There are many scenarios where you will have a photo that you might wish to use commercially, but it has a logo or a trademark restricting its use. You have the option to spend more time looking for a new photo or to spend a minute quickly erasing the logo from the photo. This tutorial will show you how to remove a logo using Lightroom’s Spot Removal tool, and will explain how this Lightroom feature works in detail.
In our example image we have the Infoparrot logo on the coffee mug clearly visible in the image, and while it perfectly fits on this site, the photo would be much better without it if used elsewhere.
When you open your image with the logo you will be removing, go into Lightroom’s develop module and select the Spot Removal tool; it is the second Lightroom editing tool marked by a circular icon with a protruding arrow. A quick way to access this tool is to use the keyboard shortcut ‘Q’.
It will open the options for the Spot Removal tool. There are two ways to use the tool; one option is to clone over the area you need erased by sampling the area from another point in the image, second options is to heal the area you need removed by having Lightroom match the texture and shading of the sampled area over the logo. You can quickly switch between the two options by holding the ‘Shift’ key and pressing the ‘Q’ key. The clone option will work well if you have an area to sample from that is similar in texture and shading to the selected area as it copies the pixels of the sample, the heal option attempts to recreate the texture and shading properties of the sample for a more seamless fit.
There are further three sliders you can adjust that will effect how the Spot Removal tool will fix the area. The size slider will simply control the size of the tool. You can quickly adjust the size by using the keyboard shortcut ‘[‘ to decrease it and ‘]’ to increase it. Once you start removing the logo from the image you will not be able to change the size of that specific sample; however, you will still be able to change the other sliders.
The next slider controls the level of feather of the edges of the sample area, in other words, it controls how quickly the edges of the tool fade to the image – the smaller the number the harder the edge will be.
The last slider controls the opacity level of the Spot Removal tool; the higher the number is, the less of the selected area will be visible. In the case of removing the logo it is safe to assume that you do not want to see any of the logo show through; therefore, the opacity should be kept at 100%.
Next, apply the Spot Removal tool on the area of the logo, but keep in mind that the Spot Removal tool size should not exceed the size of the area available to sample from. In the case of the example image, the only areas that are available are the empty areas of the mug – it is immediately clear that it will take more than one sample to cover the entire logo. Lightroom will automatically attempt to find the best area to sample from, if are unhappy about its choice you can ask it to automatically find another sample using the keyboard shortcut ‘/’; however, often for the best result you will need to readjust it by dragging the sample area where the shading and texture is more similar to that of the selected area.
If you notice that there are shading differences within the areas were the logo is located, the best strategy is to sample smaller areas and step by step remove the logo so that the shading is consistent with the surrounding pixels. If certain areas still appear patchy you can reselect that sample and increase the feathering slightly to help the sampled area blend more seamlessly with the rest of the image. If you are using the clone option for the Spot Removal tool try switching to the healing option to create a smoother transition between different sample areas. Once you are happy with the results click ‘Done’ and save the image.