Adjustment Brushes

Lightroom Retouching Tip: Fixing Hotspots

This is a quick tip with great results when you’re trying to remove shiny areas on your subject’s face.  Of course you could just use the Spot Removal tool with a big enough brush and just “heal” the hot spot away, but the problem is — it also removes the highlight as well. We generally want to keep the highlight, but lose the shine. Here’s how:


Above: Here’s our original image — note the shiny hot spots in her cheeks and forehead. Ack!


Above: When we remove the Hot Spot (using the Spot Removal Tool with a really big brush size in this case), it not only removes the hot spot, but unfortunately, we lose the highlights as well (and we want to keep the highlights – just lose the shine). Plus, the fix overall just doesn’t look very realistic (even after I manually moved the source circle to a better location. Probably should have used yesterday’s keyboards shortcut tip, eh?). 😉


Above: The trick to keeping the highlights but losing the shine is this: after you totally remove the Hot Spot, go to the Spot Tool’s options panel and lower the Opacity amount (circled in red above) enough so you clearly see the highlight but you don’t have the shiny look (as seen here where I lowered the Opacity slider down to 33%). This not only gets rid of the shine and keeps the highlight, the entire retouch looks much better. Pretty quick and easy. 🙂

By the way, I use this same technique when I have a subject who has a prominent mole or scar and I know if I remove it completely, their friends and family will know it’s been retouched, so I use the Spot Removal Tool to remove it completely, then I lower the Opacity amount, just like I did here, to bring back some of the mole or scar, so you can still see it’s there but it’s not so “in your face” (so to speak).

There ya have it — hope you find it helpful. 🙂