Photoshop offers many intelligent tools to quickly fix image blemishes.  One of those is the Spot Healing Brush tool.  It gives you the ability to heal blemishes with a short brush stroke. It can quickly remove blemishes and imperfections in photos without the need of setting a sample point.

©Richard Harrington LLC

  1. Open a photo with a blemish (such as a skin tag, pimple, or sun spot.)
  2. Select the Spot Healing Brush tool in the Tools panel.
  3. Choose a soft-edged brush from the Options bar. Set the brush to be a little bit larger than the problem areas. The keyboard shortcuts of left and right bracket are useful to adjust brush size.
  4. Set the blending mode in the Options bar to Replace.  This will preserve noise, grain, and hair texture along the edges of the stroke.
  5. Choose a Type of repair in the Options bar:
    • Proximity Match. Pixels from the edge of the selection are used as a patch for the selected area.
    • Create Texture. Pixels in the selection are used to create a texture to fix the damaged area.
    • Content Aware. This option works best to automatically generate patterns based on the surrounding pixels.  I usually try this one first.

  6. Click once on an area that you want to fix. You can also brush over a larger area. If you are unhappy with the spot healing stroke, simply undo and try again using a smaller brush. You can also try painting brush strokes in different directions to modify the results.
©Richard Harrington LLC

©Richard Harrington LLC


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


Technique & Tutorials


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