When HSL Rules Over the Adjustment Brush

The adjustment brush and the graduated filter tool are wonderful additions to Lightroom 2 for making local changes. But there are often quicker ways to make local changes. I will talk about HSL in this post. In the image below I want to darken the sky. Yes, I can get the adjustment brush, set the exposure to a negative amount, and paint the sky. But since the only blue in the image is the sky, it is alot faster accomplish my goal by darkening the blues in the HSL/Color/Grayscale panel: click on HSL, click on luminance (luminance refers to brightness), and slide the blue slider to the left. Let’s say I now want to saturate the grass and tree more. […more]

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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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