{Before & After} Editing Hot Spots in Your Photos

October 12, 2012

in Before & After, Lightroom, Photography Tutorials, Photoshop, Rachel Durik

How To Edit Hot Spots in Photos - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

In this week’s photo “Before & After” photo editing tutorial, Rachel from Savor Photography describes how she gets rid of unwanted hot spots in her photos.

Sometimes when you’re editing photos, you’ll come across hot spots that you want to get rid of. Hot spots are caused by uneven lighting…from a flash, reflective surface, or the sun. It’s best to notice this while you’re shooting and fix the problem in camera. But if you need to get rid of them later on, here’s how I do it.

Before:

Here’s our original, unedited photo.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

And it’s definitely a keeper. This little girl was so taken by the beach that this was the one and only shot before she got loose to play and jump in the sand and the water. So we’ll work on the photo a bit to polish it up. I’ve pointed out all the hot spots that I see in the image.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Getting Rid of Hot Spots

Recovery

The first thing you can do in Lightroom or ACR is to try to tone it down. I’m working in Lightroom 3 which has a recovery slider. (If you’re in Lightroom 4, you can do this with white and exposure.) In this image, I brought the recovery slider up to 39. If you bring it up too much, it can muddy the photo, so I only brought it up about half way.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Next, I opened it in Photoshop (CS5) to work on it a bit more closely. I’m zoomed in. These are the spots we’re going to deal with right now.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Painting

There are a few different ways you can tackle this. I prefer working with a brush. First, create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer). Then, click on the dropper (left arrow in the picture). Sample the area in the photo you want to select for your brush foreground color. In this instance, I’m going to sample the cheek (right arrow).

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Before you start painting, make sure you have the right brush settings. I use a brush with 0% hardness, on the Darken mode, and at 10%. Then, I paint over the hot spot to even it out. Continue until you’re satisfied. I did this in several areas of the photo, being sure to paint on a new layer in case I want to decrease the opacity.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Content-Aware Fill

Depending on the photo and the spot, another technique you can try is the super-easy Content-Aware Fill. I’m going to use that on this spot.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

I’m just going to lasso it with the lasso tool, then hit the delete button. The Fill menu will pop up. Choose Content-Aware. Done! Sometimes this works like a charm. Other times, not so much. When it works, it’s so easy and a real time saver. If that doesn’t work, you can  try the Patch tool, or the Close tool as other alternatives.

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

After:

After that, I spent a few more minutes getting rid of some stay hairs in the wind, dodged a little bit on the left side of the picture and sharpened. Done!

Getting Rid of Hot Spots - Photo Editing Tutorial via I Heart Faces

Rachel Durik of Savor Photography Profile PictureRachel Durik is a photographer located in Southwest Florida. You can learn more by visiting her photography site, Savor Photography, Naples Wedding Photographer, blog, or the Savor Facebook page.

Now it’s your turn!

Hop on over to our free photography community tomorrow to participate in this week’s Fix-It Friday Photo Editing Challenge (it will be going up on Saturday due to our schedule being off from last week’s conference in Dallas.)  This challenge will be open for participation until October 19, 2012.

Would you like to be considered as an upcoming Featured Photographer in our “Before & After” photo editing series? Our schedule is filling up very quickly so please contact us ASAP.  We only consider those who include samples of their current editing and writing style and links to their blog/website. We love to feature members of our community whenever possible!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisey May 22, 2015

On step 1, using ACR how would I tone down? also, when I use the lasso tool PS indicate 50% of pixels are not chosen. Is there anything I can do?

Thank you for your tutorial.

Reply

Tampa's Best Wedding Photographers November 26, 2012

This is just what I was looking for. We just had a photo shoot at the beach and many photos have these spots. Now I know what to do. Thanks!

Reply

Francesca October 15, 2012

Editing unwanted glare can be done by changing the image’s dark and light areas within software such as Photoshop. You can also use other photo-editing software tools that allow you to brightening dark images, increase the contrast and adjust the colors.

Reply

Rachel Ramey October 13, 2012

Are these hot spots the same thing Shutterstock calls “blown highlights”?

Reply

Erin October 13, 2012

OMG, thank you for this! I have a shot of my own kids that I want to use for Christmas pics, but ran into this problem with the hot spots.

Reply

Eric Noguchi October 12, 2012

{Before & After} Editing Hot Spots in Your Photos | @iheartfaces http://t.co/iKCoglHp

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Pablo Lara H October 12, 2012

{Before & After} Editing Hot Spots in Your Photos | @iheartfaces http://t.co/iKCoglHp

Reply

michele October 12, 2012

I want to know and easy way to print out your tutorials too…you give such clear directions…just love your tips.
Thank You

Reply

Declan Mc Glone October 12, 2012

{Before & After} Editing Hot Spots in Your Photos #photography http://t.co/Cc0aV9GA

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Kathy October 12, 2012

What if you don’t have Lightroom? Can you skip that step?

Reply

Chris Ochenski October 12, 2012

BAM! Thank you!

Reply

Melissa October 12, 2012

Hello,
Is there an easy way to print your tutorials? I do not see a ‘print’ button, or “save to pdf”. I’d love to print them, but printing is not easy (for instance, this one comes out to 18 pages).

Thanks!

Reply

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