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Local Adjustments

Lesson 12 from: From Capture Through Edit Using Lightroom

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

12. Local Adjustments

Learn how to use the Gradient and Brush tools in Lightroom to further enhance your images.
Next Lesson: Black and White

Lesson Info

Local Adjustments

once you're done with the global adjustments that you would make in the edit panel inside of light room, then it's time to go into the very specific areas and start working on burning and dodging. So, for instance, in this photograph, we have a lot of various places that have some issues in order for this to really sing, this is the image itself. It's pretty bland without some additional work being done to it now. I've already done the adjustments so you can see that I've changed the exposure and contrasts and highlights and all that kind of stuff. So I've done a lot of work to this to begin with, and I might just tweak it just a little bit more. Give it a little bit more brightness overall, bond. Maybe I'll, you know, bring the black down a little bit. So that's just a little bit more contrast and maybe go into the effects and play with the clarity just a little bit so that things pop a little bit better, especially her. But other than that, I like the way it looks generally and again...

in the same way that you would work on a photograph a two camera and you would be working on that photograph with camera and pre visualizing what that thing's gonna look like when you're looking at the actual global editing on a photograph. You kind of have to pre visualized beyond just the general editing, because the first thing you're doing is kind of just getting the basics. You're getting the basic exposure and the basic, uh, color tone and all of that kind of stuff. And so when I look at this photograph, I'm I'm looking at the sky and I'm looking at the foreground a little bit, and I'm looking at her in general, mostly at the gold dress. Those are the things that I'm looking at to try and make you know. This photograph look interesting, but I'm I'm again pre visualizing what the rest of it is gonna look like. Because I know that once I'm done with all of the global adjustments, I get to then go into the local adjustments, and that's what we're going to do now. And the local adjustments air found right over on the right hand side. Underneath the edit button, you will find that there is a healing brush. There is a regular brush. There is a Grady Int tool, and then there's a radial Grady int tool. We're going to start by going into the Grady Int and the Grady. It's the easiest tool to understand. Um, it just has a bunch of controls, and it's you'll notice that these controls are very, very similar to the controls that you have on a global basis. So you have temperature intent. You have exposure and contrasts and highlights and shadows and whites and blacks. But you also have texture, clarity. D hes You have saturation controls and Hugh controls so you can shift so the color of someone's face a little bit or their dress completely you can you can sharpen things you d noise, certain shadow areas, so you could do a lot of work on a photograph on a local basis. So we're going to start with really basic adjustments by just bringing the exposure down just a little bit. And what we want to do is just kind of bring in some of this brightness a little bit, so I'm just gonna grab and I'm gonna zoom out just a little bit so you can see what I'm doing. I'm gonna start outside of the photographic frame and I'm gonna drag this across and you can't see the actual Grady int because I need to hit the okey and that shows the over the overlay tool. So notice that this is the center of the Grady int. This down here is 100% of the Grady int. So this is 100% burn. This is 0% burn at the top 50% in the middle, and this handle allows me to drag it in and out. I can twist it left and right, and I can shorten it so that it happens faster or slower. So I'm gonna just kind of drag that up and let just, you know, let it burn that in just a little bit. And then I'm also going to do the same thing that the sky because you can see that the sun is off to the left, and so it's a little brighter in that area of the sky, and I want to darken it down. So I'm just gonna drag a Grady and across that sky. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna I don't want it to be that dark. But the other thing I want to do is make sure that it's a little bit more blue so that it matches this other side. So I'm trying to match the two sides so that it's a little bit mawr Ah, uniforms across the sky, and I can tilt it a little bit until I feel like that's pretty close. It's still a little lighter on this side, which is fine, but I just want that corner to be a little bit more uniformed with this other corner. So now I've done my Grady int tool. Let's go out of the Grady Int tool and let's go to the brush tool. Now notice. The brush tool is all the same except up at the very top, and at the very top you'll see that you have ah, size, feather flow and density. Now, flow is how much paint or how much whatever is coming out of the brush at one time, and so that's how quickly it's gonna burn or how quickly it's gonna brighten something up. Density is how much it can actually do so if if I put it a density of 50 then it can never go over 50. It can