In my last blog post (click here), which contained our time sensitive special offer I looked at a fairly advanced use of both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and the super cool Content Aware tools, which in an earlier age would have been labeled witchcraft, almost 😉

I want to continue on the photo editing theme, and look at another more advanced tool that often confuses people who use Lightroom and that they often shy away from, and that’s the brush tools.

So over the next few weeks I’m going to look at the toolset, of Radial Filter, Graduated Filter but first arguably the most useful, the Brush Tool.

This allows you very precise picture editing control over very localised areas of your shot.

At the bottom is a video of me explaining the use of this tool, however here are a few shots that will hopefully allow you to grasp the initial stages, and clear some of the basic confusions.

In the screenshot  below taken of the top right corner of Adobe Lightroom whilst in the Develop Module  I have circled the Brush tool in red, and this collection of tools are what we are going to look at over the next couple of weeks, with today being the Brush Tool.

 

The tool set are to be found under the Histogram at the right of the screen.

The tool set are to be found under the Histogram at the right of the screen.

 

 

 

 

When you click the Brush Tool a dialogue will open up below with a series of sliders, some of these controls will be familiar, from the regular Basic editing tools, the difference being that these sliders are only affecting wherever our brush has drawn a mask.

 

 

When the brush tool is activated, this dropdown box appears showing you the various picture changing options that you have.

When the brush tool is activated, this dropdown box appears showing you the various picture changing options that you have.

 

 

 

 

 

When we choose this our cursor changes into a pair of concentric circles, the size of which we can change by either moving the Size and Feather sliders, or alternatively our brackets [    ] keys for the size, or Shift and {    } for the feathering.This is easier to check out in the video below.

 

 

Another useful shortcut is to press the ‘O’ key to activate an overlay which will show you where you have drawn your mask.

 

 

This is the check box for the mask overlay, and you can either click here or alternatively press the 'O' key shortcut.

This is the check box for the mask overlay, and you can either click here or alternatively press the ‘O’ key shortcut.

 

 

 

 

 

In the picture below you can see an example of a hard edged mask, above a soft edged mask. You can change these things for the same mask, and use it hard edged or soft edged where appropriate.

 

 

The difference between feathered brushes, and harder edged brushes.

The difference between feathered brushes, and harder edged brushes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Flow control below the Size and Feather sliders determines how much of an effect you want to have when you click and draw with the mask. I suggest that you have it between 50 and 75 on the slider, this will allow you to build an effect up more gradually, and equates to using an airbrush, where a heavier flow setting would mean more paint, but less control.

 

 

When you have the Show Selected Mask Overlay ticked either with the mouse or by using the shortcut ‘O’ then when you click and drag your brush across the picture you’ll see a red area like this showing exactly where you have drawn. You can use as many different brushes as you like

 

 

The mask overlay in red here shows where the mask has been drawn. The active brush pin is the one top centre, with the black centre. Clicking on and off the pins activates that brush only.

The mask overlay in red here shows where the mask has been drawn. The active brush pin is the one top centre, with the black centre. Clicking on and off the pins activates that brush only.

 

 

Ok, here’s a video where I show you the basics of brush selection, size change and feathering, and how to see where you’ve brushed, and also using multiple brushes, along with how to delete a brush.
Next time I will dive right in and show you some real examples where I have used multiple brushes to alter and selectively change some shots, and also how to use the Auto Mask and the mask erase tools.

 

 

 

 

 

Part two of using the Brush Tool click here.

 

 

Ok hope you enjoyed that, don’t forget last time I did a Lightroom Photoshop demo to give you an idea of the powerful new tools contained within both programs to allow you to work magic, so please check it out at your leisure.

 

And if you’d like to learn the basics of picture editing using Adobe Lightroom sign up for one of my office based Lightroom courses, or better still book onto one of my photo workshop trips, and learn whilst you are taking time out between diving at some of the worlds best diving destination. My 2015 calendar is filling up fast, and we have already plugged in some dates for 2016 now too.

 

See what people are saying about one of my Red Sea Winter Warmer trips here.

Regards

Duxy