Painless Dust Spot Removal…Almost

Nobody enjoys cloning out dust bunnies from their digital images in Photoshop or Lightroom.  It pretty much just blows.  So if there’s a way to go about it more efficiently, you’d probably like to hear it, right?  This tip, from Scott Martin, will make your digital life a little less aggravating.  Thanks, Scott!       

“When I was a drum scan operator in the early 90′s I had to be systematic about cleaning dust on every single scan. In Photoshop, start by zooming to 100% (option command 0)and hit the home button to go to the upper right corner. Holding down the command key turns the page up and down buttons into page left and right buttons. That trick worked in Photoshop 2 and still works today. 

Lightroom improves upon this functionality nicely. Zoom to 1:1 and hit the home key to fill the screen with the upper left most corner of your image. Hold down the shift key while pressing the page down key. Not only will it act as a ”Page Right” key, it will take you to the next column once you’ve reached the right side, like an old typewriter would.  You can continue hitting Shift-Command-PageDown until you’ve spotted your entire image. It a systematic way of “combing over” your entire image without worrying about missing anything.”

Scott Martin is the founder of onsight, a capture-to-print training and consulting business that helps digital imaging professionals optimize their workflows for quality and efficiency.  I’ve worked with Scott at workshops in Moab and can attest to the fact that he knows his stuff, he’s a heck of a teacher and an all-around cool dude.

4 thoughts on “Painless Dust Spot Removal…Almost”

  1. Neat trick. I’ve found though, that it’s easier for me to see the less obvious spots if I actively scroll through the image – the motion makes them jump out at me more. So I do the same thing as you described, but by scrolling sideways across the image, then down, and back the other way.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Floris. I’ve also noticed that some times it is easier for me to see the dust spots if I actively scroll through the image. More often than not, it’s when my eyes are really tired from staring at the screen for too long!

      On another note, if anyone reading Floris’ comment isn’t familiar with his work I strongly recommend that you click on the link to visit his galleries. He’s an amazing landscape photographer!

  2. Thanks Bret for sharing this pro tip for adding a dust spot removal process to workflow.

    Bill Brennan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>