never It could never do 100% of its job and so that that kind of slows things down. So I generally leave it at 100% density and then I play with the flow, and so I'm going to keep the flow around 50 and then I'm going to change this brush so that it's bringing the exposure down and maybe the highlights a little bit. And then I'm gonna use my pen tool on my welcome tablet. And I'm just gonna go in there and start burning in some of these bushes, that air really catching my attention way, way too much. So I'm just gonna burn them in just a bit so that I'm not quite as attracted to those because I wanna be looking at her not at these bushes, but the same time I don't want toe lose them completely because they are going. They would be receiving light from this poll anyway, even though I'm actually lighting her with a soft box and a flash off to the left here. But I've put a little flash into this poll into this into this little. It's a lantern that I actually brought with us. It's not actually there. We put it there and then I put a little flash in it so that there was a bulb in it on DSO. That's what's lighting that. But what's relighting her is actually flashes. And so I the light would be spilling here anyway. But I don't want it to be so attractive that it pulls. Are I away from her? So I'm just kind of burning areas that air just to obviously pulling my eye. And then I'm gonna go back here and kind of play with it and see how much do I want that toe be? Uh, how light do I want it to be? And I kind of want it to be, like, maybe like that, so that it doesn't attract my attention, but there's still some light to it. Okay, so now that I've done that, I want to start working on her. So I go right back up here to the brush, and right now you see that there's one pin and that pen represents the red area that I've been burning on, and that burn is represented by these exposure settings. So negative exposure, negative highlights. But up at the top, I can create another brush. When I click that brush. Now that one is a deactivated brush. And when I start clicking down on this one, it's going to create a whole new pin that represents this brush. But before I do that, I'm going to brighten up because I'm kind of pre setting my tool up and I'm gonna be working on her face. And so I want it to be a little brighter. I want the highlights to come up a little bit, but I will bring the texture down because I actually want to smooth her skin a bit. And I also want to warm it up because you can see how cool her whole face and the jacket is. So I wanna warm her face up a little bit, so it kind of stands out against the blue. So I'm gonna take the temperature up just a little bit, and it doesn't really matter what those settings are right now because they're gonna be temporary. And then I could come and work on them later, and I'm going to click on the auto mask tool, and this is really important. When I click on Auto Mask, it's going to make sure that what I'm painting is on Lee what I started painting. So let me let me show you what I mean. So as I go over here, I'm going to get really close in there so that we're just looking at her face. And because we have auto mask on, I'm going to click on her skin and I can increase the size of the brush or decrease it with the bracket keys. And then I can change the feather by hitting the shift bracket keys, and you can see how the circle is getting bigger and smaller outside the main circle. That's that's your the size of your feather. And so I'm just kind of changing the size of my brush and my feather. And then whatever I click on is going to be the registered value. And it's going to try and stay on Lee, painting those types of things and not the hair and not the hat and not the eyes. So it's going to try and do that based on this autumn asking feature. So when I start painting, I'm gonna be painting her face on Lee Andi. I'm gonna actually click on the O button again so that I'm doing the mask or life so you can see where the mask is being painted and notice that it doesn't go and spill onto the hat and notice how the eyes stayed pretty well away from the mask. So I didn't even cut out the hair. So did a really good job, but masking her and I'm gonna go down and get her hand as well. So I'm just gonna change the brush size a little bit. And I'm just see how it's just cutting out the hand as I do it. So I don't have to worry about masking and being really specific about where I'm putting the brush. It's just very easy toe. Get in there and and paint something. And then I'm gonna hit the okey again so that I turn that off and now you can see Whoa, that's way, way too bright. But that's okay, because what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna play with the exposure and I'm gonna play with the highlights and I'm gonna play with the texture and I'm also going to play with the warmth and I'm just gonna zoom back out so that I can see. What does that look like? Is that too bright? Just a little bit. So I'm gonna go into the exposure. And if you're trying to work on the exposure, um, in small increments, you can actually use your arrow keys just a little bit. So So instead of trying to drag it minute, Lee, you can use the arrow key and just use down arrow, and it's going to increase by 0.1. So 1/10 of a stop. And so I'm just trying to figure out where c It's too bright. It's not bright enough. That looks, that