How To Use The Adjustment Brush In Lightroom | LR Classic Tutorial

Are you looking to take your photo editing skills to the next level? Do you want to enhance specific areas of your images, adjust exposure or color, or add creative effects? Look no further than the Adjustment Brush in Adobe Lightroom Classic! This powerful tool allows you to paint adjustments onto specific areas of your photos, giving you ultimate control and flexibility in your editing process. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the ins and outs of using the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom, providing you with valuable tips and tricks to elevate your editing game. Get ready to unlock endless possibilities and create stunning, professional-looking photos with ease.

How To Use The Adjustment Brush In Lightroom | LR Classic Tutorial


This article will guide you on how to utilize the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom to enhance your photographs. The Adjustment Brush is a powerful editing tool in Lightroom that allows you to make precise and selective adjustments to specific areas of your image. Whether you want to soften skin in portrait photography or enhance the sky in landscape images, the Adjustment Brush can help you take your photos to the next level.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Before we dive into the different ways you can use the Adjustment Brush, let’s start with two important keyboard shortcuts. The first one is the “K” key, which creates a new Adjustment Brush. Once you press “K,” a new window will appear on the right-hand side of your screen, offering various adjustment options like exposure, white balance, contrast, and more. At the bottom of this window, you’ll find brush controls, including brush size, feather, flow, and density.

The second shortcut is the “O” key, which shows the overlay of your brush selection. The overlay helps you visualize the areas where the adjustments will be applied. Pressing “O” again hides the overlay, allowing you to focus on making adjustments.

Subtle Skin Softening in Portraits

If you’re shooting portraits and want to achieve a subtle skin softening effect, the Adjustment Brush is perfect for the task. Start by zooming in on your portrait subject and press the “O” key to bring up the overlay. Using a large brush size and a feather setting of 100, begin brushing over the skin, avoiding the eyes, nose details, eyebrows, and lips. You can adjust the brush size as needed.

If you accidentally brush over an area you didn’t intend to select, you can hold the Option key (Alt key on Windows) to activate the erase brush. This allows you to remove unwanted selections with ease. Once you’re satisfied with your selection, press “O” again to hide the overlay.

Next, navigate to the right-hand side of your screen and experiment with different settings. One effective technique is to use the Texture slider. By reducing the texture, you can achieve a smooth skin effect without sacrificing sharpness in other facial features. Play around with other options to find the perfect settings for your desired outcome.

To save time and replicate your adjustments in future projects, you can create an Adjustment Brush preset. After making your desired changes, click on the “Custom” option and save the current settings as a new preset. This way, you can quickly apply the preset for skin softening in future editing sessions.

Enhancing Landscape Images with Auto Mask

The Adjustment Brush is not only useful for portraits but also for enhancing landscape images. One effective technique is utilizing the Auto Mask feature to make precise selections. Press the “K” key to create a new Adjustment Brush, and then press the “O” key to show the overlay.

While holding the “A” key, activate the Auto Mask feature. Lightroom will automatically create a mask based on the area you want to select, indicated by the circle with a crosshair in the middle of the brush. Begin by selecting the sky, and as you move towards the horizon, reduce the brush size for more accuracy.


The Adjustment Brush in Lightroom is a powerful tool that can elevate your images to new heights. Whether you want to achieve subtle skin softening in portraits or enhance specific elements in landscape images, the Adjustment Brush offers precise control and flexibility. By utilizing keyboard shortcuts, creating presets, and experimenting with different settings, you can unlock the true potential of the Adjustment Brush and transform your photos with ease.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find the settings that work best for your style and desired outcome. With time, you’ll master the Adjustment Brush and take your editing skills to the next level.

How To Use The Adjustment Brush In Lightroom | LR Classic Tutorial FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom?

The Adjustment Brush in Lightroom is a powerful tool that allows you to selectively edit specific areas of your photos by making adjustments to exposure, contrast, sharpening, saturation, and various other settings. It helps you enhance or correct certain parts of the image without affecting the entire photo.

Q2: How do I access the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom?

To access the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom, follow these steps:

  1. Open Lightroom and select the image you want to work on.
  2. In the Develop module, look for the toolbar on the right-hand side.
  3. Click on the “Adjustment Brush” icon, or press the shortcut “K”, to activate the Adjustment Brush Tool.

Q3: How can I adjust settings with the Adjustment Brush?

To adjust settings using the Adjustment Brush, follow these instructions:

  1. Select the desired brush size and feathering for more precise adjustments.
  2. Choose the specific adjustment you want to make, such as exposure, contrast, or saturation, from the available options in the Adjustment Brush panel.
  3. Click and drag the brush over the area you want to modify. You will see the changes being applied in real-time.

Q4: Can I change the brush settings for different adjustments?

Yes, you can customize the brush settings for different adjustments. Lightroom allows you to create multiple adjustment brushes, each with its own unique settings. This enables you to apply various adjustments to different areas of your photo without affecting others.

Q5: What if I make a mistake while using the Adjustment Brush?

If you make a mistake while using the Adjustment Brush, don’t worry! Lightroom provides several ways to correct or refine your adjustments:

  • Use the “Eraser” tool to erase any adjustments you no longer want.
  • Lower the adjustment sliders to reduce the effect.
  • Toggle the “Show Selected Mask Overlay” option to see the areas affected by the brush strokes and make necessary adjustments.

Q6: Can I save and reuse Adjustment Brush presets?

Yes, Lightroom allows you to save your Adjustment Brush settings as presets. This can save you time and effort when you want to apply similar adjustments to other photos in the future. To save a preset, simply click on the “+” icon next to the “Effect” dropdown in the Adjustment Brush panel and choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset.”

Q7: Are adjustment brush edits non-destructive in Lightroom?

Yes, all adjustment brush edits made in Lightroom are non-destructive. This means that the original image remains intact, and you can always revert or modify the adjustments at any time, even after saving or exporting the photo.

I hope you find useful my article How To Use The Adjustment Brush In Lightroom | LR Classic Tutorial, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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