Image Cleanup

I had some fun at the beach a few weeks back shooting in a lot of different ways. When I got home I noticed this image has what appears to be a hair going across the center of the frame. I’m wondering if anyone has strategies for handling something like that when you can’t reshoot it, if so, I would love to hear it!


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First of all - this is a terrific shot. Quite soothing and exciting at the same time. The hair is hardly noticeable, but you could probably take care of it where it is most apparent with some clone stamping or some healing brush work. Sometimes I have to use a combination of the two so that the fix isn’t worse than the problem. I can have a go at it if you want.

Thank you! To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how it would be received but I had fun playing with it and editing it for sure. I took a stab at covering some of it up, interested to see what you think. It was most prevalent in the sky so I worked the hardest there, the rest seemed to almost blend away when you couldn’t just follow it down from the sky line. What do you think?

And voila! It’s gone. You can’t even tell. Super.

This is an excellent image, it’s really well done. The colors are gorgeous.

Back to your question. I usually find the cloning / spot removal tools in Photoshop to be more powerful than Lightroom. Photoshop Content Aware Fill can also work wonders sometimes. I usually use Lightroom spot removal only for dust spots in the sky, anything more complicated than that usually requires the PS tools.

As to the cause of this, it could be something on your sensor (most likely) or a smudge or water on the lens. It’s too large to be a dust spot. A sensor cleaning might be in order. I have also seen large streaks like this in the sky get created by birds during a long exposure.

Awesome, thank you! I messed with it a bit last night and was never happy with it…clone stamp was the answer. I also just shifted the sky down a few pixels to “sharpen” the line between the sky and the ocean.

@Ed_McGuirk thank you for the kind words! Whatever it is, it was only in a few shots. Most of the images I took that day don’t have it so that’s what made me think it was a hair on the lens. The clone stamp did it…I’m finding the spot removal tool in LR doesn’t work well if there is any texture, so, like you, I will probably only use it for sky’s. I may post this over on the critique, unless there is a way to move it, to see if others have some suggestions on the image.

Thanks again!

I would just re-post it again (with the cleanup) on critique for regular input, and leave this post as a discussion of cloning techniques etc.