looks pretty good. That looks pretty riel. Then I go up to the temperature and I'm gonna kinda warm it up and I'm gonna cool it down. I just want to see the difference between warm and cool until I get the right amount of warmth to it. That looks pretty good. So now, a little too bright. All right. I'm gonna go down one 10th of stop there. That looks pretty good, but the problem is that her coat is not right. So I'm going to do another one. I'm going to click on the plus button again. So now I've got a new brush and notice how all of my settings stayed the same. So this time I want everything the same. Except I don't want to smooth the skin on this one. So I'm just gonna hit the reset button on this texture slider. And now I'm gonna go back in and paint this. But remember, the auto mask is on, and so I can just paint her her her jacket there. So I'm just gonna go in and start painting the jacket. And it's also warming that jacket up, which may or may not be something I want to dio. So I'm going to just keep going. So I'm just painting, painting, painting and you'll notice one thing about this auto mask feature is that it? Sometimes if you look at it, it sometimes does some weird things. See how it cuts in and out. And that's because it's seeing a difference between, and so it sees it as an area of divide. And so what we have to do is turn off the auto mask in order to avoid that. So I'm just gonna I'm just gonna try and paint a little more accurately, actually, what I'm gonna do, because that's not working out very well. I'm going to go in and I'm going to There's where the pin was, which is actually also bad, because you can see that I've got some little rays of sunlight coming off of or something because I I had the pin in the wrong place. So But I'm going to do this without the auto mask because I noticed that it was doing weird things to begin with. So I'm going to do it just generally speaking, without the auto mask on. And then I'm going to use the auto mask to get rid of the edges. So I'm just coming in and doing the auto are doing it without auto mask. That's pretty good. And then I'm going to zoom in here, and I'm going to turn the auto mask on and put it on a race mode. Turn the auto mask on after I put it on a race mode, and now I can come in and it's gonna register blue, and it's just gonna a race around the blue areas, so and it spills a little bit. But that's okay because it's spilling into the blue of her jacket, which is fine. So you would kind of expect there to be some shadow on her jacket. Here we go, and we're going to zoom out there. That looks pretty good, but it's a little too obviously bright. So I'm gonna go in and start playing around with the highlights. How much do I want to brighten it up? Just a little bit. How much do you wanna do the exposure? Just a little bit. So maybe point. Plus two tents. The warmth is a little too warm. So let's just barely warm it up like this on Ben. We're gonna take the shadows up just a bit. That we're just kind of adding a little bit of there. That looks pretty riel. And it doesn't look too. It doesn't look too overdone, but I like it now. What we're gonna do is we're gonna say, use another brush. But this time we're gonna go over and do something to this light over here so that it looks like it's a more powerful light. And if you think about the way a light would normally react, that bulb should be lighting up this whole encasement. And so we're going to do that right now. Buy zooming in and we're just gonna paint light inside of this cage. And the way we're going to do that is we're going to we're going to reset the all of these settings on the brush. We're just going to bring up the exposure quite a bit and then I'm going to start painting, and I'm not going to be super accurate about it right now. I'm just kind of painting for painting sake, no need to be super accurate just painting. And then I'm gonna bring up the exposure, so I just want I just want basically toe have ah lot of light on those edges there. And so I'm just bringing out the exposure. I'm gonna go down to the d hes option and the D. A. Is kind of a tool that you use to get rid of fog and things like that. But it also works really well in the opposite for things like that. So I'm just creating like this general wash of whiteness. So if I do that and then I'm also going to take away the sharpness and I'm gonna take I'm going to remove the noise. I'm going to take out the contrast. I'm just trying to do everything I can to make it so that it's just a glowy orb of light with no riel contrast to it. I'm even taking the clarity down because it kind of softens up the black. