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Learn how to adjust brushes using Lightroom with Yanik Chauvin
Tags:Adjustment Brush in Lightroom,brush adjustment,exposure,lightroom tutorial,yaniks photo school
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Good day everybody, Yanik Chauvin here once again for Yanik’s Photo Blog, and today I’m really, really excited to present to you Lightroom version 2, and most specifically the Adjustment Brush, now I’ve just installed Lightroom couple of days back and I’ve been playing around with the new features but I keep coming back to this magnificent brush. What does it do? Basically it creates adjustments locally, as photographers we ask for dodging and burning in version 2, local dodging and burning and just like in Photoshop and we’ve got a lot more than that. We got a tool that’s not even in Photoshop CS3 yet, it probably won’t till CS4 either, don’t take my word for that but you never know. Let’s get right to it. The Adjustment Brush can be found right here, now when its off, you will not see the menu there, but when its on you’ll see a darker menu than the regular menus and this is your Adjustment Brush menu. First thing we’ll look at is down here, first thing you can do is adjust the size with the slider here or with the mouse wheel like so. Next thing is the Feather; the Feather is actually the second circle that you see around the brush, so I can go and decrease the Feather to nothing and increase it to a pretty big size, so let me just put it around 40-ish percent and in there we have a brush with a small feather; those are the two main features, there’s flowing density, I would like to keep those at 100 for now, I haven’t played with those two functions yet but, that’s neither here nor there for this tutorial. There’s also an Auto Mask feature, now what that does is that it will allow you to adjust a certain area without affecting another contrasted area; let’s say you have a sky and some clouds and you just want to affect the sky it won’t go into the clouds because of that contrast. If you have Auto Mask off, it’ll affect wherever the brush is. So lets’ go right to it and do a little demo; here’s an image that I took at a non-profit organization , I was photographing a group of volunteers that were there, and this is a candid shot actually in between takes and I really like the expression on her face, so I wanted to highlight her face and the background was a little too exposed for my taste, I wanted to numb the background down, underexpose it quite a bit actually, and then, but keep the face practically exposed as it is now. Now, traditionally in Photoshop you’d have to go in there, create an adjustment layer and then mask out some things and very, very long. See how easy it is here in Lightroom; we’re going to, use click on our Adjustment Brush, click on the minus sign here in exposure, by default it brings it to minus one but that’s alright, we can adjust that later. One thing I forgot to mention and it’s really, really important, this is all non-destructive, alright, so your image will not be affected by pixels and what not, so that makes it even better. Now let me go ahead and create the brush size and just paint in exposure, okay, I could reduce brush size here, I’m doing this rush here so, but just to give you an idea. As you can see, once I let go there’s just button that appears, now if I keep it over there you’ll see the mask that it created; I actually created a layer mask on top of my image, isn’t that great? Now you can also use the Erase button here and go erase certain areas of that mask that will, so if you went in a little too much, you can go and start erasing that mask whenever you want to. We’ll just leave it like that for now, it’s not important. Now if that minus one, but I want to use even darker than that, what’s great about this is since it’s a mask, you can always go back and play with it and darken it and lighten it as much as you want. And as you can see it’s not affecting the face, so let me bring it right down to minus 4 and that looks really good, now of course I can go clean that up but I really like it like that for now. Alright now the face looks pretty well-exposed, I’m going to keep it like that but you could always use another exposure brush, it can be a positive exposure so increasing the exposure, I can be using it for brightness, for contrast, for saturation, for clarity and for sharpness, first try clarity for fun here. If I click on the plus sign, it goes by default to 50 and I can go into the eyes, the lips, the ear, I could do the whole face as well, it created another dot here and you can see where I’ve masked clarity in and then I could go and increase clarity or decrease it. What’s also great in Lightroom 2 is that you can go negative on clarity, which is something you couldn’t do in version 1, what that does is it smoothes the skin, so it’s a bit like neat image or noise ninja type of effect. So let me just bring it back up a little bit and there we go. Now if you ever want to delete a mask that you’ve created, just make sure its selected, you’ll see that out of the two dots here, one’s white, one’s dark; the dark one is the selected one, just press delete on your keyboard and it’ll delete it, and the effect will go away. Now apart from those fixed functions that you can do with the adjustment brush, you can also add color to your image locally, and that’s great, too. Let me just click on Color and you can see the color picker here and this is a nice orange glow, it looks like a CTO gel which is a Tungsten colored gel, so you can, by increasing the feathers that’s more like a light source, I could go in and pretend that there’s a flash here with a CTO gel that I add some warmth, so I can go and paint this in with a little bit on the cheek here, and of course that’s a little too strong by for the default, but again I can just go in and reduce its saturation and just give it that little glow here. Now we can see before and after, and voila, instant CTO gel right there. I haven’t created extra layers or nothing like that, it’s just click and brush, it’s that simple, you just got to love it. Now they’ve added another cool feature, it’s the exact same function, but instead of being a brush, it’s what they call a Graduated Filter, a bit like a neutral density graduated filter or any other type of filters. Now let’s see how that Graduated Filter works, I mean, just go to use another image really quickly, just go back into our developed module, let’s click on our Graduated Filter, again, same type of menu appears and all you do then is click and drop. Now I’m in my colors so I’m addi4ng an orange tint here, let me just delete that because I want to show you more of our Graduated Neutral Density Filter, so I’ll click on negative exposure cause I want to darken the sky up and again I click and drag, and there you go, it’s that simple. You can do clarity, saturation, brightness, contrast with this type of filter and you’re done. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on Lightroom 2 and I’m showing this because it could be a great alternative to Photoshop, where Photoshop is roughly around 600 dollars, this one is half the price at 300 dollars. So you could actually purchase this software and do all your photo retouching and storing straight from Lightroom without having to buy the expensive Photo shoppers in. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and talk to you soon, ba-bye.