Adobe Lightroom 2.0: Using the Adjustment Brush

by Alan Haynes / PhotoCitizen on August 9, 2008

UPDATE: This article refers to an obsolete product.
Check out the latest version of Lightroom here.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 has finally been released!

You can download the full version or the upgrade (only $99) directly from Adobe by clicking here.


The previous version, Lightroom 1.4 was an excellent product, but Lightroom 2 is even better. There are a ton of new and improved features. One of the best, the adjustment brush, is brand new to Lightroom 2. There was nothing like it in Lightroom 1.4.

You’ll find it in the DEVELOP module. It’s in the top panel just under the histogram. The other tools you’re used to for cropping, spot removal, and red-eye are located to the left of the adjustment brush along with another new tool: the graduated filter.

Clicking on the brush tool causes the panel below it to change to show everything you can do with the brush. You can paint in adjustments to exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity, sharpness, and even your choice of colors.

These adjustments can be either positive or negative. So, you can paint in an exposure increase for one part of the photo and a decrease in another part. There are also full adjustments for brush size, feathering–which shows up as two circles around the brush as your painting so that you can see the transition of the feathering–flow, and density (aka, opacity).


Once you’ve completed an adjustment, you can still go back and change it’s settings. For example, let’s say you use the adjustment brush to burn-in the corners of your image at an exposure setting of -1. After you’re done, you decide that they need to be a bit darker. You can simply go back to the exposure slider and drag it down to a lower setting such as -1.2.

And, if you’ve adjusted each corner separately by turning off the adjustment tool and then turning it back on, you can adjust each corner to a different exposure setting. Just click on the little adjustment dot to activate that adjustment and then adjust the slider the way you’d like. If you’ve used Nikon Capture NX, these adjustment markers will seem familiar.


So, upgrade to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 now. You can download it from Adobe by clicking here and be using it in no time.

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