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Adjustment Brush Part 1

Lesson 18 from: Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

18. Adjustment Brush Part 1

Lesson Info

Adjustment Brush Part 1

we're going to talk about working with isolated areas because so far all the adjustments that we have used where once that apply to the entire picture and oftentimes the problems that I encounter are isolated two smaller areas and so let's look at a few examples of that and in this case since I don't want to modify an image like this where I've already worked on it what I might do to show you two versions of it very easily is all right click on it and I'm going to say create a virtual copy meaning you know just one where I can mess with it without messing up the original and I'm going to go to the develop module we'll do that remember you can type a letter d for developed in the lower right will be a check box called reset which will clear out anything that's been applied to this image but do you see the difference in the image when I clicked on reset if I choose undo watched the face on the far left see the difference and so let's see what we can accomplish with this and uh be able to...

paint in isolated areas so what I would end up doing this first optimized the image as a whole and so for this particular image I might make it a little bit more colorful with cem vibrance and might try to bring out some of the shadow detail with shadows so it's not quite as dark in there and I might mess with maybe a little bit of contrast to see if I get to pop a little bit more oftentimes if I boost contrast the shadows get too dark so I gotta push it up a little further and maybe a little clarity I'm just playing with the image see what I can do that kids where I might like it and I might also experiment with my white balance just see what it looks little better warmer a cooler it was doing to my liking but what guard lis of what I do this face is too dark and it's in the shadows so he might think bring up the shadow slaughter well the shadow slider only goes so far it's not too bad there but I might not like the fact that the dirt to her left is getting a lot brighter than a shirt might be getting too bright as well so on leave that where I like to look at the rest of the photo and what I'm gonna do is above these basic adjustment sliders we have the tools and so far we've talked about the crop tool and we talked about the spot removal tool for getting rid of sensor dust specks but we haven't covered the others this one on the far right is the adjustment brush and so I'm going to click on it and when I click on it I get settings that are specific to the adjustment brush in here I'm going to specify the kind of adjustment I think I'm gonna need where the faces and just so you know it's going to remember whatever settings you used last so last time I used this I was increasing the clarity wherever it was I painted if you remember that in light room any slider could be re set to its default setting the way you do it is he double click on it so if you find that something is dialed in in here and you wouldn't want to apply that to this particular image you khun double click on the sliders to reset them or double click on the heading that is the heading for that entire section of sliders and if I double click there he resets the mall and that's true also in the normal part of light room where you apply adjustments like the basic panel if you see an overall heading for that small that's for that whole section you khun double click on it so if I'm not in the adjustment brush you're going to find a heading right here called treatment which would be for this stuff you find one here called w b that stands for white balance which I believe would be for these two but doubleclick had just reset him and down here I can double click on the word tone and that's going to reset all the ones down there so just so you know where you don't have to double click necessarily on individual sliders if you want to get a whole section you khun double click and just see if when you move your mouse over something double click on it if it's going to reset it see that presence in all those son also I think you khun double click on the name of the slider you don't have to move your mouse right to the sliders position just double click on the name so I'm gonna go back into my adjustment brush and if it has anything dialed into it already I'll reset it by double clicking on the word effect to just say we're starting with nothing then I'm going to say that I think I need to bring up the shadows just where her face is so I grabbed the shadow slider I'll move it to the right which would usually bright in the dark part of the picture but right now it won't do anything at all because this is the adjustment I'm going to get after I paint and I've been painted yet so right now I'm just completely guessing I might as well guess really high because I can always back off on it but it will be easy to see if it's turned up really high it has turned up really low it might not be able to tell where I paint so now with that turned up I'm going to move my mouth's on top of the image in I get to circle here is a brush that's my brush size there's actually two circles the further away those two circles are from each other the bigger the gap there is between the two the softer the brush you have and as the two circles get closer and closer the maur crisp with an edge on your brush you have and you can control both size and how soft the edges right down here with size in feather feather means that soft edge I personally almost never grab these though because I can use my keyboard to do the same thing if you know of normal keyboard shortcuts from photo shop they also work here in the square bracket keys or one of the most common ways of doing it if I pressed the left bracket key and get a smaller brush right bracket key brings me a larger brush and to change how soft the edges you add shift so shift left bracket gives me a harder brush shift right bracket gives me a softer brush so it's up to you what you think would be most appropriate so I dialed in exactly what it is I'd like to change in the image by moving the slider now removing my mouth's on top of the image and I'm just going to click where I want to apply it in drag over that area and that's when I see the change actually happen there's also a pin on my image a little circle with a black dot in middle and that indicates where I first painted that pin with the settings that I currently have set should go away just become hidden if I move my mouth off of the image see I just went away and if a movement mouse back on the image is just an indication that I've made an adjustment over there if you want to control when that shows up that little pin in the lower left of my screen is a choice called show edit pins and auto means make them only show up on my mouse is on top of the picture make him disappear when it's not but I could sit them toe always show up which to me is pretty annoying to see if my top your picture where even never show up selected would mean on lee the one that I'm currently working on because you can have more than one then with that pin if I moved my mouse on top of the pin and not click on it just hover over it then it should usually put a colored overlay on top of my picture to show