Fix It In Photoshop | How To Deal With Dust-Spots

David Coultham

There is nothing worse than getting a print of your latest masterpiece back from the lab and finding that it is covered in dust spots. Dust spots are most noticeable in landscape shots due to the small apertures typical used in this genre, and are particularly visible in skies.

They literally are dust that has got onto your sensor in your camera, and can be seen in your images as blobs of color as illustrated above. Here is how to fix them:

Click here to display content from YouTube.
Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy.

Video | How To Eliminate Sensor Dust Spots In Adobe Photoshop

If you are working on a RAW file, then you will automatically open Camera RAW when you open the file. In which case, you can ignore the first two steps. If you are working on a compressed format like JPG or PNG then there are a couple of steps to go through, but once you are set up, you can go back and forth from Photoshop to Camera RAW whenever you need.

STEP 1: Make sure you have the image you want to edit inside Camera RAW selected in the Layers Tab of the Panels. Then right-click on the Layer and select ‘Convert To Smart Object’. You can also go via the Application Bar and ‘Layer >Smart Objects > Convert To Smart Object’. This ensures that any changes done in Camera RAW are stored in Photoshop, i.e., your edits are non-destructive.

STEP 2: Head up to the Application Bar and select ‘Filter > Camera RAW Filter’. Camera RAW then opens.

STEP 3: Head over to, and select the Healing Brush Tool (illustrated above at 1), you can also use the short-code B. This brings up the Healing Brush Tool panel.

To remove spots you use the brush, which you can adjust the size of using the Size Slider (illustrated above at 2) or by using the bracket keys []. You can go right ahead and start painting away the dust spots, but, if you want extra help to find them; Camera RAW has an x-ray feature to help you hunt them down! Simply select the Visualize Spots radio button (illustrated above at 3), and then adjust the  slider to make the spots more visible. The slider adjusts the sensitivity of the x-ray effect by changing what Camera RAW displays as a contrast difference. Dust spots are most prevalent in areas of high differences, in contrast, hence you tend to notice them in Landscape photography in the sky portions of an image. Practically speaking though, they can appear anywhere in an image, as they are the result of dust particles sitting on the sensor of your camera.

STEP 4: When you have finished editing in Camera RAW you select ‘Ok’ to commit any changes you have made, and you return to Photoshop. 

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner