Photoshop is a photographer’s best friend. Have you ever taken what you thought was a perfect photo only to realize afterwards there were a bunch of distracting spots or blemishes? Fortunately, there’s a handy tool that can magically eliminate these annoying distractions. Keep reading to learn how to use the healing brush tool in Photoshop, a phenomenal editing software.
Check out how much better the second image looks than the first.
Here’s the original image:
There are five different tools in the healing tools toolbox. In this post, I want to talk about the first two tools; the spot healing brush tool and the healing brush tool. They are two of the most used tools in the Photoshop tool bar. They’re awesome for smoothing skin, and removing unnecessary elements from the background of an image.
The Spot Healing Brush Tool
The spot healing brush tool is the 7th tool from the top in the toolbar, and the first of the healing tools. The shortcut key is the letter “J” on the keyboard. You’ll always see the short command to the right of the tool. See below:
Before I start editing with the healing tools, I complete all my basic edits, such as cropping, correcting exposure and color balance, and dodging and burning. To begin using the spot healing brush, first create a new layer so you can toggle your layers on and off to see your progress.
Go to “Layer,” “New,” and “New Layer:”
You’ll see this box pop up. Name your layer. I’m naming mine “Blemish Removal.”
Open an image you want to edit. I chose the one below because it’s the perfect type of photo for using the spot healing tool. As you can see, the girl’s complexion needs some work!
To begin editing, I select the spot healing brush while working on my new layer. To make the brush bigger or smaller, press the [ ] keys. To remove each blemish, I’ll I need to do is place my brush, using my mouse cursor or stylus pen, on the area I want to remove.
Simply click this area with your brush, and presto the blemish is gone. To change the brush size, hardness, angle, and pen pressure, go to the brush icon on the top, left hand side of the screen. Now press the drop down area to see these controls, and adjust them accordingly.
Here’s what the edited image looks like:
Much better, right?
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Healing Brush Tool
The spot healing brush is the default healing tool, and is similar to the healing brush, however it does not require a source point. Both brushes are adept at fixing imperfections in an image, but the healing brush tool does so by sampling the surrounding area, in order to blend the edited area, into the rest of the image. It is more applicable for editing larger areas that require more complex editing.
Unlike the spot healing brush tool, when using the healing brush tool, you’ll need to press the “Option” key to sample a source point before editing. It behaves quite similar to the clone stamp tool.
Watch the video below for how to use the spot healing brush and healing brush tool in real time:
Photoshop is the premiere editing software for photographers, developers, and graphic designers. The healing brush tools are indispensable for eliminating distracting spots and marks from an image. Because I’m a portrait photographer, I use them extensively for removing blemishes and smoothing skin tone, and rely heavily on these tools to transform a good image into a great one!
What’s your favorite tool in Photoshop? Let me know in the comments:)