Spot Removal: Cloning vs Healing

Author: Christina Heinle

One of the great tools in Adobe Lightroom is the spot removal tool.  There are two brushes within the spot removal tool, Clone and Heal.   While similar in nature, they act differently and understanding the difference changes your results.

The basic difference between the clone and healing brush is the clone stamp tool copies pixels while the healing brush blends surrounding pixels.

While editing a picture I noticed the top of the lightest is blurry.  It wasn’t a specially windy day that would cause that much motion;  on closer inspection I saw there was a netting causing the blurred look.

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Changing my view to 3:1 I was able to see the netting which I wanted to remove.

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Using the spot removal tool with zero feather, I drew a line across the top of the light.  You can see the healing tool makes a muddied mess of the pixels blending everything together.

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On the other hand, if you compare the healing tool to the clone tool where the clone tool strictly copies and replaces, the results are much cleaner.

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If you have trouble deciding which tool is best, you can always try both and determine which tool gives you the best results.

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Christina is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.  To see more of Christina’s work visit www.christinaheinlephotography.com

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