Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Improving exposure and color with the Adjustment Brush, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 04 Develop Module Advanced Techniques.
Now that we know a little bit about how the adjustment brush works. Let's take a look at how we can put into practice what we've learned, and also pick up a few tips and techniques as well. In particular, I want to look at how we can customize the overall intensity of the effect as well, after we've applied some adjustments to a photograph. Well here in this picture, what I want to do is I want to change the brightness value and the exposure on the subjects of this photograph. And this is a picture of my sister and brother-in-law and their kids. And I like the color temperature and the brightness of the background, but what I want to do is brighten up the subjects and I want to warm up that area as well. Well, to do that, let's use the adjustment brush.
Press the k key to select the adjustment brush. Or click on the Adjustment brush tool icon. Next, what we want to do is click from this pull-down menu and choose the option for Temperature. This will allow us to just have a little bit of a slight increase in our color temperature and to zero out the other sliders there. I also want to bring up my exposure just a touch. Here, I'll bring up some detail in the shadows and maybe increase the contrast here a little bit as well. Now you never really know what values will be right as you start to work with this. Yet you don't need to worry about that too much because you can always customize those values later.
What you do really want to focus in on are your brush characteristics, which are located down here. Here when I position the cursor over the image I can see right away that the brush is way too big. So tap the left bracket key to make it smaller, or just click and drag this slider so that you have a much smaller brush. Now the feather amount is too high as well I'll go ahead and decrease that. And the reason why it's too high is I don't want this adjustment to spill over too far into the background. Next with the flow we'll go ahead and decrease that a little bit. It's almost always a nice idea to have a little bit of a lower flow amount so you can settle (UNKNOWN) in the adjustment.
Next we'll go ahead and just start to paint over the subjects here. And what I want to do is I want to brighten up their faces, add a little bit of warmth to this part of the photograph. And here so far you can see I'm just painting across these pictures or this part of the picture I should say in a way to try and brighten this up. I'm just painting back and forth here. And often what you'll do is you'll make some brush strokes as I'm doing here, and you won't actually be sure if you've covered the entire area that you want to. Well one of the ways that you can see that is by hovering over the pin. When you hover over the pin it showing us this particular overlay, in this case it's showing me that I did a pretty good job. This is the area that I painted over and I missed a few areas, perhaps the shoulder over here, and maybe the pant leg and a little bit more of the hair right up in here.
Well after having made those adjustments we may want to warm them up a little bit more by increasing our color temperature and also our tint. We also could work on the contrast that we have in that area. And then maybe a little bit of color saturation here as well. I'll brighten this up too again I'm just looking at the image and I'm trying to make some adjustments which I think will improve the overall photograph. Now, obviously the little pin right here is a bit distracting. So, you can tap the h key in order to hide that. Then, press the back slash key that will show you the before and then, press it again and now, here we can see the after. You need to make a little bit more of an adjustment, we'll just go through and paint over those areas that you want to work on. Even more.
Here there are a few areas I'm just going to click and drag over these in order to brighten up this part of the picture even more. Now with a few simple brush strokes and some customization of our settings we've improved this picture. Here is the overall before. And then now here is the after. And here we're starting to discover why this tool is so helpful, because it allows us to make selective adjustments to local or specific areas of our photographs. Now let's say though that we've decided that we want to scale all of these adjustments back Well there are two ways that we can do this. The first technique that you can use is to click on this icon here to collapse all of our controls.
Notice that all of the various controls have disappeared, and we simply have an amount slider. Now we can change the overall amount, or intensity of this by dragging this to the left to reduce or remove the effect that we've painted in. Or we can drag this to the right to increase those values even more. And in doing this, sometimes it can help us to find just the right spot for how we want to adjust that area of the photograph. Another way that we can do the same thing is by leaving this open. And that's by pressing the H key to turn back the pin which we have right here.
When you hover over the pin notice the cursor changes, well that's telling you that I can then click and drag to the left or the right, to increase or decrease those values. If you take a look at the values over here, one of things that you'll notice is that it's bringing all of those values back to their default setting of zero. And this is true whether you have a positive or negative amount on a particular slider. So again, you can use either of those techniques in order to customize the overall adjustments which you've applied to your photograph.
To commit to those adjustments, click the Done button in order to commit and apply those adjustments to your photograph.
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
- Enhancing the sky with the Graduated Filter tool
- Improving exposure and color with the Adjustment Brush
- Modifying tone with the Tone Curve controls
- Creating better black-and-white photos
- Reducing noise with sharpening
- Split toning to create a sepia tone
- Correcting distortion
- Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom