Remove Dust & Scratches

Ivan's picture

Dust & Scratches filter is for cleaning the imperfections in your image that are usually a result of of film development and scanning. You may ask, what's to write about this filter? You just select it from Filter/ Noise and done.


Well, not quite so simple. Dust & Scratches is a destructive filter, so if you apply it, when you reopen your file you can't go back to the original. It's always better to work in PS in a way that you have the option to go back to previous stages of your work. Also, if you apply this filter directly to your image it will destroy some important details while correcting the dust and the scratches.

You have to duplicate the layer of your image as a first step (Apple-J). Now run the Dust and Scratches filter on this layer carefully selecting the pixel size to make sure the imperfections are all gone. Don't worry about destroying other parts of your image for now.

Apply a full mask on the new layer. Select the mask and Fill it with black to invert it. Now you should be able to see the original layer.


Finally select the new layer's mask and with a paint brush start drawing over the problematic areas with white. Since your mask is selected you're not drawing on the image, but on it's mask. This way you will reveal some parts of your new filtered layer. Keep doing it until you have a perfectly clean image with all the detail of the original.

You can download the example in psd to get the full size image that I a detail from. (Thanks for the image iceneweb from sxc.hu).

dust_and_scratches_cb_sample.zip5.69 MB
Fabio's picture

nice one!

nice one!

for me this is also a nice way to 'sharpen' mouth & eyes in portrait photographs; a little gaussian blur over the copied layer, mask it and paintbrush to reveal the 'sharpened' parts :-)

D from H's picture

Whats it about working destructive ?


one thing I always did not understand is why people stress so much photoshops ability to work not destructive. I remember good the times before version 4.0 when there was no protocol.

In deed we used layers to adjust colors etc ...

... but we definitly had a back-up copy of the image file done before starting our work ...

So as u wrote: once saved the image cant go back to its previous stages ...

Ohm ... Im totally aware that 10 years later I still have to make back-up copies ... even in Photoshop CS2

I guess u guys and dolls out there feel the same ....


Ivan's picture

Of course that is an option...

But who wants to rebuild an artwork from sratch, when you can make history snaphosts and have several layers for reference.

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