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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Because the Adjustment Brush is such a significant tool, I thought it'd be helpful to go over some of the essential Adjustment Brush shortcuts. Well, you can see that the first shortcut is the K key. The K key allows us to access the Adjustment Brush from any of the different modules. What I mean by that is if I'm in the Print module, all that I need to do in order to access the Adjustment Brush is to press the K key. That will then take me to the Develop module, and it will open up the Adjustment Brush. Well, the next thing that we can change is our brush size.
We can, of course, do that by way of a slider, but there is a shortcut for that, and it's the bracket key. Right bracket key makes it bigger, left bracket key makes that smaller. Now what about feathering? Well, that's Shift, Right or Left Bracket key. And here you can see I'm pressing Shift+Left Bracket in order to decrease feathering, Shift+Right Bracket in order to increase it. Now another thing that's kind of interesting is that we can control the overall Flow. We can do that by pressing a number. So, if press the number 5, it will take my Flow to 50%, 0, back to 100.
You can also press two numbers for something a little bit more specific, like 55%. Well, what about Auto Mask? Auto Mask, we can toggle on and off by pressing the A key. Now, one of the things that's kind of interesting, whether we're using Auto Mask or not is that the way that this tool works is it's essentially building what's called a mask. So, if I go ahead and turn Auto Mask off for a moment and I increase my Exposure setting here and I make an adjustment, we can see that that adjustment currently is brightening the background of this particular graphic.
Well, what I can do is I can turn on what's called the mask overlay. I can do that by pressing the O key. Now, the interesting thing about the overlay is it will highlight or show us what area we're working on. So, in this case, if I have a decreased Exposure here, you can see that it's not changing the visual of what I'm seeing. Rather, this overlay is showing me the area that I've modified. Let me make a smaller brush, and you'll see how this works. Again, with mask overlay turned on, it's going to then show me which area I'm affecting.
Now, in certain situations, this overlay won't be very helpful, because it may be close to a color in the image, or in this case, close to the gray in the background. Well, you can toggle through different overlay colors by pressing Shift+O. So, here I'm pressing Shift+O and we can see the different overlay colors. Now, a lot of times, this overlay is really helpful, because it will help us see, oh gosh, I missed a certain area as I was adjusting this particular photograph, like that gap right there. So, we then paint in the gap for adjusting that particular area, then, we press the O key.
What the O key will do is it will turn off that mask overlay, and it will show us the effect. In this case, the effect is a decreased exposure. A lot of times this is really helpful when you're going for something perhaps a little bit more subtle. Like let's say we want a subtle brightening effect in the middle here. Well, in this case, I may not exactly see the area that I've adjusted very well. We'll press the O key. Now I can definitely see the area where I painted. Finally, just to illustrate, if we turn on Auto Mask and go ahead and paint here, we're going to see that same masking indicator.
So, the masking overlay is visible whether or not we're using Auto Mask, or whether we're simply painting with the Adjustment Brush.
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