LR5 and you haven’t upgraded to 5.2 then you should though. They’re always tweaking things behind the scenes.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks Matt!

        I’ll give it a try see if the problem I’ve seen improved.

        Cris

        Post a Reply
  8. I’m using LR5.2 Is it possible to overlap with touch up tool. Even with density set at 100% sometimes the object I’m trying to remove bleeds through.Can I build up density by over lapping.

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  9. Hi Matt- I have Lightroom in Creative Cloud. The Healing/Clone brush works like you said that it would but my opacity slider is not bringing back the natural skin features like yours did. I tried moving the opacity to 0 and 50 and 100 before the retouch and tried it after the retouch. Both times I didn’t see much change. Also I cannot feather this brush in order to blend better. Any ideas?

    Post a Reply

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