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Working with the Lightroom 3 Adjustment Brush


  1. Brush Options
  2. Masking
  3. Making the Adjustment

Article Description

One of the most powerful raw workflow tools is the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom 3 (and Adobe Camera Raw). It provides the ability to precisely modify one or more areas in your photo, without altering the rest of the shot. Dan Moughamian, author of Adobe Digital Imaging How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques for Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3, and Camera Raw 6, shows you how to get the most from this robust set of controls.
Making the Adjustment

Making the Adjustment

Once your mask is in place, making the edits is easy! Just follow the same process you would in the Basic panel, by moving the different sliders to achieve the desired effect (Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpness). Or, to add a color tint to your mask area, click the “swatch” next to the Color label, and choose a hue and saturation value using the color ramp and slider controls (Figure 4).

Figure 4 The Color control provides a hue or color ramp, along with a saturation slider to control the applied hue’s intensity.

From this point, you can continue your edits by making a new mask in another area, and following the same process as before. To create a new mask, click the New button just beneath the Adjustment Brush icon. To completely remove a mask and its edits, click on the pin and press Delete. The best part about these edits is that they are all non-destructive. You can come back to Lightroom at any time and modify the masks, settings, or just start over if needed!

Once this is finished you can toggle the combined effect of your settings by clicking the preview on and off (Figure 5).

Figure 5 Use the different Effect sliders and the Color control to modify the look of your masked pixels.