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Adjustment Brush Part 3

Lesson 20 from: Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

20. Adjustment Brush Part 3

Lesson Info

Adjustment Brush Part 3

on occasion you'll end up with a picture of a human even when you're out stores in nature travel and if you have a picture of a human then you might want to I realize that there are ways that you can counter some settings that might be useful for the majority of your picture but might be harmful for people's faces uh in with those arms is let's say we had an image and I wanted her hair to look nice and sharp and everything and usually with light room there's this tablet actually haven't talked about yet this area called detail something we'll probably get into all this stuff tomorrow I'll depend so much time we have today as faras so much just things take up but we'll get into it tomorrow but in here who didn't know we're going to be looking right in her teeth there isa sharpening setting and if this was a raw file which it must not be because usually the sharpening setting defaults at about twenty five I believe there is some sharpening the um applied automatically to your off files w...

hen you're opening them and that's to compensate for softness that happens due to the way your camera's designed most cameras the way that they're constructed they don't give you a just a tack sharp image due to some technical details that I'd rather not get into has to with the the way the pixels are arranged on the sensor and some filter that could be in front of the sensor on dh the setting that is automatically applied to those helps bring the sharpness back and make it look like a normal picture but that same sharpening their isn't always great for skin tones if someone has some really slight variations in their skin any kind of sharpening you apply is going to exaggerate those in a lot of people really like their skin to look nice and smooth and not have any of the little imperfections in there skin exaggerated so here's how we can apply sharpening to the entire picture with a setting in this case of twenty five but then remove it from selected parts of our image so let's go to the adjustment brush before I do just remember sharpening said twenty five right now and that's covering the entire picture so now I'm going to go to the adjustment brush I'll double click on the word effect that's how you reset all the sliders and I'm going to go down here there's a one called sharpness in what I'm going to do is set it too negative twenty five and by setting it to negative twenty five it's not going to soften images instead what it's going to do is just remove the sharpening that's being applied to the entire picture it's counter acting that so that wherever I paint this is canceling out that sharpening and therefore bringing it to zero wherever it is I'm painting that makes sense twenty five being applied to the whole image here were saying negative twenty five or just removed the amount that's being applied to the whole thing and so I'll come in here and smaller brush just come in and maybe paint around her face to soften it up now it can be nice though to sharpen eyes and even the teeth so I could come in here and after painting over her face remember the choice called a race I could choose that get a smaller brush and paint over the eyes and the teeth to keep them sharp I'm not going to do that right now just for time's sake but I just let you know that that's something that I would usually think about doing especially when I do the next step which I wouldn't want to do the eyes and teeth and that is do you remember the setting called clarity and how clarity makes it easier to see the fine textures and your image like the texture sand the texture of of wood grain or sandstone or whatever well it's also going to exaggerate whatever textures and skin all the little creases and everything else it's going to exaggerate so if you have the clarity setting turned up where it's being applied to the entire image it let's say ten here we could set clarity the negative ten and we would again kind of counter act what's being applied to the entire picture removing it I didn't bring clarity up though on the main image so right now as far as I know it's zero but with clarity you could also set it to a negative setting let's say there is none being applied to the main image and therefore this is not counter acting anything that supply into the main image it's applying negative ten now if there was already plus ten applied to the whole image I'd have to set this further from that actually apply a negative amount meaning that the first ten would be counter acting what's applying to the whole image and if I go any beyond that get into a true negative now that it's happening to the skin that's in here and let's see what we can do if I zoom up on the skin you're going to find that whenever you apply negative clarity it softens now I'm going away overdo it so that hopefully you can start to see it within the image and see if you can tell what it's doing to her forehead now I'll double click on clary to snap it back to its original position and just watch up in the forehead where you get to see little creases and things this is with clarity it zero this is with negative clarity and it's more than I usually apply but it gives a soft feeling and it makes it so the pores in the skin or less obvious that type of thing and so that's one thing you can consider but if you do try not to apply to cross people lies in their teeth because usually want the eyes to be really nice and crisp so I could come in here with the eraser and get a small enough brush to get into the area you go