Remove Sensor Dust Using LR3’s Spot Removal Feature


Today’s post is all about removing spots on our photos cause by the annoying dust that sticks into our camera’s sensor. Thank’s to Adobe Lightroom for having the Spot Removal feature, now cleaning marks and spots is as easy as eating a pie, maybe easier.

We will use Lightroom’s Sport Removal tool. This tool work almost like the clone tool in adobe photoshop, it will let us fix the affected area by using a sample from another area, the good news here is, it’s done automatically and lightroom will do it for us. All we have to do is tell lightroom which area to fix. Here how:

  1. Make sure you are in the Develop Module
  2. Select the Spot Removal tool in the tool strip.
  3. In the tool drawer there are two options :
    Applies the sampled area of the photo to the selected area.


    Matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled area to the selected area.


  4. Use the Heal feature
  5. (Optional) In the Spot Removal tool drawer, drag the Size slider to increase or decrease the size of the area that the Spot Removal tool affects. Drag the Opacity slider to the left to add some transparency to the selected area.
  6. Move the Spot Removal tool into the photo and click the part of the photo you want to retouch.Lightroom clones a nearby sample area to the spot that you clicked. An arrow points from the sample circle to the spot circle, which indicates the selected area that is being cloned or healed.
  7. To refine the spot-removal operation, do any of the following:
    • To change the sampled area, drag the sample circle.
    • To adjust the size of the circles, move the pointer over the edge of the spot circle until it changes to a double-pointing arrow. Then, drag to make both circles larger or smaller.
    • To change the area being cloned or healed, drag inside the spot circle.
    • To hide the circles, move the mouse pointer out of the content area. You can also press the H key to hide and show circles. Hold down H for a few seconds to hide the circles until you release the key.
    • To delete a spot, select one of the circles and press Backspace or Delete.
    • To cancel the operation, click the Reset button in the Spot Removal options panel. Clicking Reset also removes all previously created spot circles.


Below is the before and after results.

[singlepic id=706 w=320 h=240 float=center]

As you can see, it’s as easy as eating a pie, the spot removal feature of lightroom is not just handy but a powerful one. It’s even faster to use it that the one in photoshop and best of all with lightroom it’s easy to batch process multiple photos. This feature is really great but if there are too much dust in the sensor this may not fix the problem at all or it may take you longer to repair a photo. It is always a good idea to clean your camera’s sensor when needed.

If you have any questions, inquiries, suggestions or corrections, I would love to hear them. You can send me an email or just feel free to post a comment below.

Adobe Lightroom Reference Books :
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One thought on “Remove Sensor Dust Using LR3’s Spot Removal Feature

  1. Kristi Hines

    I’ve grown to love this tool alot – especially after I bought a used lens that turned out to have a ton of dust on the inside. Returned that puppy, but not until after I had used it for a weekend.