Lightroom Auto Spot Removal

A recent question from a client:

“I am finding a huge dust issue from my wedding shoot. I am seeing a huge amount of little specs. I Thought my camera was clean, but maybe not. I am healing the spots away, but do you have any suggestions? I also tried to copy and paste some settings but didn’t see a difference in the images. So, I am doing them each one by one.”

My response:

“If you remove spots on one image you can then Sync Settings to apply that spot removal to the other pictures.

When you’re done cleaning up the first one, make sure it’s the only one selected either in the filmstrip or in Library Grid view.

Then select the others and click the Sync Settings button on the bottom right panel.

When the screen comes up to choose what settings you’re syncing, uncheck everything except Spot Removal.

There’s one catch making this work correctly: when you’re doing the first one, don’t move any of the spots. Let Lightroom choose the sample points automatically.

You will likely still need to go through the synced files to make sure the spot removal is good. If there is anything to be fixed you can do it to the individual photos.

This technique can save huge amounts of time once you get the hang of it.”

Lightroom Webinar this Wednesday

I’m presenting a 30-minute Lightroom webinar this Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, 6 pm Pacific. We’ll look at using the Detail panel settings for sharpening and noise reduction. Cost is only $15. Hope you’ll join us! Details and registration are at

Lightroom Export Plug-Ins

A question from a colleague: I have a question with Lightroom plug-ins. I’ve downloaded and installed several (MobileMe, PhotoShelter, Facebook, etc.) and they show up OK in the Plug-In Manager, but fail to show up in the Export dialog?

My Answer: look in the Export To: menu at the top of the Export window. You must choose the web service as the destination first. Then the options for the plug-in become available.

Learn Lightroom in Hawaii

I’m teaching a two-day Lightroom class in Hilo, Hawaii Oct 9-10. Early registration discount ends this Friday, Sep 10. Register now and save $25! Details and registration are at

Lightroom Catalog Upgrades

Whenever you’re working within Lightroom, you’re working in a catalog. A Lightroom catalog contains all the information about the image files you’ve imported, as well as any adjustments you’ve made or metadata you’ve added to them. The catalog is a file residing on your hard disk; see figure below.

Lightroom Catalog Files

A catalog file is specific to the version of Lightroom that created it. For example, a Lightroom 2 catalog is different than a Lightroom 3 catalog. When you upgrade Lightroom between major versions (such as from v2 to v3) — and sometimes between “point versions” (such as from 3.0 to 3.2) — you also need to upgrade the catalog.

When you launch the new version of the program, Lightroom looks for the default (or most recent) catalog used, and if it finds an older version, you will be prompted to upgrade the catalog. You must allow this upgrade to be successfully performed before you can access your old data with the new program!

Lightroom Catalog Upgrade Dialog

During a catalog upgrade, the Lightroom installer copies your old catalog to a new file and then performs the upgrade to the copied catalog. As a result, you end up with two catalogs – one from the old version and one for the new version.

After you’ve performed a catalog upgrade and confirmed the integrity of all the data it contains, it’s imperative that you remove the old catalog(s) from your system. This will prevent accidentally opening the old catalog when you didn’t mean to.

If you have multiple catalogs from the old version of Lightroom, all of them will need to be upgraded to support the newer version, and then all the old catalogs should be deleted. (If this makes you nervous, back them up first.)

Also, at this point you should completely uninstall the old version of Lightroom.

If you ever launch Lightroom and are unexpectedly prompted to upgrade the catalog (and you haven’t just done a program upgrade)… STOP! If you’ve already upgraded this catalog, don’t do it again – you will just end up with more copies of the same catalog. One of the worst things you can do in Lightroom is work in multiple catalogs without knowing it!

You can always confirm the catalog that’s open by using the Catalog Settings command. On Mac, it’s located under the Lightroom menu at the top left of the screen. On Windows, it’s under the Edit menu.

Lightroom Catalog Settings

Getting Started with Lightroom

I’m teaching a Getting Started with Lightroom class at Boulder Digital Arts next Thursday, August 12.

This is an intro-level class for photographers new to Lightroom.

Details and registration are here.

My Lightroom 3 eBook

My new book Lightroom 3: Streamlining your Digital Photography Process is now available as an eBook through the following retailers:

I bought my copy from the second one – Diesel – and it worked out very well. The only potential problem I see is that the screen shots are somewhat low resolution, but I think all in all the publisher did a pretty good job with the eBook version.

More Lightroom 3 info

Here are some links to a couple of PDFs from Adobe that highlight the features and benefits of Lightroom 3:

Data Sheet

What’s New

Pin It on Pinterest