HELP-How to remove "flares" caused by dirty lens??


TPF Noob!
Aug 17, 2010
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I have a picture slanting into the sun, taken when the lens was not properly cleaned. As a result there were flares (not sure that's how to describe them) reflected off the dirty spots and appears on the photo.
I have attached a copy of the photo here and the blue arrows show where the "flares" are. I wonder what is the best way to remove these spots. I have tried a couple of ways, including using content-aware fill, which obviously is a disaster.
I'm not sure of the best way to remove but I've always used the clone tool for problems like this.

And one question, do you have a lens hood? The flare you're seeing is more likely coming from the angle of the sun hitting the lens (lens flare) rather than a dirty spot on the lens. If there was a dirty spot in the area you'd be seing distortion or problems with the tree too. A lens hood would fix the flare when taking your photo without needing any PPing.

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