Lightroom Classic Tip: The Spot Removal Tool

Winter in Western Montana

If you use a digital camera with interchangeable lenses, you end up with dust spots on your photos from exposing the sensor when you change lenses. Lightroom Classic's Spot Removal tool can make quick work of eliminating those spots, but you need to be sure you've checked the entire photo.

In the Develop module click on the photo to enlarge it to 1:1 view and position the image so you can see the top left corner. Select the Spot Removal tool and scan the visible section of the picture for any offending dots.

Using Lightroom Classic's Spot Removal tool

To see the next section of the picture, press the Page Down key. Some laptops don't have a dedicated Page Down (or Up) key but you can use a "helper" key such as Alt/Option with the arrow keys to produce the same result.

When you get to the bottom of the picture, the next press of Page Down actually takes you back to the top of the image and one screen right so you can check the next vertical section of the photo.

In my experience, however, most of the dust spots are visible in the sky and often disguised in the foreground of landscape pictures. So I would rather move across the sky horizontally rather than the entire photo vertically.

To move horizontally across the image with your Spot Removal tool, combine the Page Down key with the Shift key. Shift+Page Down moves the screen one section to the right. Shift+Page Up moves the screen one section to the left. In both key combinations, the screen view wraps to the next section below (or above) when you get to the side of the image.

So I always start my Spot Removal efforts in the sky of my landscape images, using Shift+Page Down to scan the area. I still check the foreground after I'm done with the sky, but I focus my efforts above the horizon first.

Learn more about photography and Lightroom Classic in my classes at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Introduction to Lightroom Classic begins December 3, 2020. Click here to register.