Nikon soft­ware

Ban­ish dust spots and other dis­trac­tions in Cap­ture NX-D, with Ge­orge Cairns

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Re­move dis­tract­ing el­e­ments from a scene with Cap­ture NX-D’s Auto Re­touch Brush

When shoot­ing fleet­ing or im­pa­tient sub­jects such as an­i­mals it can be a case of shoot first and worry about re­mov­ing any dis­tract­ing back­ground ob­jects in the com­po­si­tion later. As I shot the start im­age for this tu­to­rial, for ex­am­ple, I wanted to cap­ture the dog stand­ing in the pump­kin patch, but I didn’t have time to worry about dis­tract­ing ob­jects such as the car pass­ing in the back­ground.

If I was us­ing Pho­to­shop it would be a sim­ple mat­ter to spray over ob­jects such as the car with the Con­tent-Aware Spot Heal­ing Brush and it would be re­placed by nearby ap­pro­pri­ate pix­els.

Cap­ture NX-D’s equiv­a­lent of Pho­to­shop’s Spot Heal­ing Brush is the Auto Re­touch Brush. When you spray this tool’s brush tip over an ob­ject such as a sen­sor spot, it sam­ples an ad­ja­cent clean patch and then trans­plants the sam­pled pix­els over the sen­sor spot to hide it. As this process is au­to­matic, the tool works best when used to re­move ob­jects that are in ar­eas such as a clear blue sky. Un­like with Pho­to­shop’s Heal­ing Brush tool, though, you can’t choose a spe­cific area to sam­ple with the Re­touch Brush. So if you brush over an ob­ject in a busy area, it may get re­placed with in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­tails.

De­spite the Auto Re­touch Brush’s sim­plic­ity, it can be per­suaded (with a lit­tle pa­tient trial-and-er­ror ex­per­i­ment­ing) to re­move ob­jects larger than sen­sor spots, even if they lie in a busy tex­tured area. This can help you to re­move dis­tract­ing ob­jects any­where, to cre­ate a cleaner com­po­si­tion.

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