Using the Eyedropper
Taking a closer look, I'm aware of some dust as well as the creases. You can see the creases in Figure 21.5. I'll have to do some touch up work to get rid of those.
Sometimes you need to paint over part of the image, either to fill in scratches or to remove unwanted lines, spots, or in-laws. Use the Eyedropper Tool to select a color with which to paint. Simply click the Eyedropper on any color (or in this case, shade of gray) in the image that you want to replicate, and that color becomes the foreground color, ready to apply with the Brush, Airbrush, or whatever Painting tool you choose. You can also hold down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while a Painting tool is selected to turn it temporarily into an Eyedropper, so you can change colors as you paint. Clicking the Eyedropper opens its Options bar. A pop-up menu gives you the choice of using a single-pixel color sample or of taking an average color from either a 3x3- or 5x5-pixel sample.
With the Eyedropper, Brush, and Smudge Tools, we'll repair the damage. All we need to do is to pick up the appropriate background grays from elsewhere in the picture, paint or rubber stamp them in, and smudge the area a little bit so that it blends. In Figure 21.8, you can see the result of our efforts.
Figure 21.8 Compare this to the image we started with.
Using the Eyedropper Tool in a situation like this is much easier than trying to match an existing color or shade of gray on the color wheel. All you need to do to paint in the background is to find another spot in the picture where the color or gray shade is the one that you'd like to use. Select the Eyedropper and click it to make that color the foreground color. Then use your brush to paint in the selected shade. Smudge the edges very slightly if necessary to blend in the new paint. When the area to work on is very small, I like to use a single-pixel brush as a Smudge Tool, and set it for only 20% pressure so that I don't overdo the smudges. When you are working on corrections this small, it's much easier to apply them gradually and let the effect build up, rather than trying to do it all in one pass.