me which part of the image is being affected by that adjustment and I can see that I have some over spray onto the sky and under her hat now that overlay will on ly show up for the length of time of hovering over the pin if I move away from the pin it goes away it was just trying not to be annoying if you need it to stay there at the bottom of my screen is a check box that says show selected mask overlay there's only one check box on there and that means leave it turned on so it's not just when I hover over the pin and that could be useful if I want to clean that up right now and I can easily tell if I still have over spray on our hat were on the sky so how do I get rid of the over spray because right now if I were to come in here in click and drag I would add maur a larger area than I'm adjusting well if you look down where the settings are for your brush where we had that size and feather we have a choice called a race and when I click on a race you can have different size and feather settings for a racing in it remembers whatever the last settings you used when you raised so I could now come over here get smaller brush and paint where the sky is and it removes the red overlay indicating that I'm removing the adjustment from these areas where I'm painting and I might limit this so I don't get it on her collar it depends on the image but I'm just experimenting there and then remember down at the bottom is check box that caused that overlay to still show up I can turn it off then and so no longer shows up and if I need to adm or areas if there's a different area that needs to be brightened then right now I have to be aware that I'm in the erase mode I'll have to go back here to something called a what happens is you have to brush presets and then you have the eraser so the a and the b simply means I could set it up for a large soft edge brush on a and I could set it up for a smaller hard edge brush and b and I could switch back and forth between those two kinds of brushes that way if I want to go back and forth all the time I don't have to move this slider so frequently I just load up a with settings I like for working on big areas and b for the settings like for working on fine areas and I can switch between them it only controls the settings that air down here as faras a and b goes and if you just use your keyboard shortcuts to change the size of your brush in all that you can't even hide these settings where all you see is the size but I usually have them open because I want to make sure that I know what's going on in there when I'm done I can either click on the brush a second time too disabled the brush or I should say disabled get out of the brush or there's a button at the bottom right of the photo called done and if I click on that it would get me out of this and back to the normal adjustment sliders but before I do that I might want to fine tune the settings that are being applied because when I first dialed them in I just guessed that what might be needed and I just cranked the shadows now that I've painted on the picture it can move these sliders it'll only affect that area that I painted on so I might bring shadows down and see if that's what it really needed or I could double click on shadows to reset it and try one of these other sliders maybe I decided I want to bring exposure up the slightest bit let us not just the shadows in something with the shadows aiken uses many of these sliders aside like to find soon what's going on in that face now after I've painted it in it's just a matter of figuring out what you think would be most effective you do have a limited list of sliders it's not the same full list we have one adjusting the entire picture but it is a relatively useful list if I decide I want to make a different change to the image somewhere else then above the sliders you're going to find the choice of either knew or edit when it's set to edit it means you're working on these sliders that you've specified wherever you paint on your image this is what you're applying but if you're done applying this and you need a different kind of adjustment somewhere else let's say this woman over here with this pinkish skirt wrap that she has on it's too colorful drawing my either too much well these sliders wouldn't be effective on her skirt they'd brighten things up that's what we're doing the face so I'm done with that particular adjustment I need a new one so if I click knew now you can think of the previous adjustment that I painted in is being somewhat finalized we can still go back and edit it but for now we're saying we're done we want to create a new adjustment then after I've clicked on new I could type in here for my sliders what I think I might need for her skirt or rap I might bring my saturation down just to make it less colorful now when it comes to that area of the photograph I don't think I'm going to be as good painting and keeping within the boundaries of that object I think it's going to be way too easy for me to get over spray in the background so I could come over here and click and try to paint but right now if you see how big my brushes it's also getting on her shirt in the background I'll choose undo by just typing command z there's a check box down here with your brush settings that's called auto mask when you turn on auto mask if you look at your brush you'll notice the center of your brush has a little plus sign in it see that well when auto mask is turned on light room is going to look at the color that's underneath that little center thing and it's going to try to automatically mask where your painting so it on lee gets on top of things that look like what's underneath that little badge in the middle of your brush so I click in you see little across hair that's their I try to make it so the cross hair never touches the background on li keep it within the wrap that she has on there in therefore it knows toe on ly paint over colors that are similar to what that cross everyone over so if you want to see what it did seem a little bit here all mouse over this toe hover and you see how he got it just on her skirt now now it's not always really good at doing that it's just that her skirt was so dramatically different than its surroundings that it wasn't very difficult for it to do it but if I to try to get it to separate the difference between the inside of under the underside of her hat in the shadow on her face that's way too similar and I don't think it's gonna be able to handle it but for other things where there is quite of difference the choice of autumn ass could be quite nice but glanced down there because oftentimes I come into this tool and I don't realize that a mass has turned on and I paint across something and I'm like this just doesn't look right and it takes me a while to figure out that that's the cause is that that was turned on when I didn't need it so when you're done with it I usually turn it off so that the next time I use this tool it will remember that it was turned off so now we have two edits within this image one brightening of face the other one making the wrap that she's wearing less colorful so what if I decide now that I've brightened the face too much I've always already kind of finalized that adjustment how do I get back to it well what I do is I move my mouth on top of my image remember those pins we have one pin for each adjustment that I've