Using brushes in Lightroom

One of the most powerful parts of Lightroom is the brushes tool. With brushes you can edit a specific part of the image without effecting the entire image. This helps to save time for adjustments like burning and dodging and other tasks that you used to have to open Photoshop up for. I’ll give you an overview in this article to what brushes in Lightroom can do and will follow up with a few more detailed articles in the next week.

So what exactly are brushes? Think of this tool as a way to create a selection (mask) in your image like you would in Photoshop that you can alter without adjusting the rest of the photo. You can have multiple masks going on in an image so you can really fine tune your photos quickly and all in Lightroom which is non-destructive to your photos. If you ever need to revert back to the original that’s no problem since lightroom isn’t really editing your files just placing a set of “orders” over your image that are applied when you export the photo.
Lightroom brushes

With this powerful tool, you can adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity and sharpness. To get started pick an image and go into the Develop module. Then click on the brush icon right under the histogram and change the size of the brush with the Size, Feather and Flow buttons on the bottom.
There are some preset brush effects like Burn (darken), Dodge (lighten), Skin soften and others. You can even create your own presets and i’ll share some next week. Choose one of the effects and customize the sliders to fit your needs. Then just start painting in the area you want to adjust. If the effect is too little or too much you can always adjust the sliders. You can also add a This is a really great way to dodge and burn local parts of an image very quickly!

We have a couple more in depth tutorials for brushes coming up along with some brush presets, so don’t forget to check back! You can also subscribe to get all of our posts in your email box by entering your email at the top right of our site where it says “Sign up for our free photography tips & inspiration!”

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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