I’ve been trying out the newly released Lightroom 2.0 for a few days and there two features I completely love. One is the Adjustment Brush and the other is the Graduated Filter. Today, I’ll share with you a little bit about the Adjustment Brush.

The Adjustment Brush allows you to adjust the exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity, sharpness and colour of a specific area within your image. That’s right. No more opening it up in Photoshop to do your touch ups! Being that it’s summer and with the sun out in full force, wearing a hat is a must for us. This results in a lot of hat shade and without a flash, you can get a lot of dark faces. This is where the Adjustment Brush comes in handy!

Here’s what I began with (SOOC):

Once you click on the adjustment brush icon, select the changes you want to make using the sliders directly below it. Adjust the brush size as you do in Photoshop by using the [ or ] keys to decrease or increase the brush size or by using the “Size” slider. You can adjust the feathering, flow and density as well. Then you brush brush brush! You can always adjust your sliders even after you brush to help you get the look you want.

Hover over your brushing starting point and a red haze will appear over the brushed area. You can even change your brush to “Erase” to paint back the original. Essentially, the adjustment brush is a layer mask. Brilliant isn’t it?

Here are the adjustments I made from the original.

Fill Light (+30)
Add Brush Stroke
- Increase exposure (+1.15)
- Increase Brightness (+11)
- Increase Contrast (+6)
- Increase Saturation (+6)
Increase contrast (+47)
Highlight Recovery (+85)
Straighten
Vignette

It took me all of 15 seconds to do it. Saving time is one of the best benefits of using Lightroom and now with version 2.0, you can spend less time in Photoshop or perhaps none at all.

I’m still trying this new version out so I’m really no expert at it yet. If you have any other great tips for Lightroom, please do share! I’ve been meaning to do a tutorial series with Lightroom but haven’t had a chance to set it all up yet. I know I’m jumping the gun a bit here, but I just had to share with you, this new wonderful tool called the Adjustment Brush.

Next up… the Graduated Filter!

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.