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Author Topic: Sharpening Mask + ALT-Key for finding sensor dust  (Read 4812 times)
HaraldL
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« on: November 22, 2011, 06:34:13 PM »
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I haven't found anything about this so far, so I thought I'd tell you about it. I love to use the ALT/Option-Key Overlay of the Sharpening Mask Slider to find dust and other sensor related dirt in the sky or other smooth backgrounds. This highlights even the smallest spots in the sky very well and they can be cloned/healed out very easily. See attached screenshot...

Only problem: it is tiring to switch on the overlay over and over again after every single click with the healing brush. It would be awesome to be able to turn on this overlay permanently while the clone/healing-brush is engaged via e.g. the O-key (similar to the mask overlay while using the adjustment brush tool).

What do you think? Has anybody else used this technique, too? I love it and mychristmas list has this O-key feature directly beneath soft proofing as topic number two ;-)
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Rendezvous
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 02:15:01 PM »
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Yes it would be quite useful to have the sharpening mask displayed as an overlay so you could remove the dust spots. I find some, turn it off, then try to remember where they all were. I undoubtedly miss a few each time!
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 03:23:45 PM »
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I do something similar - whacking Clarity up to 100 and sometimes adding a Grad Filter, again with Clarity maxed.
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HaraldL
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 08:30:01 AM »
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That sounds interesting, too! Will give it a try. Thanks for sharing...
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francois
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 08:38:14 AM »
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Has anybody else used this technique, too?

Yes, I've been using this technique for a long time. For me, it's the best way to find non-obvious dust spots. I was too lazy to write about it. However, I never tried the 100% clarity setting to find dust spots. I'll give it a try!
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Francois
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2011, 10:40:40 AM »
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While holding down Alt with your thumb, reach your index finger up to the Print Screen key and make a screen capture. Display it in an appropriate second program. If you have a two monitor setup you can display both programs at the same time, but even with a single monitor it is easier to switch windows than to go back to displaying the mask.
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HaraldL
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 06:35:47 AM »
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a screenshot is a great workaround, too, thanks! but don't you all think that the only reasonable way would be for Adobe to include this into the clone-tool?
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luxborealis
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 03:24:09 PM »
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I find that by increasing Contrast and Clarity each to 100, I can then work directly on the image to clone/heal dust. Sometimes I will add a grad filter with similar settings, but typically they show with the first two settings.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2011, 12:42:38 PM »
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I have to say that I am slightly bemused by all this. If the dust spots are not showing up under normal editing, then why worry about removing them?

If I use a heavy grad in the sky, then it tends to show up dust. So I remove the spots, because they will show up in the finished print. But if I can see no spots, I leave well alone. I know that if I use a mask it will show up even more spots, but if they do not print under my final edit then why worry?

John
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011, 12:57:32 PM »
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I find the clarity trick means I clear the spots faster and more thoroughly - it reveals some spots I may not at first notice. Better to do the job properly than waste a print or have to go back and clean them up?
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bwana
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 09:37:14 AM »
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is it possible to do this in photoshop? the unsharp dialog doesnt have a mask sider.
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HaraldL
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 04:27:51 AM »
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I find that by increasing Contrast and Clarity each to 100, I can then work directly on the image to clone/heal dust. Sometimes I will add a grad filter with similar settings, but typically they show with the first two settings.

This seems to be a good way to do it, but still I would like an overlay for the clone tool that can be (de-)activated with one click of a key like the red mask overlay in the adjustment brush can be shown and hidden with the o-key.

Lightroom is all about efficiency and that overlay would save me and most other users a great deal of time...
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HaraldL
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 04:34:12 AM »
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I have to say that I am slightly bemused by all this. If the dust spots are not showing up under normal editing, then why worry about removing them?

If I use a heavy grad in the sky, then it tends to show up dust. So I remove the spots, because they will show up in the finished print. But if I can see no spots, I leave well alone. I know that if I use a mask it will show up even more spots, but if they do not print under my final edit then why worry?

John

It's not about finding spots that no one would ever see in any print, its about finding spots as fast and easy as possibly. if there was a one-click overlay in the clone tool, cleaning out a couple of otherwise unnoticeable spots wouldn't trouble me, it just takes seconds. but missing one of the hardly visible ones on the screen and find it in a 60x180cm print is worth the few seconds of thorough cloning. And even if you don't find this feature useful, I think many others including me would really love it. As I said before: LR is about efficiency and this overlay would make me a lot faster.

Harald
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HaraldL
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 04:45:10 AM »
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is it possible to do this in photoshop? the unsharp dialog doesnt have a mask sider.

It depends on what you are referring to by "do this in ps". The regular USM-Filter does not allow this overlay in any of it's sliders, but Camera RAW has the same overlays for the ALT/OPT-Key as in Lightroom
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luxborealis
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 01:16:24 PM »
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You're right - cleaning dust spots that aren't noticeable is what my mother-in-law does!! However, I think the gist of the post is how we can more readily see does spots that may evade our sometimes dim or tired eyes. Sometimes in the excitement to print, we can miss a small detail like a dust spot. I've paid that price with a 17" print and it has taught me to check just a little more carefully!
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