When capturing the above image on a beautiful spring day I could clearly hear the lark birds singing in the sky. They typically just show up in the image as blue spots not really looking like birds, so I was prepared for cleaning up this image in Capture One Pro 7.
What I didn’t expect though was the large number of bees and bugs that showed up in the image when zooming in. Luckily it only took a minute or two to clean up the raw image with the Spot Removal Tool in Capture One Pro 7.
Dust or Spot?
The Spot Removal Tool is a very easy and efficient tool for removing smaller spots in an image. Whether the spots are caused by dust on the images sensor or are actual spots in the images, this tool can help you!
This is a 200 % zoom into the image above. The image to the left shows the bugs and bees that suddenly appeared in the image. The image to the right has been cleaned up using the Spot Removal Tool in Capture One Pro 7.
The Spot Removal Tool is by default located on the Details Tool tab in Capture One Pro 7. The tool gives you two options for spot removal depending on the type of spot: Dust or Spot.
Get rid of dust in your images
You should only choose the “Dust” option, if the spot actually comes from a dust spot on the images sensor. When choosing “Dust”, a special algorithm will remove the influence of the dust spot and reconstruct the image 100% correctly as though the dust spot hadn’t been there in the first place.
Safely copy the dust fix
Another advantage of using the “Dust” option, when it’s actually a dust spot you are dealing with, is that you can safely copy the dust spot fix from one image to another without any risk of the spot not being removed correctly.
This means that if you fix a spot in an image for instance shot in landscape orientation, where the dust spot shows up in the upper left side of the sky, you can safely apply the fix to even a portrait oriented image, where the spot may shows up on top of some meaning full information. If you copy and paste settings between two or more images the dust spots will automatically be transferred to the next image as this is a safe way of fixing a dust spot. This makes a lot of sense, as dust normally stays in the same position on the sensor between different images.
Remove spots from your images
The “Spot” option works differently. When fixing a spot of this type, the colors and textures of the surrounding areas are used to fill in and fix the spot. This works very well in many cases like in a sky or when fixing skin spots in a portrait.
When you copy and paste settings between two images, these kind of spots are not automatically transferred, as it normally does not make sense as the camera or the object may have moved between the two images. If you still want to copy the spot fixes of this kind you should manually check it on the clipping board.
1. Select the “Spot” type
2. Select the Spot Cursor Tool either from the Spot Removal Tool or from the Cursor tool bar.
3. Right-click with the mouse to adjust the Remove Spot cursor size to a size 3-4 times larger than the spot you want to remove. Working on a blue sky as in this case I don’t need to pay much attention to the cursor size as long as it is big enough.
4. Now just click on the spots with the cursor. If you need to adjust the size of a spot fix you can drag on the edge of the cursor mark. If you for a reason need to delete a spot fix use the “-“ button in the Spot Removal Tool.
5. To view the result without showing the cursor marks, just select another cursor, e.g. the Pan (Hand) or Select (Arrow) Cursor Tool.
At zoom to fit with the Remove Spot cursor selected you can se all the spot fixes you have made on the image. In this example quite a few fixes but it was done very easily in less than 2 minutes.
All the best,
The Image Quality Professor
The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.