Removing Dust Spots in Lightroom

Ever finished post-processing an image and when you look at it later, you find a dust spot? It’s annoying and if you’re like me, you don’t want to spend your time looking at your image at 100% to make sure you don’t have dust spots. And if you shoot mirrorless, then dust spots are basically unavoidable. So what can you do?

Enters Lightroom’s Spot Removal Tool! In the Develop Module, you have a few tools at the top right of the screen, just under the histogram. The second one is the Spot Removal Tool.

When you click on it, it opens a panel where you can control the size, opacity and feathering of your brush. It’s pretty easy to use, you just click on a dust spot and it automatically selects where it’s cloning from. If Lightroom picks wrong, you can move the source.

While it’s a good start, it doesn’t solve our issue. We still need to find the dust spots. On the image below (click to enlarge), there are dozens of them, so I didn’t want to spend hours going around the image to find them.

Fortunately, Lightroom has an amazing tool called Visualize Spots. When you’re using the Spot Removal Tool, there’s a checkbox at the bottom left of your screen.

Click on the checkbox and your screen turns to something like this:

Now you can see all the dust spots! It’s like magic and it will save you tons of time!

The slider allows you to play with the sensitivity. The more to the right, the more it will show. But sometimes it’s too much if you have a lot of texture in your image. Play with it to find a good setting.


I hope this handy little tool will help you save a lot of time. It’s an easy-to-use and efficient way to deal with dust spots so you don’t end up with imperfections on your final images and on your prints. What’s your favorite way to deal with dust spots? Let us know in the comments below!



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