How to Use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom

How to Use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom
Pin me up, Scottie! (I know that was lame…)


We’ve all been there. You’re excited about a photograph you just took and you CANNOT WAIT to get back to your computer to see it in Lightroom. You load it, open it up, and blah. It’s not how it looked to you in the field or how you envisioned it! It even looked good on that tiny thumbnail sized image on the LCD screen of your DSLR! Well, don’t delete it just yet.

Lightroom has been a huge trailblazer in the photography editing world over the past few years thanks to the people at Adobe. Since the first release of Lightroom, there have been numerous tools and tricks added to make your photographs look way better, if you know how to use them. One of my favorite tools to use is the adjustment brush. It comes in handy in portrait photography, landscape photography, sports photography, and just about any photography you can attach a label to.

You can find the adjustment brush located in the top right corner of the Lightroom “Develop” tab.

Adjustment Brush
Select the adjustment brush located under the histogram

Once you click on the adjustment brush a whole new window will open with tons of sliders. It can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know much about the adjustment brush, but have no fear. You’ll see another drop down list next to “Effects”.

Adjustment Brush 2
Click the drop down box to choose your effect

When you click effects you’ll get a list of different choices you can isolate with the adjustment brush. Once you select which effect to use, you’ll notice that individual sliders will change to automatically help select the correct slider to use. Now, once you use the brush, you can move that slider around as much as you want to get the look you want.

One more thing I wanted to touch on is the feathering option.

Adjustment Brush 3
More feathering = more blending

You can use this option to either blend the effect by using more feathering, or make a distinct change by using less feathering.

To be honest, reading about this is pretty confusing, and if you’re like me, you want a video to watch to really help you master the adjustment brush. Lucky you! I have constructed a short video to show you how to use the adjustment brush in Lightroom!

For more tutorials, visit my Vimeo page!