How to Improve Holiday Light Photos Using Lightroom’s Spot Removal Tool

Lightroom’s spot removal tool is a neat little fixer for removing spots and blemishes from your images. But did you know you can also fix your holiday lights with it? Intrigued? Well, photographer Paul Burwell has a smart trick to share, just in case you’re planning to photograph your home decked out with Christmas lights:

The last thing you want in your picture of your lovely home, carefully decorated with holidays lights, is burnt out bulbs. But don’t fret.

lightroom spot removal

You don’t have to climb that wet and slippery roof just to fix a couple of lights. You can do that in Lightroom! The trick involves using the Spot Removal tool. The Spot Removal tool has both a Healing brush and a Clone brush and for this trick you need the later.

You can find a link to download the example file used in the video here.

How to Replace Burnt Out Lights with Lightroom

  1. Open Lightroom and import the RAW image.
  2. Hit ‘D’ to enter the Develop module.
  3. Click on Spot Healing Tool and select Clone.
Clone tool in Lightroom

Select Clone

  1. Set the Opacity to 100.
Fix holiday lights using Lightroom

Adjust opacity to 100

  1. Adjust the size of the brush to ensure that it is large enough for the light and any light trails emanating from the other lights that you would be cloning.
  2. Adjust the Feathering. You don’t want a super soft or super hard brush. Choose something in between.
  3. Click on the light that’s burnt out. Lightroom should select an area that’s a close match for the affected area.
  4. Adjust the sampled area selected by Lightroom to ensure that the alignment and selection are correct.
How to fix holiday lights in lightroom

Here’s a comparison of before and after

  1. Repeat the process for each of the lights.

Here is the final result:

clone tool in lightroom to adjust holiday lights

Final Image

What other uses have you found for the Spot Removal tool?

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