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go back into the erase tool with the auto mask on, and I'm just gonna erase out Oops, I spilled over. I don't want to spill. I'm just going to erase out the edges right here and right here, the auto mask ISS stopping it right at the edge of the black. So it's really pretty accurate. So I just want to get rid of the edges. And then once I've gotten rid of the edges, I could go back in, turn off the auto mask, Then I could just erase all this extra stuff around the edge here like that, and I'm gonna back out and see how well I did. It looks pretty good. But see, I can now play around with it. We're like, Okay, how much would that really affect? You know what would it actually dio, um, there? Pretty good. So now it looks like a light is actually in that, um it's inside of there, and it's broadcasting light out. And then what you can also do is add another one. So click on plus again, and then you could just take that same brush, but this time reset everything. And then once you've reset everything, just brighten up a little bit Here, maybe do a little d. Hayes. And then I'm just going to kind of do kind of a broadcast of light around it just so that it looks like that light is kind of emanating from it. And then I'm gonna just kind of decide how much light would actually So I I I'm just seeing which version of that looks good. So I wasn't totally happy with the way that looked. And so I'm coming in here, and I'm just playing around with these shadows a little bit. Mawr I'm playing on with bringing the texture and the clarity down and maybe even the D Hayes. And but the great thing about light room is that your your painting vectors and so you can do your painting and and select the area you wanna work on, and then we just work until we feel like we've got what we want. So I'm kind of thinking that maybe I need to de saturate a little bit because the blue keeps coming through there, so I'm d saturating it quite a bit now. And I'm liking the way the D saturation is helping with the light so that it doesn't look quite the same. Plus, I think that if I If I come down to this tool here, which is the color ization tool, and I turn it on so I'm just gonna turn it on and click here t choose a color. And I'm just gonna choose a specific, like a warm color that helps a little bit because I'm adding kind of, ah, warmth to it because that light wouldn't be just pure white. It would have some kind of warmth to it. So I'm just kind of adding that color and then kind of bringing down the total saturation on it that way it just looks a little bit warmer. I like that better. And then I'm gonna I like that. I'm going to come into this one, and I'm gonna actually bring it down quite a bit and just add a little bit of warmth. So so that you just see kind of like this halo of warmth around there. And then the last thing I want to do is go back to the brushes here. And if I zoom in really close to that right here, I can come in with my race brush again and the auto mask and really size it down, and then I'll just come in and erase out this area here because it wouldn't be getting light on it. The same thing with this one here or this. These things wouldn't be getting light. The ones inside would. And so they would. They would kind of have, like this, this haze on them. But the ones out here should be not quite so dark. And quite frankly, I should probably if I hit the five key, it turns the density toe the flow to 50. And then, quite frankly, if I just come here on 50 and because these might have a little spill, but I want him to be a little bit darker, so I'm letting it spill on them just a bit. But maybe only at 50%. There we go. Let's zoom back out and see how we like that now. Yeah, that looks pretty good. Except now I went too far with my, um I went too far racing that out. So I'm just gonna go back, Thio adding so back to the brush setting flow. And then I'm gonna come back in again with auto mask on, and I'm just gonna brighten it up. That's too much. Uh, 50%. I'm just gonna go in and just do add a little bit of brightness to it. Not much there. That will look better there so much better. Okay, so now we have a light source and we have her lit. We also did a little adjustments on her face. We were able to do all of that inside of light room. And the last thing that we haven't covered is the radio Grady int. And when you're working on a radio Grady int all it is the same as all the other tools noticed that the every tool is exactly the same. Here we have all of the same options here, but this time it's a radio Grady Int instead of a straight Grady int, and I'm going to just draw a circle. So I'm drawing a circle like this. And then once I have the circle, let me turn on the the overlay mask so you can see exactly what we're doing. And I'm going to drag it around, and I want that over mask to really start right around her. So I'm trying to create a vignette, but I want the vignette to happen around her. She's the center of the vignette, so I'm going to just go like this, and then I'm going actually bring it over a little bit, so that darkens on the right. So I think that that's about where I wanna be and I'm going to grab this side of the Grady. Int and Aiken tilt the Grady int by grabbing on the edge of the circle. I congrats on one side, and it will increase both sides of the Grady in or decrease. Or I can hit the shift key. And if I grab one side, it increases the whole circle, or I congratulate with the option or the all turkey and just grab one side. And that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna bring that one side all the way out here. So now I've got a nice radial Grady int. And if I wanted it to be the opposite of this so that I was working on the inside of the circle, I would hit invert. And now I would be working here to brighten something up. Maybe, But what I'm gonna do is invert it and I'm going to use it to bring the exposure down and create kind of a natural vignette. And the important thing is to choose the right feather. How much do you want? A feather? This event and I want it to be really feathered so that you can hardly see