3 Simple, Yet Helpful Lightroom Tricks

3 Simple, Yet Helpful Lightroom Tricks

Whether you’re brand spanking new to Lightroom or you’ve been using it for some time now, there’s always something to learn that makes it a program that’s easier to use.

And who doesn’t like saving time with tips and tricks that streamline your workflow?!

Travis Transient has a few insights into Lightroom that will help you do just that.

A More Precise Brush Tool

You know how when you want to brush over something with the brush tool, but its edges are all wacky, and you have to zoom in to clean them up?

Well, there’s a Lightroom secret that helps you avoid that calamity and make much more precise brush strokes.

Rather than brushing away, press and hold CMD/CTRL before you start brushing and the tool will automatically find the edges of the object you wish to paint.

As Travis notes in the video, this essentially makes the brush tool work like the selection tool in Photoshop, finding the edges on its own, so you don’t have to do a bunch of cleanup.

Now, this isn’t a failproof trick, so if you paint an area you didn’t mean to paint, just press Option/Alt and the eraser tool will appear so you can easily get rid of the mistake.

A Better Way to Sharpen

Normally, when you want to sharpen something in Lightroom, you probably go to the Details panel and use the Amount, Radius, and Detail sliders to adjust the sharpness of the image.

The problem with this method of sharpening is that it can introduce noise into the image.

That means you need a better way to perfect the sharpness of your photos…

Instead, use the Masking slider in the Details panel to first create a mask of the area that you’d like to sharpen. Just press Option/Alt as you move the slider and the mask will be created, as seen above.

The resulting mask reveals areas of black and white, where white indicates the areas that will be sharpened.

To sharpen those white areas, use the amount slider (again pressing Option/Alt as you do) to make the desired adjustments without introducing noise.

This method is especially effective when you want to sharpen intricate details.

To have an even greater effect, you can use the Radius slider to fine-tune the results.

Just press Option/Alt as you move the slider and Lightroom will create what looks like a high-pass filter, as shown above.

That allows you to see the texture of fine details so you can more appropriately adjust the radius of the sharpening effect. This helps minimize noise and haloing around the edges of intricate details in the shot.

A More Effective Way to Use Dehaze

The Dehaze tool is great for clearing up images that might be a little muddy.

But another nice benefit of dehazing is that it can reveal the dust on your sensor or your lens.

All you need to do is zoom in on areas of the image in which you can see dust and use the Spot Remove tool to get rid of the most noticeable dust specks.

By doing this after you’ve used the Dehaze tool, you’ll be able to remove dust specks that may or may not have been noticed initially. Then simply return the exposure and dehaze to their normal levels, and you can go about editing the image without all that dust.

But the Dehaze tool has another trick up its sleeve…

If you crank the Dehaze all the way up, you can use it to look for color fringing as well.

Just zoom in, identify areas where you see color fringing, and use the Defringe tool in the Lens Corrections Panel to take care of it.

Final Thoughts

There’s a reason why Lightroom is so popular among photographers.

It’s incredibly powerful, does a great job of helping you organize your photos, and there’s a ton of tricks you can learn to make it an even more effective tool for post-processing your images.

The three Lightroom tips outlined above are simple and easy to learn but can have a tremendous impact on how your final images look.

Give them all a try and see just how easy they are to use, and just how much they can improve your photos!