across that and keep those nice and sharp you do the same thing with the teeth keeping them also nice and sharp and turn this on and off can you see the difference in her skin where it feels softer might be hard to see over the compressed video which is what some of us are getting out there but it should soften things up I'm pushing it a little bit further to try to make it more obvious but not sure how how well you can see it yeah I can see it a little bit so just something to consider if you ever get ah face that's rather prominent in a picture yeah and it's somebody you want to be nice to you could go over there and do a little that if you'd like other things that I do with the adjustment brush and just selective adjustments is a hole you saw with that picture of the iceberg how we transformed it quite a bit well that's not unusual for me to dio let's look at a different picture this one which is also from iceland and I rather like the end result but let's look at what the original looked like all I'm going to do is in the developed module will hit the reset button and I cropped the image so it kind of shifted and if I go to the left side of my screen the navigator it tells you what setting it's out for viewing and if it's set to phil switch over to fit because phil means it'll be covering up cutting off some of the image but there is the original so look at how much of a difference we get between this and this so this is another one of those images where I think this image you might pass by if you just saw it in the grid view going this norse bill but you can transform it quite a bit let's see if we can figure out what was done so first here's the sliders with default settings you see they're all zeroed out with the exception of white balance the white balance setting is something your camera sends over here and it just puts in whatever your camera read from the scene as the white balance but everything else is zeroed out I'll choose undo so that we get back to the adjusted version and you see how much I've moved those sliders well let's look at what some of the sliders are just the important ones so in general I increase the contrast quite a bit just to make the image pop a bit more and I also did something that relatively standard for images like this which is darken my highlights to get this much highlight details I can and brighten up my shadows and it just makes it so it's easier to see what's both in the highlights and the shadows and then finally I brought up vibrance to make it more colorful but that's not really what made this come out like that you can probably guess one other thing and that is up here we're white balances if everything starts looking yellowish I probably pushed it over towards the yellow all right so I'm going to double click on the letters w b and see if it'll reset my white balance so you can see what just what that's doing to the image ah okay so this is what all those other changes all the other sliders are doing to the picture and then the addition of white balance is what's really pushing the color towards yellow and I'll do that quite frequently when I have it where I just miss sunrise or sunset there's still a hint of that color in the sky but it's not very prominent I'll see if I can get away with it can't always do it because sometimes it just looks too obvious but then I'm guessing I don't remember for sure but I think I used the adjustment brush on this as well and yes I did I just go to the adjustment brush I moved my mouse over the image and I see two pins so let's see what the adjustment brush contributed to this image I'll turn off its little light switch to show you what it looked like without turn it back on and here's what it looked like with looks to me like we pulled out a good amount of shattered a tail down there so I can just guess that the shadows slider was pushed up and I'm assuming possibly thie either exposure slider to brighten it up in possibly clarity to bring out the textures but let's find out because I don't really know I did the sim is years ago so on moss over this to see what area that's a small areas affecting let's try the other one okay that's a huge area and remember you get that preview if you just mouse over one of these click on it to make it active you can see how sloppy I was you see it goes beyond the tops of the buildings and things as long as you don't notice it when you glance that mass doesn't have to be perfect it just needs to make it so when you look at it you don't notice so that what she's applying to that huge area if you look over here at the sliders we'll see what they're doing well it's bringing out shadow detail just like what I thought it was doing and it's also making it a little bit less colorful in that area remember you can double click on these things so I could see what does it look like double click on saturation and just say okay I see when I brighten it up the area probably right about here bothered me just a little bit and so I brought down the saturation until that looked a little more natural to me and then the shadows if we double click on it we'll see what it looked like without that's the main thing but then there was another adjustment if I mouse over here we can see where it wass and if I click let's see what it's doing it simply making that area less colorful again s o if I double click that's without it my eye was simply drawn to that spot and I didn't find there was much of a payoff when I got there so I said well let's tone it down just so I'm not drawn there now one thing we haven't mentioned when it comes to the adjustment brush is there are presets and if ugo to the top of where all the sliders are that you could apply to your picture