Photoshop for Cleanup


Today’s Question: In a post you said, “It is very rare for me to need to send a photo to Photoshop [from Lightroom Classic], and when I do it is generally to take advantage of the superior image-cleanup tools in Photoshop.” Which tools are those?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The primary advantage of Photoshop when it comes to image cleanup is the Content-Aware technology. In particular I take advantage of the Spot Healing Brush tool and the Content-Aware Fill command for this purpose, though other tools feature this technology as well.

More Detail: Over the years, Lightroom Classic has improved to the point that the Develop module provides the majority of the adjustments I need for most of my photos. In many cases, in fact, I don’t feel the need to use anything beyond Lightroom Classic to optimize my photos.

However, Lightroom Classic is still missing the Content-Aware technology that is available in Photoshop, and which provides superior quality when it comes to removing blemishes and other distractions from photos.

The Content-Aware technology is available with a variety of tools in Photoshop. For example, the Content-Aware Move tool makes use of Content-Aware technology, but I don’t tend to use this tool very often in my own image cleanup work.

The primary tool I tend to use for cleaning up blemishes and distractions in my photos when using Photoshop is the Spot Healing Brush tool, with the Content-Aware option selected for the Type option. For more complicated cleanup work, I generally make use of the Content-Aware Fill command, which among other things enables you to control which areas of the image can be used to collect source pixels to be used for cleaning up the selected blemish area.

Lightroom Classic includes a Spot Removal tool, which is basically on par with the Healing Brush tool in Photoshop. Lightroom Classic does not, however, include the Content-Aware technology, which remains one of the key reasons I still need to include Photoshop in my workflow from time to time. The other reason, by the way, is greater control over selections and targeted adjustments in Photoshop.