applied and the pen indicates wherever you started your painting for that adjustment and you notice that one of the two pins as a black dot in the middle that's the one I'm working on right now if I want to work on the other one I could just move my mouse over to the other pin remember if you hover over it you can tell what part of the image is affecting and just click on it and the little black got dot turns on in the middle black dot indicates the one that you're actually working on right now so if I paint or race I'm going to be painting erasing that adjustment not the one that was affecting her skirt so if I click between these pins you khun see these adjustments sliders changing to indicate that on her skirt we just lowered saturation in on her face we just did all sorts of stuff and you can have as many of these pins as you'd like so oftentimes I find soon my images by putting a bunch of these pins on maybe I create another new pin I double click on the word of fact to reset all the sliders and I just wanted dark in this corner so there's not as much interest there well I could just guess what kind of adjustment would do that I'll bring my exposure down a little and I'll get a huge really soft edge brush because I don't want you to easily be able to tell where the edge of my brush was the bigger your brushes the softer the edge becomes you just look if you got a brush that's only this big how much space is there between the inner and outer circles well that's how much space it has to fade out not very much and as you get a huge rush there's a much greater distance between those two circles which means that has more space to fade out so a big soft brush is going to be less noticeable and I come in here and just kind of paint that in down here say I wanted that darker it's too dark I think it's a little too noticeable that's because I was only guessing what's setting to use I couldn't see the effect of it at the time I was moving the slider so I confined to it now just say how much can I get away with before you'd notice where maybe I say only bring the highlights down maybe less noticeable and I can continue to paint afterwards maybe I think some area over here with a smaller brush behind her needs to be darkened in I'm bummed out that I got over spray on her skirt because if I hover over this pin do you see the big over spray on her shirt so I choose what a race number of race in her skirt is something that is dramatically different than its surroundings it has a nice chris bej so I'm guessing that choice called auto mask will work it works with a racing so auto mask is going to prevent your racing from going beyond whatever color is underneath the little cross hair or in this case of minus sign that's in the middle you're brush so just be careful that the cross hair or in this case minus sign never touches in this the surroundings that and be careful if I hit this dark part I'm not painting right now under the mouse held down if I hit this dark part is probably gonna think that's very similar to the dark part out here so if I have a huge brush it might accidentally um get both but I can see where I need to try to remove adjustment and if ever find that auto mask gets in my way just turn off and do it manually and finally remember at the bottom with that check box tto look att the overlay when we're doing this so if you really need to be precise about it but know that no one else is going to see your mask and so you don't need the mask a look perfect you just needed to look good enough where people don't see that you have sloppy editing we just look at the end result in the red over light just tells you where they will evaluate the image to see if it needs more work so when I'm done with this I either hit the done button on the bottom right near the bottom of the picture or just click on the tool again teo deactivate it and we can see that if you want to see before and after just go back into the tool and you're going to find out the bottom of the area where all the settings are that there's something looks like a little light switch and that means temporarily disable everything it's in here everything you've done and so if I just come in here and turn that off I can see that before and turn it back on and I see the after I see the woman's rap they're getting less colorful lower right getting darker her face getting brighter and I think I didn't wait too much on the rap so then just move your mouth on top of the image click on that pin to make it active and sometimes light room will mess up where right now I think it's showing the red overlay and it's not supposed to uh so either hover over the dot and then go away and it kind of resets itself there is kind of a a bug in light room where gets sticky every once in a while but I can find him that I'll just back off on the saturation and make it less extreme of an adjustment and then we'll hit don so you get the basics of the adjustment brush auto mask tries to not always successfully but tries to limit where your change happens and you can have as many of those pins as you want so you confined to your image a lot so now let's look at it just some images where we might want to use the adjustment brush and some specific uses for it because I find like there's some very specific things that I do tow waterfalls that are different than what I would do another continent benches that kind of stuff before we get into that is there any quick question by chance or photo wander can you change the color of the overlay to see it better when editing on say a red skirt uh let's see here did ugo I can see that being an issue if here shooting in certain yeah if you're working on a red fire truck it's not always fun to use let's see where the answer is I'm not sure but it would make sense that you should be able to I just need to glance and see if I could figure out where it is and let me see if I might uh no thank you just a moment if anybody happens to know just chime in actually somebody else bill see seven said click on the color box and pick another color this box this is actually for a for pushing color into your picture uh so if I want to make an area bluish and stuff I believe so let's set this to let's say green and that's pushing green into the image the overlay it's still read them so the little color box is not for changing the color of the overlay it is for pushing color into your image like if you had a overstay overcast sky and you want to make it orange you could push orange into it so anyway I'm not sure in here it would make sense that you should be able to but I don't see an option off the top of my head there's a chance in preferences or if you go up here to the tools menu let's see if there's a tulle overlay if there happened to be anything and here we go I found it it's under the tools menu with top your screen under adjustment brush overlay and here you can choose between particular colors and there is a choice called show overlay which should be the same as clicking the check box at the bottom and then cycle overlay color which is it looks like shift oh would change the color just cycled through these choices so if you ever find that overlay is hard to see it happens all the time shift oh should just cycle through these choices you could see which one separates the most so beautiful thank you made sense that I'd be there it's just a matter where

