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Getting Rid of Glare Using Photoshop’s Healing Tools

One unfortunate result of taking pictures with flash in front of glass is glare. I can’t tell you how to avoid the glare to begin with, but I may be able to help you get rid of it, once it’s already there. This tutorial was done in Photoshop CS5, but can be adapted in any version.

When the glare has a starburst, such as in this example, start your repair by getting rid of the spikes of light, leaving only the ball of light in the middle. I did this using the Content Aware Spot Healing Brush.

When the spikes are gone, there’s a nice, clear area to select for the next part of the repair. Select as large an area as you can…

And move the selection down over the glare area. If the selection doesn’t entirely cover the glare, use the Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) command and stretch the selection to fit.

On the edges that aren’t directly over the glare, you can lower the opacity of the eraser tool to 20% and go lightly over the edges to blend, as I did here on the sides of the selection and to erase and blend any overlapping areas, such as the mans hair in the photo above.

On the edges that are over the glare, you’ll need to combine the selection and the photograph itself. With the selection layer active, use the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) commend to combine that layer with the one below it. Select the edges of the (former) selection layer and move the selection up to the area above to blend.

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Repeat with any other obvious edges.

Now, for the eyeglass glare! Select the glare with either the Lasso tool or Patch tool. Go to Edit > Fill or use keyboard shortcut Shift + F5. Make sure the use option is set to Content Aware and hit OK. Repeat on all the rest of the glare, if applicable.

We’ll get rid of the edges that are around the edges of the Content Aware repairs the same way we did above, by using the Patch tool. Select the obvious edges and use the areas right around to blend the edges.

Repeat patching all the edges to blend them in.

Now the starburst is gone and the lens glare has changed to non-glare lenses. These are just a couple ways to deal with glare in a photograph, but may be worth giving a try!

About Janine Smith (114 Articles)
Janine Smith is the owner of Landailyn Research and Restoration, a Fort Worth, Texas based company whose services include family history research and photo restoration. Janine honed her skills in restoring badly damaged photos as a volunteer with Operation Photo Rescue, a non-profit organization whose mission is to repair photographs damaged by unforeseen circumstances such as house fires and natural disasters. <br> Janine’s work is well-known in the world of genealogical and historical societies, museums, libraries, university archives, and non-profit organizations; appearing on the board of directors for several organizations and institutions. She is a sought-after lecturer on photo restoration and preservation to libraries, genealogical and historical societies. <br> In addition to being a Lynda.com author, Janine is the author of many articles on research and restoration appearing in newspapers and magazines, both on and offline. Janine's history and photo restoration columns appear regularly on TipSquirrel.com and in the popular Shades Of The Departed Digital Magazine. <br> Janine is the winner of the 2010 “Photoshop User Award” in the photo-restoration category.

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