Before and After in Lightroom

In the Lightroom Develop module, there are different ways to look at Before and After for changes that you have made. One of my favorites is to use the backslash key to toggle between Before and After. The default Before state is the first step in the History panel, usually your file import. So by default, you are toggling between “before all changes” and “after all changes”. Sometimes though, you may want to look at Before and After just the last change you made, or the last few changes. Fortunately, you have the flexibility to set which step in your processing will be the Before state: in the History panel in the Develop module, simply right-click (ctl-click for one button […more]

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Painting with Color in Lightroom

If you have used the adjustment brush in Lightroom, you may have noticed that you have the ability to paint color on your image. After clicking on the adjustment brush to make it active, click on the color square next to the word Color to choose your color. In this case I chose blue. Here is the image I am going to work on: When I paint over the flower with blue, blue is added to the existing red, and the result is a bluish red: What I really want to do is to replace the red with blue. Here’s the secret: in addition to selecting the color blue, I also reduce the adjustment brush saturation slider to -100. Then […more]

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Using the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom and Camera Raw

9/2011: Here’s an updated video tutorial on how to use the spot removal tool to retouch photos in Lightroom.  I also show how to use it to reduce the appearance of circles under eyes. This is from my Lightroom 3 Fundamentals and Beyond video series, available as a download or DVD.  Check it out if you have Lightroom 3.  And click here to check out the Lightroom 4 version!          

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Painting Back What You Take Away

Sometimes you want to make an adjustment to your image almost everywhere. You could use the adjustment brush and paint almost everywhere, but that could be slow. Instead, make the adjustment everywhere, with a global change in the Basic panel, and then use the adjustment brush to change back the area you didn’t want to affect. This works in both Camera Raw and Lightroom. Here’s an example. I want to give this portrait image that glow that is popular these days, but I don’t want it to affect the eyes or the mouth. I will give the image the glow by reducing clarity to -60 in the Basic panel. I also boosted contrast and vibrance. With the adjustment brush set […more]

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Chromatic Aberration

When you are working on an image for print, or any application where it will be viewed full size, it is important that you zoom in to 100%, and inspect the entire image for issues that you can’t see when it is smaller. I was working on this image today and when I zoomed in to 100% I discovered a red and cyan colored fringe around the bird in the image. Here it is zoomed in to 400% so you can really see it:

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Most Used Shortcuts

Just a quick post for today, with my most used shortcuts. I can’t recommend these enough — they work everywhere, Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom, and in places where other shortcuts don’t necessarily work, like in Photoshop filters. First, the left bracket key [ and right bracket key ] for decreasing and increasing brush size … paint brush, healing brush, clone stamp, adjustment brush, spot removal tool, eraser, etc, etc.. Don’t waste your time going into brush menus for this! Similarly, shift [ and shift ] control how soft or hard your brush is, in 20% increments. Second, for zooming in and out on an image, I use Ctl/Cmd + and Ctl/Cmd -. Again, in all of these programs. Holding the […more]

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