The Adjustment Brush – Lightroom Video Tutorial

Here’s my first Adobe Lightroom 2 video tutorial. Why Lightroom instead of Photoshop, you might ask? The main reason is that I’ve been using Lightroom (LR) for a while now. I used version 1 primarily as an image database and to easily create beautiful, professional web galleries. I also used it for basic image correction but most of my post processing was done in Photoshop. This has all changed now with the introduction of Lightroom 2. There are tons of new features but the main one is the adjustment brush. This powerful tool, let you adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity and sharpness… locally and non-destructively. No more going into Photoshop and using adjustment layers with masks. One click instant masking! Just this feature alone is worth the cost of Lightroom 2. Just the amount of time I’ll save on post processing using the adjustment brush justifies the upgrade. It will pay for itself in a few weeks.

Another reason I’m showing you Lighroom 2 is that I’m now very happy with it’s post processing power and I find that it is complete enough for most photographers post processing needs. And it’s less than half the cost of Photoshop! Photoshop CS3 is retailed at $649.00 and Lightroom 2 is only $299.00.

Here are a few books on Lightroom 2 that might come in handy:

Inside Lightroom 2
Lightroom 2 for Digital Photographers
Lightroom 2: Classroom in a Book

Enjoy the tutorial!

[vimeo 1458463]

22 responses on "The Adjustment Brush - Lightroom Video Tutorial"

  1. thank you! I totally enjoyed

  2. The most amazing tutorial I have found for Lightroom, Photoshop CS4 and Aperture 2 are found in It’s worth the money.

  3. The video is wonderful.

  4. hey. nice tutorial. ive been using lightroom hardcore for photodevelopment since the beta version of 1.0, but i didnt even realise 2 had these features. great tutorial.

  5. Thank you! I have had LR 2 for about 6 weeks now but have not figured out how to use this too yet! I think I have a better handle on it now. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Thank you , thank you , thank you!!!!!!!!!!! ? this tutorial! I really love LR2 and have been using it – but now thanks to your tutorial I have 2 new tools to play with. I use PS for these – but usually do not have the time to do them in PS. Now I can do the adjustments in LR2 ! love your site- have learned so much after stumbling upon it. Again thanks!

  7. I have been becoming proficient in LR but I have had a few questions that for some reason I could not find in the book I have which is Lightroom Adventure. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial, I found it extremely helpful for the settings in LR that I did not understand. Love the program and I would highly recommend it to others. I am a photography student and I was able to purchase this program at the student price, might be helpful for others. Thanks again, and thanks to Adobe for allowing students to purchase programs at a discount.

  8. I just purchased Lightroom 2.2 today and was lost; no idea where to start! Your video helped so much; thank you! I would love to see more videos on how to use Lightroom, plus tips and tricks.

  9. The video is wonderful. I am curious do you convert raw images to DNG and do you throw away the raw file

  10. Excellent tutorial on the new capabilities of the software. I’m sure it will help lots of people.

  11. Hi all,

    I too really liked the video – good job. I’m sure by now that Yanik also knows about using the “O” key to toggle mask display on/off. Some more hidden features include using the ALT key while drawing to toggle the Paint/Erase mode of the brush.

    I have a couple of videos (in English and German) on my Blog site that show this in action. Feel free to stop by my lounge at the following address.


  12. @Victoria: you can delete just a single brush by selecting it and the hitting your Delete key. Obvious I know, but I too went around looking for an “Erase” option. 🙂

    @Everyone else: On a related note, is there a way to just disable (not delete) a single brush? This is helpful if you’re experimenting with different brushes on the same image.

  13. This is wonderfully helpful.

    I’m in the process of trying to decide between Aperture and Lightroom. I love the Loupe feature of Aperture, and the general feel of the program – the ease with which I can explore a big set of photos is great.

    But my general impression is that Lightroom might have a bit of an edge when it comes to sophistication of its photo editing/adjustment features, and it seems that once it has created a library (is this the correct term?) of photos it brings up thumbnails more instantaneously. All this is really just impressions though based on a day of playing with the free trials.

    I’m also trying to figure out whether one program is better at writing metadata (keywords and such) to the files themselves, and whether one program is more subject to having its archives messed up if you try moving the photos to a new folder or extrenal hard drive. So many things to figure out!

    This is such a hard decision! I want some of the features of both!

    This tutorial certainly tips the balance a bit more toward Lightroom though.

  14. Great tutorial! I’m really enjoying Lightroom 2! Huge step up from 1.4 and the adjustment features really contribute greatly. Thanks!

  15. Is anyone else having difficulty viewing Yanik’s videos? I have the latest player installed. I would love to see his videos:)

  16. wow Yanik, I am really loving this…I actually think I’ll buy Lightroom 2 after watching this…the only problem I have is that lightroom runs VERY slow on my PC :-(, even much slower than photoshop…thanks for all ur help 😉

  17. Great tip Rickey! I didn’t even know it was there! I’ll do a video tutorial on it after I play around with it and see how it compares to NeatImage and Noise Ninja.


  18. Very good but you did not touch on the skin softening effect in the adjustment brush. When you click the adjustment brush you will see effect and to the right is a double up/down arrow. If you click that a dropdown menu appears and you select skin soften

  19. This looks awesome! I’ve been playing with it as well since we (Hal Schmitt instructor) are teaching it this week at our school (Lepp Institute).
    One question: While we have been exploring this tool we haven’t found one exception: Is there a way to erase the points you make with the brush without having to use the eraser to erase everything you’ve “painted”? If you have done three or four little adjustments and you want to take off one of those there doesn’t seem to be an erase button. Am I not seeing it?

  20. Nice example of what LR2 can do Yanik. It is tempting. I’m using Aperture for over a year now and I like it very much. I’m efficient and fast with it and it’s the main piece of my workflow. I’m a bit afraid to try Lightroom. The version 2 seems even better than Aperture for retouching and non-destructive changes. I have no idea though how hard it would be to migrate my library from Aperture to Lightroom. After seeing this, I might give it a try. You should ask Adobe for a cut 😛

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