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Ratings and Reviews


After catching parts of each of the three days, I knew that I would need to have access to this wealth of information. What is great about the program is the ability to stop and go back over something that is not fully understood...and be able to do that until confident enough to move on. I saw no "fluff" in the course, just great information imparted with a style that is makes it easy to understand. CreativeLive scored a big hit with this course! The bonus material is SO valuable, especially the presets. That saves an enormous amount of time for me. My appreciation of the power behind the software is becoming ever clearer. Thanks, Ben, for another outstanding presentation!

Shannon Beelman Photography

Ben has been amazing! He is a wealth of information on organizing images as well as great tips to make your travel images pop just a little more. I came into this class feeling like I had a good handle on lightroom and have come out with a better understanding of the power of the software to make artistic life easier. He covers tips, tricks and little known options that help make workflow smother. I have sat here watching as much of the free broadcast as I can and in this last week I have gotten control over years of images in my lightroom. This is one I know I will be buying soon.


Great class! Somehow, it was enjoyable not having Ben default to "curves for everything"! I don't think the title for this course did it justice, tho. This class was 90% Light Room and 10% Photoshop. I was very happy to discover that dynamic and equally as happy to purchase this course! If you are new to Light Room, this class is a MUST. Creative Live offers several LR classes but this is the one to own. Ben is working on his new book about Light Room Mastery - can't wait! In the meanwhile, I'll be watching Ben's thorough approach to LR in this video. So, don't let the title throw you a curve ball, if you are new to Light Room or a seasoned user, there's plenty of great information - delivered as only Ben can! Thanks CL for this great class!

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