Quick Lightroom Tip

Due to all the excitement around Lightroom 4, I thought I would share an awesome keystroke tip that helps me get farther faster in Lightroom when making local adjustments.  For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, Lightroom is known as a global editor, which means that any edits applied happen to the entire photo.  The way to make local adjustments (only effect a certain area) is to use the adjustment brush.  If you have never used this feature, you are totally missing out.  Below is a youtube video on how to use it.  This posting is how to speed up the cleaning up process through keystrokes and here are those:

Adjustment brush:  K

Make brush bigger: ]

Make brush smaller: [

Turn Auto Mask on and off: Control A

With between the Brush and Erase: Hold down the Alt

The last two keystrokes are ultra useful in speeding up workflow, and help your hand from cramping by saving you having to go back and forth from your image to your panel to switch between paint and erase.  A key point is when to use and when not to use the Auto Mask Feature.  That function needs help from your image for it to work correctly, and by help, I mean your image needs to have a contrasty edge.  That contrast edge, is what keeps the auto mask in its place when brushing.

Here is brushing along the edge using no auto mask:

Image

Here is the same image using auto mask.

Image

The last keystroke tip I would like to share is how you can see the overlay (green in this case) to see what you are painting for the mask.  Most people go down to the bottom, and always turn this on and off by checking ht xbox on and off.

Image

Instead, use the letter O on you keyboard for overlay to turn it off and on.  If you ware wondering how I switched my overlay color from that awful rosy pink, to this equally awful lime green, you hit Shift and the O key.  That will cycle you through the overlay color choices which are as follows:

ImageImageImage

It may be a little cumbersome at first using the keystrokes, but believe me, once under control and handled in your mind, these key strokes help speed up your local adjustment capabilities like you wouldn’t believe. In the above images, I used this capability to make the white background go pure white L:100 for future clipping into websites or to load a false background easily.

Happy Masking,

Carlos

ps – never used adjustment brush, watch this:

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