Tip: Use Visualize Spots to Find Sensor Dust on Your Images


Finding and Removing Sensor Dust with Visualize Spots

It’s bound to happen…you print a photo and then see some black dots in the sky.” Chances are, they aren’t birds, they’re dust specs from your lens. It is particularly obvious on images with a lot of sky or a lot of relatively solid color areas; areas without a lot of detail where they might have otherwise just blended in. The good news is that starting in Lightroom 5, there is a tool called Visualize Spots, which is found within the Spot Healing tool. By using this simple tool that sensor dust and lens dirt will be easily visible. It’s much easier than having to enlarge your image to 1:1 on your screen then scour every pixel in search of dust.

Let’s look at how you find dust spots quickly. Instead of having to put your image to 1:1 and then tediously scanning every inch to hunt for dust specks, just go into your spot removal tool by clicking on it – it’s located at the top of the Develop Module , or else hit Q on your keyboard. Now go down to the bottom below your image and check the box Visualize Spots. Your image now becomes like a black and white negative and you can easily see spots that you want to remove. You can adjust the threshold by moving the slider up to make it more sensitive, but if you go too far you’ll see spots everywhere. So in this image there are a couple of spots that are pretty prominent, so I can take my Spot removal tool and zap them.

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