New Masking Tools in Lightroom Classic v11

Landscape Impression #1
Clark Fork River, Missoula, Montana


In October 2021, Adobe released version 11 of Lightroom Classic. If you have automatic updates enabled, you were probably surprised to see that the tools in the Develop module have changed. The individual tool icons in previous versions---Crop, Spot Removal, Red-eye Correction, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush---have all been updated and some of their options changed. 

Lightroom Classic Version 10 Tools
(L to R) Crop, Spot Removal, Red-eye Correction,
Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, Adjustment Brush

Lightroom Classic Version 11 Tools
(L to R) Crop, Spot Removal, Red-eye Correction, Masking


The Crop icon now looks like a cropping easel from the wet darkroom. The Spot Removal icon is now a bandage. And the Red-eye Correction icon looks like an eye. 

But the biggest change is the circle icon which is the new Masking tool. When you click on it, a new panel opens. In that panel, you see the choices for the Brush (formerly Adjustment Brush), the Linear Gradient (formerly the Graduated Filter) and the Radial Gradient (formerly the Radial Filter). 

Color Range, Luminance Range and Depth Range, which used to be options under the other adjustment tools, are now independent choices.

And there are two new methods of selecting a part of the image to work on. Adapted from Photoshop are Select Subject and Select Sky, both of which use artificial machine learning (Artificial Intelligence or AI) to determine what is a subject and where is the sky.


Lightroom Classic Version 11
Masking Tool Options


I'm still learning about the new masking tools. So I've been watching many videos explaining how to use them. Here are a couple to get you started. Watch for future blog posts about using the new tools.

For an overview of the Masking Panel and its options and menus, I recommend Michael Frye's Masking Panel Overview. It is quite detailed and thorough. The other videos he references are available for purchase from his website.

For a demonstration of how the masking tools work, Julieanne Kost has a new video Lightroom Classic V11 - The New Masking Tools.

These changes are some of the most significant since Adobe added the ability to perform local corrections. There is much to gain from mastering these new tools.