Repair images with these photoshop techniques
These Photoshop techniques go beyond simply enhancing existing details, and so are usually considered editing techniques.
Dust and scratches
No matter how careful you are, your images always seem to end up with a few dust marks when you digitize photos with your scanner. Photoshop’s Dust and Scratches filter helps remove these spots by lightly blending them into the surrounding area. Choosing the right settings for this filter is very important if you are going to preserve the sharpness of your image while still removing the unwanted marks. To much filtering will make your image appear blurred, not enough and the dust spots will remain.
To find a good balance in the settings, start by adjusting the threshold to zero. Use the preview area to highlight a mark that you want to remove. Using the zoom controls, enlarge the view of this area. Adjust the radius slider to find the lowest radius that still removes the spot. Finally, increase the threshold value slowly until the texture in the rest of the image is restored, but the spot is still removed.
I general, it is best to only use this filter on parts of an image that does not have much detail to loose to the filter. For example, gently graded skies or clear backgrounds.
In cases where using the Dust and Scratches filter blurs the details in the rest of the image, it is better to use a tool that can focus only on the problem area and leave the rest alone. The Clone Stamp tool, or Rubber Stamp tool, is one of the most popular Photoshop techniques. It samples one area of an image and then copies this onto another part of your picture. This makes it a great tool for removing scratches or fixing tears or creases in a photograph. Small dust spots or even entire areas of an image can be repaired or rebuilt using the information from other areas of the photograph.
Putting the Clone Stamp tool to work is a two step process. First, you need to choose the area that you are going to sample by Alt-clicking the area. Next, move to the area you want to paint over and click and drag. The relative position between where you sampled and are painting will stay fixed as you drag over the image. To reset this, start over by Alt-clicking a new position.
The style and size of the effect are controlled by the brush controls. You can adjust the transparency of the painted section with the opacity settings. It is generally best to go slowly and lightly to feather in the changes.
Using the healing brush
The healing Brush uses advanced Photoshop techniques to retouch photographs and can be found in the most recent versions of Photoshop. It uses the same basic ‘sample and paint’ technique as the Clone Stamp, but the Healing Brush merges the data from the newly painted area into the surrounding area. This creates a much more seamless repair. This makes it the perfect tool for touching up delicate areas like wrinkles under the eyes.
Red eye removal
The last edit type of edit to talk about deals with fixing the all too common problem of red eye. This effect happens when using the built-in flash on many cameras. The flash is often located too close to the lens causing the light to bounce back from the subject’s pupil and give a distracting red glow.
Photoshop and other photo editing software include tools specifically designed to take care of this problem. Called the Red Eye Brush, it alters the crimson color from the center of the eye to a more natural looking black tone. To use this tool, pick the tool from the toolbox and adjust the size of the brush to match your image.
These are some of the most important and commonly used Photoshop techniques the average photographer will need to use.