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Quick Tip – Removing Dust from Photos

Here’s a quick and simple tip on how to remove large amount of dusts from scanned image photos in photoshop.

Close up: Before and After

I was scanning some old family photos and when I opened them up in photoshop to do some retouching, I noticed some were vastly covered in dust.

Perhaps a good tip would be to give them a quick brush to clear the dust before you scan, but if you’ve forgotten (like me) and can’t rescan again then here’s a easy solution that I’ve found which works well in certain situation; where the healing, patch or stamp tool aren’t ideal or would just take forever to do.

Note: This solution is basically painting in the dust with a similar coloured tone to the background and works effectively in a simple tonal value area, so outcome may vary!


Step by step:

1. Create a New Layer on top of the photo

2. Pick a colour similar to the tone around the dust, in the example you would choose a dark grey for the jacket

3. Paint the area covered in dust with a brush tool, you can freely brush in the area without dust as well.


4. Double click on this new layer to open up the Layer Style option > Blending Option.

5. Under the Blend If Option there is a Underlying Layer parameter, move the left pointer to the right. This will make the painted layer to only show up on the white coloured dust beneath. you can gauge where the pointer should be by looking at how it affects the image in the real time preview.


6. You may still find certain areas in the dust that doesn’t work as well, perhaps because it’s on a different background tone, in this case you would use the normal stamp tool to remove any other dust, but hopefully the majority would be disappeared using the blending option method.

Dust on, dust off!

That’s it, hope you found this helpful!

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