remember how we were double clicking on the word effect to reset all the sliders were right next to the word effect it's a custom in custom means that whatever settings you have spect out in here with the sliders do not match up with a preset if they did match a preset the name of the pre set would be sitting there if I click there you're going to find a list of presets so in here you'll see a few of the precepts that I've created in here I have one for whitening people's teeth too many people drink a lot of coffee or smoke cigarettes in their teeth just start to yellow and browns and stuff so I have one here it mainly would bring up the highlights for making brighter in would bring down the saturation is a little less colorful in the teeth and it has the auto mask turned on so when you paint across it doesn't get it on the lips and things have stuff for eyes to apply d blue things shadows often look blue because the shadowed areas and a picture a ce faras I know are being lit by the blue sky that's above so they look bluer than where the sun is hitting which is your warm light source and sometimes it's just too much specially when you bring up the saturation slider and vibrant slider you notice that the shadows or to blue and so this brings down the saturation bit with that so any way you can create your own process if you find that you're using a setting all the time dialling the sightings that you like and then you just click on this menu that's at the top it will probably be called custom in near the bottom there's a choice called save current settings as new preset and so you can save as many of those who said like and then they will appear in this menu and you can get to them as often as you like right let's see what else we can come up with here all right waterfalls one problem that I find with waterfalls is if you ever include the sky so here's a waterfall shot in iceland and it under exposed but it might have been that I needed this exposure to prevent the sky from ended up being solid white I'm not sure I can probably find out if I look at the history graham and it's close to touching the right side that means the brightest part of the picture is close to solid white then I probably needed to but if there's a big gap between the right side of the history ram in how far over it could be then I could have yeah I could have exposed brighter just so you know in your camera when you look at a history graham at least on a cannon I'm not used to other brands on a cannon you're going to find vertical lines similarly to the boulder vertical lines you see here in each one of those vertical lines the distance between them is one stop of exposure so if you're ever exposing for something like a waterfall you take a picture look at the history graham and you see a gap like this one if that gap spans an entire would you call it grid bar or whatever just like between if it went all the way to here because there's a thick bar there then that means I could have exposed one stop brighter and all it would do is move the history grandma towards the right by one of those vertical bars that air there and so if there's enough space over here for one full one I could have done that if this space that's here this gap is only half of the distance between the vertical bar that's in the history graham in the end of where it could show up that I want to go half a stop brighter and that would just push this over and it would be better on result but we're not talking so much about shooting here this is post processing other people to that other stuff s o this image a little less than ideal but we're still going to adjust it with this image when I glance at it I noticed the history and in general is pushed up against the left side there's a gap on the right I don't know if you remember that from before but that's a blatant indicator that the exposure slaughter should be moved any time it feels like it's like jammed up against one end gap on the other side so I'm going to start off by grabbing exposure bring it up and I'm not even looking at the picture yet I'm just bringing it up look at the history ram I don't want the history ram to jam into the right side and so right now about their I noticed that I stopped it from jamming in the left side and it's not jamming on the right side yet it's relatively centered and in fine there and that helped but now I'm going to just start looking at the picture and I think the sky is too bright for my tastes and the darkest part of the picture I wish we could see more so something that's very common especially if you have our shooting under midday sun not quite here were overcast but is to take the highlights slider and bring it down to say darken up my highlights so I can see the detail in my sky and then bring up my shadows to show me more shadow detail it's matter of how much I think I can get away with their after doing so though the image to me feels just a little dole a little just doesn't have to it and that means that if I needed to have a little bit more I need to either increase contrast where clarity both of them effect contrast and so let's see what happens if I bring this up a little bit see it's startinto pop a little bit more and maybe clarity up a little bit it's kind of bring it back and forth and see really what helps and what doesn't and then finally I might make the image a little bit more colorful so we'll push up vibrance not too far though those greens khun get to become a little much now there's something I don't like about the way greens are rendered in digital images and I'll show you tomorrow how I deal with that where this will look less yellowish green and more green green but it's just something we