Dec 012011
 

Occasionally I want to add  or subtract more clarity, contrast, or some other setting to or from the whole photo than the Lightroom Basic panel slider will allow.  At this point I often turn to the adjustment brush or graduated filter. They are intended for making local changes to a photo, but you can also apply them to the whole photo. They allow you to use the following settings:

lightroom adjustment brush graduated filter settings

If, for example, I need more than 100 of clarity on the whole photo, I would set the Basics panel slider to 100, and then using the adjustment brush or graduated filter, I would add more. Continue reading »

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Aug 012011
 

I posted this tip a little over a year ago when Lightroom 3 came out, but I thought I’d post it again, since surprisingly it is one of my most-read posts.

Looking to blur out a background to reduce distractions?  In Lightroom 3 or later, use the adjustment brush with Sharpness at -50 to -100.   If this is not enough blur, do it again:  click on New to start a new adjustment, and paint a second time.    If you blur out an object that you want to keep sharp, use the adjustment brush and paint back over the object with +100 Sharpness to restore its sharpness!

Also consider using the graduated filter with -100 Sharpness to simulate a shallower depth of field where the sharpness drops off gradually.

If you don’t know how to use the adjustment brush, here is a video on it.  It is a sample video from my Lightroom 3 DVD, but it is equally applicable to Lightroom 4.

Check out my Fundamentals & Beyond and Producing Great Output video series.


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May 252011
 

Recently a colleague of mine, Kathy Eyster, wrote an article in her award-winning blog, Essential Digital Camera, on how to fix flash-filled pet eyes using Photoshop.  The red-eye tool won’t fix them, as it simply takes red out, and pet pupils don’t turn red.  Kathy points out that there are two steps, first turning the pupil almost black, and then painting back in a catch light.  Reading this led me to attempt the same in Lightroom with the adjustment brush.  Kathy was kind enough to lend me her photo.

My conclusion is that both techniques work equally well, and are equally as straightforward (assuming you know each program).

Here’s the Lightroom approach:  (If you don’t know how to use the adjustment brush, watch my Lightroom 3 adjustment brush video here. It works the same in Lightroom 4.) Continue reading »

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Jul 282010
 

I am working on a Lightroom 3 training DVD, which I will be offering for sale, hopefully soon.  The concept is a “Lightroom Workshop on DVD”.  It is a series of many videos, several hours long in total, designed for beginning and intermediate Lightroom users.  I cover just about everything I teach in my two-day Lightroom Fundamentals workshop.    Since it has been a while since I have posted to this blog, I thought I would share with you one video from this series, on how to use Lightroom’s adjustment brush to make local changes to your images.

Click HERE to watch the video.

If you are interested in hearing about the DVD when it is available, click on the Facebook button at the bottom of this page to join me on Facebook, or click on the link at the top of this page to join my mailing list.

UPDATE December 2013:  Lightroom Fundamentals and Beyond for Lightroom 3, 4 and 5 are now available here, and they cover much more than I do in my two-day workshop!

While this video was recorded with Lightroom 3, the tutorial is also applicable to Lightroom 4 and 5. (I apologize for the Flash requirement to play it.)

 

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Jun 202010
 

Looking to blur out a background to reduce distractions?  In Lightroom 3, use the adjustment brush with Sharpness at -100.   If this is not enough blur, do it again:  click on New to start a new adjustment, and paint a second time.

Also consider using the graduated filter with -100 Sharpness to simulate a shallower depth of field where the sharpness drops off gradually.   UPDATE:  If you blur out an object that you want to keep sharp, use the adjustment brush and paint back over the object with +100 Sharpness to restore its sharpness!

Is this cool, or what?

Here’s a video on how to use the adjustment brush in Lightroom.

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Sep 032009
 

Did you know that the adjustment brush allows you to slowly build up the amount of change you apply to an image, and also slowly back off on a change you made? The secret is in the Flow and Density sliders. Density controls how much of the specified adjustment can be applied in total, and Flow controls how many brush strokes it takes on the area to reach the full effect.

Let’s say that your goal is to brighten various parts of your image. You set the Exposure slider to +1.5 stops because you expect that this is the maximum brightening you would need to apply. Setting Density at 100% will allow you to apply the full 1.5 stop effect. If you set Flow at 20%, every brush stroke you make on an area will apply 20% of that 1.5 stops. Brush once on areas where you need just a little brightening; brush over areas twice or more –up to five times — where you need more brightening.

Now let’s say that there is an area that you brightened too much, and now you want to back off on the strength. Continue reading »

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