Lightroom Classic Tools -- Adjustment Brush

Photographing Holland Falls
Condon, Montana

In previous posts, I've written about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic's Graduated and Radial filters for making changes to parts of an image. Both these filters work on larger areas of a picture and don't fit all situations where you might want to make a local change to exposure, contrast or color.

Enter the Adjustment Brush. This tool lets you paint in your changes to any area, no matter how small (though you may need to zoom in to more than 100% view). Making such specific adjustments helps you direct the viewer's eye away from what you don't want them to look at and toward what you do want to emphasize.

After I had made overall changes to this picture of my cousin, I noticed that he was darker than his surroundings and the mossy slope and foreground log were brighter than he was. Since he was the main subject, I wanted to make him brighter and the background and foreground darker.

Before local changes with the Adjustment Brush

I selected the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom Classic's Develop module and first painted over the mossy slope in the background. Then I adjusted the sliders to darken the Exposure and reduce the Highlights.

Red overlay indicates where I painted the background

Next I created a new Adjustment Brush and painted over the log in the foreground, making it darker to more closely match the rocks.

Red overlay shows where I painted the log

With these areas now less eye-catching, I created a third Adjustment Brush and painted over my cousin. I brightened the Exposure on him, slightly increased the Contrast and added a little Texture.

Red overlay shows where I painted the photographer

After making these changes to selected parts of the picture, I had shifted the visual attention toward my cousin and away from the surrounding elements. The final version appears at the beginning of this post.

Learn more about editing your photos with Lightroom Classic in my online courses. Click here for details and registration information.