Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Work Smart Not Hard

Several filters in Photoshop reduce and combat dust, but they all have one limitation: they do not replace the discernment of a caring or trained eye. Filters cannot distinguish between unimportant dust spots and things that you would like to retain, such as a highlight in an eye.

Photoshop’s filters used to be considered destructive editing, and applying filters to duplicate layers was the way to preserve one’s progress. Now, through the use of Smart Filters, Photoshop filters are thankfully nondestructive, and applied settings can be edited even after the file has been closed. Smart Filters allow filters to be applied, adjusted, turned off, stacked as multiple filters, and masked without the original pixel information being altered. The one limitation of Smart Filters is that certain types of editing, like using any of the painting tools directly on the layer, are not possible, but then again, that would be destructive editing.

To use Smart Filters, convert the layers you want to apply the filter to into a Smart Object. Choose Filter > Convert to Smart Filter, or Ctrl-click/ or right-click the selected layers in the Layers panel and select Convert to Smart Object (FIGURE 5.24). In the Layers panel, the layer thumbnail icon changes to indicate that the layer is a Smart Object (FIGURE 5.25).

FIGURE 5.24

FIGURE 5.24 Converting a layer to a Smart Object

FIGURE 5.25

FIGURE 5.25 This little icon in the Layer thumbnail indicates that it is a Smart Object. The double circle indicates that a filter has been applied. When a filter is applied to a Smart Object, the Smart Filter is visible by default. Click the arrow on the right to hide or make visible the filters that are applied.

logo.jpg ch5_dustykitty.jpg

Open the cat image, convert the Background layer to a Smart Object, and let’s explore the dust-busting filters.

Despeckle Filter

Choose Filter > Noise > Despeckle to apply the Despeckle filter. Click the Smart Filter visibility icon to toggle the filter on and off. The change is very minor and may require zooming in past 100% to see a difference. As the name implies, a speck is very small, and this tool blurs the tiniest of spots determined to be dust. Since the Despeckle filter doesn’t offer any control, we rarely use it—it either works or it doesn’t, and it feels like a hit-or-miss filter.

Median Filter

The Median filter offers some control over the radius of pixels that it affects. Choose Filter > Noise > Median. Press and release the mouse button on the filter preview to see a before and after view. Start with the slider set to 1, and drag the slider to the right while observing the changes. You can also enter a pixel amount directly into the Radius field. By the time 4 pixels is reached, the image has been significantly blurred (FIGURE 5.26).

FIGURE 5.26

FIGURE 5.26 This close-up view of the cat’s eye shows how the filter blurs the image.

The Median filter is useful when there is nothing of similar size to be retained in the image, such as highlights in eyes or individual strands of hair.

Dust & Scratches Filter

The Dust & Scratches filter is most useful for annihilating unwanted elements, such as small dust specks and lines, but it has its limitations as well. If images could be fixed with the simple application of a filter, this book would be rather short.

Choose Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches to show the Dust & Scratches dialog box. As with the Median filter, there is a Radius slider to control the size of pixels that will be affected. Drag the Threshold slider all the way to the right to undo the effect of the Radius slider. Getting the best result is a balancing act between the two controls; start with just enough radius to eliminate dust, and then nudge up the threshold to bring back desired detail.

logo.jpg ch5_dustykitty.jpg

As the name implies, a mask is used to hide things. With the use of a filter mask, you can apply any filter more selectively (FIGURES 5.27 and 5.28):

FIGURE 5.27

FIGURE 5.27 The Dust & Scratches filter shows how dust can be removed while retaining some of the detail.

FIGURE 5.28

FIGURE 5.28 Smart Filters also provide masks so that you can apply the filter to only part of an image.

© Pamela J. Herrington

  1. Select the Background layer.

  2. Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

  3. Choose Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches.

  4. Set Radius to 4 and reduce Threshold to from 10 to 15.

  5. Click the Filter Masks thumbnail to select it.

  6. Select the Brush tool and a size of around 500 pixels, make sure the foreground color is black, and paint over the eyes, nose, and the ears to conceal parts of the filters effect.

The downside of the Dust & Scratches filter, as with the Despeckle and Median filters, is that it ultimately blurs the image and will often remove the grain or texture, giving the image an unnaturally smooth look. Later in the chapter, a technique will be explained for how to put grain back into a picture.

Applying filters to layers that are converted to Smart Objects offers significant advantages in the nondestructive workflow:

  • The filter can be revisited at any time, and readjusted by double-clicking the filter name in the Layers panel.

  • You can adjust the blending options associated with the filter (blending modes and opacity) by double-clicking the Edit Filter Blending Options icon to the right of the filter name.

  • Smart Filters offer the option of masking. A filter can be applied to just a part of a layer, and that selection continually tweaked by adjusting the mask.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020