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Selective sharpening with the adjustment brush in Lightroom is so important that I want to take a few more movies in order to dig deeper into how we can work with this tool and also in order to pick up a few valuable shortcuts which will help you to be more effective when you're using this tool to improve details in your photographs. Alright, well let's start off with this picture here. This another one of my daughter's friends and here she is at the beach holding this crab by one little leg, and obviously there is a shallow depth of field. The crab is in focus, and the subject is out of focus.
So I'm going to zoom in on the image a little bit so that we can focus in on the crab which we have here. I just want to sharpen this area of the image and I want to do so quickly. I want to make this a snap. To do that, we'll press the K key to select the adjustment brush. This will open up the adjustment brush controls. Again, we'll begin by clicking on the pull down menu and choosing Sharpness. This will reset any of our other sliders to their default settings and just give us a nice value for the sharpening effect.
Then next, because I want to work a little bit quickly, what I'm going to do is to have a higher flow amount, not quite up to 100 but something above 50. I'm going to choose my feather and my brush size, here I want a little bit of a smaller brush and just a touch of feather as well. By having a bit of a smaller brush it will allow me to get into these areas and to paint over the legs. Now, of course, I couldn't paint this in unless I used auto mask, and so here I want to highlight the shortcut for turning auto mask on and off.
If you hover over this you can see the tooltip which tells us it's the letter A. If you tap the A key, you can see how we can check or uncheck or turn this feature on and off. Let's turn it on. The other thing we need to turn on is our mask overlay to make sure that we are being accurate. You can turn that on an off by tapping the O key on your keyboard. So let me review those. The A key allows you to toggle on and off auto mask. The O key allows you to toggle the mask overlay.
Think of O for overlay. Well, with both of those on what we can then do is just click and paint over the this area of the image. And in this case I'm just painting over this and I'm making sure that the cross hairs are primarily covering these little legs on this crab here that she's dangling way up in the air. And this kid, Kaylee, she is really brave. And she loves the ocean. She's, she's a really fun kid. Okay, well, so we can see I'm primarily affecting the crab, yet there was a few areas where it spilled over, and there are a couple of areas on the crab that it didn't quite fill in the gaps.
So I need to turn off auto mask. To do so tap the A key, and then go ahead and fill in those areas. Notice how I'm now filling in some of the gaps which were there. Well, what about erasing? It went too far, let's say, over into this area. Well, you can erase by clicking on the Erase button, or you can use another shortcut. Now, I know all these shortcuts can be tricky, and I know this is more advanced, but stick with me. I recommend you write these down and maybe even watch this movie a second time so you can really learn these, but here it is.
If you hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt on Windows, that will change your brush to the eraser brush, so that you can really quickly go in there and erase any of those little issues or areas where you need to clean up some of the edges, and there we are now done. And of course we need to evaluate this, right? The overlay is hiding all of our work. We can't tell if it's sharp. So we'll turn the overlay off by either clicking on the indicator here or by pressing the o key.
Then we need to work with our slider, and with the slider, we can figure out how much of the sharpening effect we want to bring in. In this case, I want to bring in a lot. I also want to bring in a touch of contrast and some clarity and a little bit of saturation. I want to make this part of the image that much more interesting, and then to see the before and after, we can click on the toggle switch. There is our before. Click again, here is the after.
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