If you want to clean up dirt, debris, or other distracting objects in an image but you don’t have a lot of time there’s a quick way to do it in Photoshop with just one tool. The Photoshop feature is called the Spot Healing Brush tool and photographer Peter McKinnon shows you how to use it in his two-minute tips video below.
In the clip, McKinnon demonstrates how he turned a dull and cluttered image of a sports car straight out of the camera into a clean looking winner thanks to some quick edits with the Spot Healing Brush tool. “Note all of the garbage on the racetrack. Removed!” he says. “I used the Spot Healing Brush, and it took seconds.”
Is it really that quick and easy? Yes! Watch below to find out how.
“This is the image straight out of camera,” McKinnon notes. “You’ll notice all of the stuff on the road. There are a lot of black marks, cracks, stains, rubber. This is all stuff I don’t want.”
You’ll find the Spot Healing Brush underneath the Eye Dropper tool in the lefthand panel in Photoshop. Click and hold the flyout menu and select the Spot Healing Brush tool. Lower the hardness slider to soften the brush, “so it’s not so rough around the edges.” Select how big you want the brush to be; in McKinnon’s case it was just 15 pixels in size since he was going to erase small things.
Once that’s all set, the rest is easy. “All you got to do is just click on things you want removed,” he explains. “That’s it. Click. Click. Click.”
Thanks to Adobe’s artificial intelligence (AI) built into the brush, once you remove something such an oil spot or a crack in the pavement, Photoshop will automatically fill in the hole, so it blends in with the rest of the image. To do this, Photoshop harnesses the power of Content Aware Fill, which we mentioned in another recent tutorial.
“Removing things from a photo, adding skies, all of that used to be a daunting task,” McKinnon says. “But this is absolutely within your skills now. You can do this so easily.”