haven't had a chance to get to send light room it has to do with just using these other areas that we haven't they'll have time to get into yet all right let's see what else I might want to do here maybe all just my white balance just see what happens by warmer up just a little bit and c for a little two green or not green enough now let's see if there's something I can do to make the waterfall look better I'm going to go to the adjustment brush and what I find is any time I have a picture of a waterfall and I've included the sky usually in order to get the sky to have detail in it the highlights sliders usually turned way down to say darken up my highlights keep my sky with some detail in it in doing so it also darkens up my waterfall which makes it kind of the there's two things that I do to fix it the first thing is before I get into the adjustment brush I always glance at the instagram and I see if the image contains any solid white the way I can tell if it has solid white is solid white is represented on the right edge of the history ram right here on the end and if it doesn't extend all the way over where it hits the end then there is no white in the picture the further the end of the history graham is from where it could have gone the darker and darker the bright party or picture is if it was right in the middle where ended and be at fifty percent great but we're just a little darker than white so any time that's the case I'm gonna grab the white slider and I'm not even gonna look at the picture I'm going to look at the history graham we did this once before I think and I'm going to bring it up and just watch the history ram and get to kiss the edge without becoming a spike which you khun do is you'll notice that when it hits the end there's actually an alarm that goes off this little guy this when it's gray means nothing in your picture is near white when it changes to a color it means you're really close toe white you're so close that what happens is your picture behind the scenes is made out of three pieces have you ever heard of rgb mode that's red green blue it's made out of those three colors when that turns to a color it means one or two of those three pieces that make up your image maxed out in this bright as it could go it's only when all three of the max out that you truly have white and so when that stops me and colored it means you have true white so I'm going to bring this up until I see that thing go off you see the red turned red right there if I kept going eventually would turn white meaning you have solid white somewhere but I'm going to bring it up just until I see the first hint of color showing up like that and I wasn't even looking at the picture now I'm going to glance at the picture and what I'm going to dio is I'm going to try to look at the difference between not moving the white slider up this high and moving it up to see if it helped the way I'm going to do that is just move my mouse on top of the white slider I'm going to try to not move my mouse and I'll just double click which will reset it I look at the picture and I'll click once more we should pull it right back to where I waas so double click to reset it and then click once more to pull it back to where I am just make sure you don't move your mouse so make sense so let's see if it helps this picture double click click again double click it helps a little bit I think we're the waterfall is but to my eye the sky goes just a teeny bit too bright so what this setting is that my mouse is at right now is the highest I'd want to go because if I go any higher I'm going to start getting blatant white in the picture and so on this back off on it a little bit knowing that that's the highest I might want to go you know just do it until I think the sky doesn't look overdone alright then the second thing that I'll do is I'll go to my adjustment brush remembering that to get the detail in the sky the highlights got turned all the way down so I'll go to my adjustment brush I'll reset it by double clicking on the word of facts and I'm going to bring up the highlights to say we darken the highlights and the whole picture now I want to bring him back where the waterfall is and I'm just guessing at the setting because I won't know until I start painting on the image I'll come back and refine it the other thing that I usually like doing with waterfall is bringing up clarity just try not to overdo it a lot of people crank it up too high in that's just going to give us a little more of the variation in the waterfall so if there's any detail in there it's going to be exaggerated now it hasn't done anything yet because I have not painted in the image yet so here goes come over here and paint and you see how waterfall now it's going to be getting nice and bright the campaign on the missed a swell if I wanted to be prominent you know I'm gonna get a smaller brush when I get over to the smaller areas see about bringing it in in the place I need to be really careful is where the waterfall touches the sky usually I'd be more zoomed in doing this and being careful not to get over spray right now I'm doing it quickly just so we can go on to other topics but this is the areas that are being affected cia probably need a little bit more here on the edge of the waterfall and let's see the difference I haven't fine tuned it yet it might be a little too much but before I see how dull the waterfall could look because the highlights setting is turned down on the entire picture darkening all the highlights but we want your eye going to the waterfall so we wanted to be a bright element and that's too much because I think it's too blatant it looks like I've done it so I'll just come up here and all back