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Making corrections with the Adjustment Brush

From: Lightroom Power Shortcuts

Video: Making corrections with the Adjustment Brush

The Adjustment Brush in Lightroom is phenomenal because it allows us to paint adjustments into specific areas of our photograph. We are going to talk about how we can use the Adjustment Brush and also how we can use some really helpful shortcuts so that we can be more effective with this tool. Now with this tool, I find it's helpful to learn how to use it in context. So let's go through a bit of a workflow. With this image I will press the V key to convert it to black and white. Next, in the Black & White panel, let's click and drag our Aqua and our Blue sliders down to create a bit more of a dynamic black-and-white conversion.

Making corrections with the Adjustment Brush

The Adjustment Brush in Lightroom is phenomenal because it allows us to paint adjustments into specific areas of our photograph. We are going to talk about how we can use the Adjustment Brush and also how we can use some really helpful shortcuts so that we can be more effective with this tool. Now with this tool, I find it's helpful to learn how to use it in context. So let's go through a bit of a workflow. With this image I will press the V key to convert it to black and white. Next, in the Black & White panel, let's click and drag our Aqua and our Blue sliders down to create a bit more of a dynamic black-and-white conversion.

Next, what I want to do is use the Adjustment Brush in order to paint in brightness into a specific area of our photograph. To do that, press the K key to select the Adjustment Brush. Now here with the Adjustment Brush, what we can do is we can determine in an effect or exposure or contrast. We can increase one of these values and then paint that in into our picture. Here let's go ahead and increase our overall exposure and perhaps a bit of contrast. Next, if we scroll down, you will notice that you have some options for our brush.

Here if we position the cursor or the brush over the image, you can see that we have these different concentric circles. Well, the inner circle is our brush size. The outer circle, that's the brush feather. To change those values by way of a shortcut, just press the bracket keys. Right bracket key increases the overall brush size; left bracket key decreases the brush size. Press Shift+Left Bracket key and that will decrease the Feather amount; press Shift+Right Bracket key--that will increase the Feather amount.

Well, what about Flow? Well, to change the Flow, you just need to type a number on your keyboard. If you type 2, it will take the Flow to 20. Press 5, it will go to 50 or 8, and it will go to 80. Next we have an option which is called Auto Mask. We can turn that on or off by pressing the A key. Press the A key to turn it off or the A key to bring this back. Let's go and turn the Auto Mask off for a moment and just talk about how we can make an adjustment. Here I'm going to go ahead and click and paint over this part of the picture, and I am just painting in a way that's really affecting a large area of the photograph.

Well in this case, you can see that we have this little pin which is showing me the area that I've adjusted. If we hover over it, all of a sudden we'll see what's called a mask overlay. Now you can change that mask overlay by way of a few handy shortcuts. Position your cursor off of that little pin and then press the O key; that will toggle the overlay on or off. If you want to change its color, press Shift+O and here you can see I can toggle through different overlay colors.

Sometimes it's helpful to choose an overlay color so that you can kind of see how you're adjusting the image. In this case, I adjusted the photograph in a way that didn't really work for me. So to delete the adjustment, here we will go ahead and simply click on this pin and then press Delete or Backspace. Next, press the A key to turn on Auto Mask and here press the left bracket key to make our brush a little bit smaller, and if we click and paint, we will start to see this in red, because the overlay is on.

Here you can see how the adjustment is just affecting this area. Auto Mask allows us to limit how we mask in certain things, and in many ways this can help us to make more precise adjustments, and sometimes to make more interesting adjustments as well. If the overlay is distracting, just use a shortcut to hide it. Remember, it's the O key. That then allows you to hide that. And here if we flip this switch, you can see our before and then now the after. I will go ahead and paint over these areas a little bit more in order to add a bit more to the selection.

Next, if we want to make another adjustment, what I like to do is rather than going to the top and pressing New, I like to press the K key twice. Press it once to exit the adjustment brush; press it a second time to re-enter it with a new adjustment. Here I will go ahead and increase my exposure and then I'll click and paint over the image. In doing that, I've realized that I've made an adjustment which I don't really like. Well, how can we undo that? Well, you can do that by clicking on Erase or you can hold down the Option key on the Mac, Alt key on Windows, and that will give you access to your Erase brush.

Here you can see my Erase brush is really small, so I will press the right bracket key to make that bigger. In doing that, now with this Erase brush, I can erase this adjustment away. Another way that you can do that is by letting go of Option or Alt, and then you can just click on that little pin, and then of course press the Delete key. Yet sometimes you may not want to delete that altogether, so it's helpful to know that shortcut. Press Option or Alt to quickly toggle or to choose the Erase brush.

All right, well, last but not least, let's talk about how we can change the view of these pins. Here you can see that we have this little pin. It's showing me that I've made an adjustment there. If that pin becomes distracting, we can hide it, and you can hide it by pressing the H key. This now will hide that pin; press the H again and you can see how it brings that back. And you can see that that can be helpful to sometimes identify what you've done. Also, if you hover over it, it gives you this quick overlay of your mask so that you can see that.

