In this video, learn how to sculpt the light in an image with the Brush tool in Lightroom.
- With the Brush tool you can selectively paint at it's on an image. I use this most often to paint light. I like to think of it as sculpting the tones by enhancing the light that is already there. Or adding light where I wish that it'd been. The adjustment brush tool is the fourth one down and you can jump there with a "b" key on your keyboard. Let's start by taking a look at the brush options. For starters, we have the size which can be adjusted with the slider or the "bracket" keys on your keyboard. The "left" bracket will make it smaller and the "right" bracket will make it larger. If we toggle this open, we can see more options. Feather is how soft or hard the edge of the brushes. And Flow is how fast the adjustment is applied. It's like pressure coming out of a hose. Use a low flow setting for subtle edits that build up with multiple strokes. I'll just leave it at the default 50. Density sets the maximum density of the brush. So if it's set to 50, every edit you paint will be maxed at 50 percent of the adjustment. I always leave this at a hundred because I find that really confusing. And we'll come back to auto-mask in a minute. I'm going to collapse this for now so that I can go and reset all of the edits that it remembered from the last time I used the selective edit tool. And scroll down here to make sure everything's set to zero. Now what I want to do is paint light into this desert scene where the light already is. And to brighten an area you seen white is the most natural effect. So I'm going to go ahead and take the whites all the way up to plus 100. And then make my brush a little bit smaller with the left bracket. And then just paint where this red brushes and each time I paint over it its just going to get a little bit brighter. And it's a very subtle effect. But if we do and undo and then command+c or control+z to bring it back, we can see that it definitely brighten that up. I'm going to get a larger brush with the right bracket key and add some light into this trail coming in here 'cause that'll pull the viewer's eye in. And then I like to accentuate the light that's already in the image by painting over the bright areas that are on the side of the cliff. I can strengthen the contrast in the cliffs even more by adding dark instead of light doing the opposite. So we need to create a new brush by clicking the plus icon here. Resetting the whites taking the highlights down for this one and maybe the exposure a little bit. And then coming in and painting where it already is dark and just making it a little bit darker. And then in the corners I really want to darken these corners down so I get a nice big brush and just paint over these. Let's do a before and after to see how this is looking. So the contrast in this is much stronger now and our eyes getting pulled in to this center area. Let's finish this up by changing the sky a little bit. This is where we'll use the auto-mask. So I'll open this, I'm going to turn on auto-mask. Let's reset all of this while I'm thinking of it. 'Cause we want to create a new brush. And we want to warm it up so it looks like a sunset. So make sure everything else is set to zero. And we can come back and adjust this later if this is isn't the right color it doesn't really matter. Its just something to get started. I'm going to make the brush size a little bit smaller. Actually let's zoom in so we can really see what's happening here. And then I'm going to take the flow all the way up so it gets applied in one stroke. And then toggle on so that we see the tool or the mask overlay as I paint. Notice how the auto-mask is finding the edges of those clouds. What I want to do is use auto-mask on to paint around the edges of the rocks. As long as that crosshair in the middle of the brush doesn't cross over the mountains. It will automatically find the edge. I'm going to zoom out and do this really quickly for time. And it does a pretty good job. I'm just going along the edges. Now I want to turn off auto-mask to get the area in the center. And you can use the "a" key on your keyboard to toggle that on and off. Then we can paint this rest of the sky in here. And then use the "o" key to toggle the overlays off. And see how we warmed up that sky. Let's do a before and after and see how great this image is looking now. Really happy with that. Lets take a look at this on a portrait image. You can try using an adjustment brush for portrait retouching too. It's great to add highlights to hair. Lets close this up. Make sure auto-mask is off. Reset the temperature and the tint. And take the whites up and make the brush smaller with the left bracket. And then I can just add a little bit of highlight to those curls in her hair. And we'll do a before and after so that you can see how that really brightens up her face. So the adjustment brush gives you a tremendous amount of control over the tones in an image. Think like a painter and sculpt the light with an adjustment brush. There really is no limit to what you can do.
- Understanding the histogram
- Enhancing image details
- Adding a vignette effect
- Reducing noise
- Straightening a subject with geometry
- Making creative color adjustments for drama
- Reducing distractions
- Highlighting your subject
- Adding and smoothing detail
- Exporting photos
- Selecting file options for web or print