off on it I can just bring the highlights down and just aside where is the highest idea to where it doesn't look like I've necessarily done it right about there that's not bad and let's try clarity see how much I could get rid of now if I bring clarity out let me just show you what it does do you see it making the darker accents in the waterfall go even darker so you can see more distinction between the white of the waterfall and the dark parts it's just bringing up too far it's too obvious and sell bring it up and see what can I get away with maybe something like that and then on occasion with a waterfall I will have to deal with the color in it sometimes it's too colorful because the rest of the image in order to get it to look nice and colorful I brought up vibrance and in doing so any hint of color in the waterfall got exaggerated and if that was too much I could lower the saturation or if instead what it is is you just don't like which color is showing up then you could adjust white balance and sometimes I need to push my white balance just a little less bit towards blue to make the water feel kind of cold and I'm not sure if this one will be able to handle that down just a little bit towards coolness like that I'm gonna see if you can see a difference I'll double click on this to reset it feels brown there but the brown looks fine for the surroundings and they're just pushing a little bit towards blue and if it's too obvious that is blue just bring your saturation down to say a little less color in there so let's see what we've done to the waterfall with the brush I'll turn off the little switch on it before me and lucy brown and dull after it kind of pops but because I'm seeing before and after like this to me it's too obvious I can always go back and choose a race and erase it off in some areas but this is one thing we haven't talked about yet when I choose a race or even what I'm painting there is a choice here called flow in this means how much of the effect do I want to paint into the image if I'm painting or how much you the effect I want to erase away one hundred percent of it well maybe what I want to do is come in here and say I only want a race away thirty percent and therefore right now we're applying the same amount across all the areas where I painted but now when I come in and paint I'm a racing away because I haven't set to a race and I'm on ly a racing away what did it mean to scroll there are on ly a racing away this amount thirty you can think of is thirty percent of whatever's there so maybe these little side parts where was just a hint of mist they need to be taken down that maybe some of this little side piece needs to be taken down as well and you can click and let go click and let go to build it up where you took away thirty let go click again and you're taking away thirty mohr what kind of build that when you mouse over the pin you should find us a little bit hard to tell here but you'll see lighter reds where it's just less density to the red where you've painted looks like I skipped a little part there on the edge somewhere of ah dense red so you feel free to do that if you find any parts are a little overdone and just when you're done with it I would suggest that before you click away from the brush bring flow back up to one hundred I find it messes me up so many times when it remembers the setting and I assume it's at one hundred and I'm sitting there painting into an image or a racing away and feeling is just not doing its job but flo is really nice if you ever have somebody's face and you just have some bright areas on the face don't need blatant darkening you could come in here and have the flow it maybe twenty percent and have your slider set up so that you would be um so your slider set up so that you'd be darkening your picture maybe have the highlights slider turned down a bit and just build it up by painting over areas multiple times so that gives you some sense for what I do with waterfalls remember I'll show you how I deal with some of the greens in an image tomorrow once we get into more settings in light room I know that if a waterfall is being hit directly by the sun most of time when I shoot a waterfall I want the waterfall to be in the shade try to get it when it's like before the sun gets too high in the sky were still going to be in the shade or something else because the second the direct sun hits a waterfall the difference between the really bright highlights where the sun is hitting in the surroundings so great it's it's just hard to capture and make it look good especially if you want any kind of a long exposure I usually is a neutral density filter so I could get longer exposures but if you ever get it where the sun is directly hitting it then when you bring up the white slider instead of bringing it up until that little triangle turned a color bringing up until turns white because when the sun directly hits a waterfall usually you get what's nota speculum highlights it means ah highlight that reflects just like a mirror end in order to make that look the way it should it should be actually white instead of having detail in it it doesn't mean you want to blow out the whole waterfall it's just the brightest area you should have some little specks one other thing I failed to do on this waterfall which I usually do on almost every image I've work on is as a finishing technique on literally ninety five percent of all images I work on when I think I'm done I go to the black slider and I make sure I have a little hint of black in the picture

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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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