All right, well there were a handful of shortcuts there. What I recommend you do with this movie is probably watch it maybe two or even three times, because the Adjustment Brush is an incredibly powerful tool and the better you can get at making adjustments in specific areas of your photographs, well, the better your photographs will become, as you can see here with this picture. With a few brief brushstrokes, we were able to really improve that and kind of draw the viewer into this road which leads into this landscape photograph, and so I recommend that perhaps you watch this movie a couple of times, take down some notes, and then of course experiment with these shortcuts and use them so that you can then integrate them into your own workflow.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom Power Shortcuts
Lightroom Power Shortcuts

86 video lessons · 6929 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 3m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
    3. Tips for getting the most out of this course
      55s
  2. 24m 51s
    1. Using advanced shortcuts for the Full Screen and Lights Out modes
      3m 0s
    2. Minimizing different areas of the interface
      3m 27s
    3. Exploring background and panel shortcuts
      3m 34s
    4. Advanced panel navigation
      2m 58s
    5. Choosing the different modules
      4m 9s
    6. Accessing contextual menus in each module
      2m 25s
    7. Adjusting preferences and catalog settings
      1m 11s
    8. Looking up keyboard shortcuts
      4m 7s
  3. 10m 10s
    1. Working with the interface
      3m 47s
    2. Importing images and videos
      3m 47s
    3. Understanding tethered capture
      2m 36s
  4. 20m 22s
    1. Zooming in on images
      4m 0s
    2. Exploring the Survey and Compare views
      4m 53s
    3. Rotating the image
      1m 52s
    4. Exploring view options
      3m 47s
    5. Creating a layout overlay
      2m 38s
    6. Finding and selecting images
      3m 12s
  5. 34m 25s
    1. Renaming and relocating images
      4m 55s
    2. Adding labels, stars, or flags
      4m 58s
    3. Deleting images quickly with flags
      1m 59s
    4. Changing labels, stars, or flags
      3m 17s
    5. Filtering based on labels, stars, or flags
      2m 3s
    6. Finding images quickly
      1m 45s
    7. Working with stacks
      3m 22s
    8. Working with collections and target collections
      3m 5s
    9. Using and showing Quick Collections
      2m 46s
    10. Creating, using, renaming, and moving folders
      2m 59s
    11. Removing and deleting with shortcuts
      3m 16s
  6. 7m 17s
    1. Adding and editing keywords quickly
      3m 7s
    2. Using keyword shortcuts and enabling keyword painting
      2m 0s
    3. Using keyword lists and saving metadata
      2m 10s
  7. 5m 21s
    1. Working with a second monitor
      2m 37s
    2. Exploring advanced dual-monitor shortcuts
      2m 44s
  8. 9m 6s
    1. Exporting a photograph
      3m 39s
    2. Editing in Photoshop
      4m 19s
    3. Emailing a photograph
      1m 8s
  9. 4m 30s
    1. Viewing video
      1m 47s
    2. Setting in and out points
      1m 52s
    3. Exporting video
      51s
  10. 28m 53s
    1. Correcting tone and white balance automatically
      1m 40s
    2. Correcting white balance
      1m 29s
    3. Making adjustments in the Basic panel
      4m 9s
    4. Navigating between basic panels
      2m 46s
    5. Resetting the image to its default settings
      2m 27s
    6. Understanding how to show and correct clipping
      5m 1s
    7. Synchronizing and copying settings
      6m 34s
    8. Viewing before and after
      2m 6s
    9. Quickly converting to black and white
      1m 37s
    10. Showing information overlays
      1m 4s
  11. 28m 16s
    1. Creating virtual copies
      5m 39s
    2. Working with virtual copies
      3m 40s
    3. Using Snapshots to save settings
      3m 36s
    4. Creating custom presets
      2m 24s
    5. Using the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 37s
    6. Creating strong black-and-white conversions
      1m 54s
    7. Making better split-toning adjustments
      1m 27s
    8. Sharpening and improving the details in your photos
      2m 43s
    9. Soft proofing shortcuts
      3m 16s
  12. 18m 10s
    1. Exploring tool strip shortcuts
      54s
    2. Cropping and resetting a crop
      2m 10s
    3. Changing the crop overlay
      2m 35s
    4. Switching the crop orientation
      1m 28s
    5. Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
      2m 24s
    6. Making corrections with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 14s
    7. Using the Graduated Filter
      2m 25s
  13. 6m 18s
    1. Zooming in on the map and changing the map style
      1m 31s
    2. Finding a location and adding images
      3m 53s
    3. Adding GPS information and moving markers
      54s
  14. 9m 23s
    1. Viewing the book project
      1m 51s
    2. Toggling the visibility of guides
      2m 31s
    3. Working with type
      3m 23s
    4. Making selections
      1m 38s
  15. 8m 20s
    1. Playing an impromptu slideshow
      1m 52s
    2. Playing and viewing a slideshow
      1m 42s
    3. Creating a custom template and saving the slideshow
      2m 55s
    4. Exporting as PDF, JPEG, and video
      1m 51s
  16. 7m 28s
    1. Choosing the Print module and changing the page settings
      1m 21s
    2. Customizing the layout and viewing the guides
      2m 35s
    3. Modifying the print settings
      1m 51s
    4. Creating a custom template and saving the print
      1m 41s
  17. 3m 40s
    1. Exporting and reloading
      1m 30s
    2. Previewing in a browser and saving your web gallery
      2m 10s
  18. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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