Bill Brandt Homage

7 sisters BBI offer my clients continuing email support for queries they may have arising out of the workshops, courses or one to one tuition I give.

A client recently asked me about selecting in Lightroom, here is my response.

Masking with the Lightroom Adjustment Brush

As you will probably know Lightroom is not traditionally very good at making selections.
Here is a tip I would use before export the file in Photoshop to make a selection.

Why not try the Adjustment Brush with Auto Mask box ticked.

My Adjustment brush workflow
1 Open a new Adjustment Brush.
2 Leave all the sliders at Zero.
3 Tick the Auto Mask box at the bottom of the Adjustment Brush controls you might need to scroll down to see it.
4 Set the diameter of the brush with the square bracket keys or try using the wheel on your mouse.
5 Press O on the key board to turn on the Red* Selected Mask Overlay.
6 Set the brush density to around 30% and flow to around 75% as a starting point.
7 Temporarily increase the Contrast slider in the basic controls to +100% – this may help the auto mask to work more effectively.
8 Paint over the area you want to select – adjustments will be made where the red* mask is.
9 If you need to correct the selection – hold down the Alt key and paint away inaccuracies.
10 When you are happy with red mask, press O on the key board to make the mask go away.
11 Reset the Contrast to 0% created in step 7.
12 Now use the adjustment brush control sliders to effect the desired enhancement.
13 New to Lightroom 5 by right clicking on the adjustment brush editing pin you can duplicate the effect, delete or reset the brush.

* The colour of the red overlay mask can be changed by holding down the shift key + O on the keyboard and cycling through the colours. Or Go to Tools > Adjustment Brush overlay. The available colours are red, green black and white.

The picture above is called “Seven Sisters – homage to Bill Brandt”. Brandt used this coastline for many of his nude studies. See

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

1 response to Bill Brandt Homage

  1. David Thomas says:

    Thanks for the masking tips, Andy; this will prove to be very helpful. The increased contrast is an excellent method. Cheers


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