that it's happening. And then I'm going to turn off the mask so that you can see what happens. So now I'm just gonna see I'm darkening up the whole thing. There you go. I like the way that's it's just really subtle. I love it. That's perfect. And because I can still see that mask. I can come in with the erase. And once I'm in the erase, I'm actually erasing with a brush. And so if it's spilling on something like, for instance, darkening this light and I don't want it, Thio, I can simply come in with the erase button. Um, and I could either leave the auto mask on or off. I'm just gonna have it off, and I'm just going to go in and erase out so that the darkness isn't spilling over this light so much. There we go. And I can also go here and just make sure that none of that darkness is hitting her face and none of it. I don't want any of it hitting her dress either. Even this part of her address. There we go. So I've ensured that there is no darkness hitting her, and there's no darkness hitting our light. And then I can still go into that Grady int. I can still go into my Grady int and I can still play around with the size of that Grady int and I'm but my but my mask, my edit of the mask is staying true so that lights never going to be our darkened by my Grady int. And so I can kind of play with the feather still a little bit more and do a little bit more feather. But it's going to make sure that her face and her dress don't get darkened. So I like that right there. So let's turn this off and see how this all look at that. I can do whatever I want, and it just looks fantastic. So I like right about there and that's it. That is a finished photograph, and all of it was done inside of light room with the global adjustments first. And then once we have the global adjustments, then it was a matter of going in and doing some of the localized adjustments. And those localized adjustments are fantastic tools to get, get little pieces and parts like faces and lights and burning and dodging all of that kind of stuff. You have every almost every control that you had inside of in the global adjustments in light room right here inside of your local adjustments and as a bonus, because this is all nondestructive editing. If I want to come and do anything to the global adjustments after the fact, like, for instance, brighten it up or darken it down. I can do that, and all of my other adjustments are still in play so I can keep playing with the global adjustments after I've done all the retouching and burning and dodging, which is very different than if you were to take it into Photoshop and do a lot of editing. And then you wanted to change the underlying image. You're kind of stuck. So this is a fantastic way toe work, because it's you're always able to change, stream and start doing something a little different. I love it. Plus, I could even go in, and right now we're just using a camera neutral profile. But I could come into my profiles and click on the profile browser and go down to my color art pro section, and I could just start choosing different profiles and say, What would it look like if I did something that was a little bit more moody? I like that. That's pretty cool. Or maybe what if I did something that was more cool toned? That's pretty cool, too, So I have so many options and all of this is after the fact and and and the reason this is working so well. The reason I could do something like this and it looks great is because the profile is not changing any of the slider positions. All it's doing is changing the underlying color definitions, so I can use a profile after the fact to do all sorts of cool stuff to this image. I have no idea which one I like the best, like there's so many different options here. I think probably my favorite is this warm number three. So I'm gonna click on Warm Number three, and as soon as it comes up, I get to change the amount. So I'm gonna grab the amount slider and go all the way down to zero. And that's what it was before I changed, and now I'm just going to start increasing it until I like what I've got. So I love the way that it's warming up this. It's kind of starting to match everything, starting to fall in line with her dress, which I think is a really cool idea. So I'm just gonna keep going until I find exactly what I want and now I really like the image. I think it's a very cool image and I am done and out of here.

Class Materials

1. Lightroom Presets and Profiles

JP Color Pro

2. RAW Images To Follow Along With


3. Lightroom Creative Cloud Schematic

Lightroom Creative Cloud

Ratings and Reviews

Teresa Piccioni

Great great great class: Jarett explains the Lightroom workflow clearly and thoroughly. I am not a native English person and my English is quite poor but Jarett explains in a very simply and clearly way everything and I understand all chapters perfectly. Thanks guys, great job. I highly recommend this lesson to everybody,


I have watched each and everyone of Jared's classes on Creative Live and they are first class. I've waited a long time for a new one and now we have it and it's another gem. This is a wonderful overview of Lightroom and will repay watching sections (or all of it) several times to absorb the wealth of information presented. For anyone new to Lightroom, this is just what the doctor ordered.


Really in depth, so helpful! Thanks

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