DevelopLightroom Tips

Three Things To Use the Option (Alt) Key for In Lightroom

Hey everyone – wanted to offer a little tidbit that can make your use in Lightroom a little better when it comes to correcting images.  Should take you all of two minutes.

Hold the Option Key and Drag Highlights


If you would like a quick way to check out which portions of the image are going to blow out in the highlights area, simply hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key while dragging the highlight slider.  This will show a black overlay of the image – the areas that show up as white are the blown out areas.

Option Drag the Shadow Slider


When you hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key and drag the shadow slider, the screen will now turn white.  The areas that appear as black are the areas that are “blocked” from the shadow side of things.  You may want to asjust the shadow, blacks, or exposure to help with these spots.

Option Drag The Mask Slider In Details


We know what we are going to want to add sharpening to the image when we are working with it.  That said, we want to make sure that its handled selectively.  The Mask slider takes care of that.  However, we don’t really get to see -where- it does this.  Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key when you drag that mask slider you will see an overlay that looks similar to a mask in Photoshop.  Areas that are white are getting the sharpening in the slider above it.  Areas in black are not gettting the sharpening applied to it.





  1. Tiago 31 January, 2015 at 16:21 Reply

    Actually, at one point, I pressed the ALT key on all the sliders to check them. HEre is what I found:

    1-Main Panel:
    All the sliders that deal with exposure show you if you are blowing highlights or shadows.
    Whites / Highlights: Shows the screen in black, and shows in colors when it blows them
    Blacks / Shadows: Shows the screen in white and shows in colors when it blows them
    Exposure: This is the strangest one. IT should show to the left or to the right (blowing blacks or blowing whites) but it only does it to the highlights/ whites.

    2-Split toning:
    Only balance does something with ALT. I dont know exactly what it is. I think it is exaggerating the effect, but it even does something when you set everything to zero, so it is a bit strange. Would be cool to know exactly what it really does.

    Almost everything in detail does something when pressing ALT:
    Sharpening – Amount: Puts the screen in black and white to be easier to see the effect of the sharpening.
    Sharpening – Radius: Goes to black and white, but concentrates on the borders.
    Sharpening – Detail: Same as before, only concentrates on the borders.
    Sharpening – Masking: Also in black and white, does a kind of auto mask of the zones that applied (I suppose this is done with contrast detection, again would be good to know exactly how these work.)
    Noise reduction – Luminance: The same as sharpening. Goes to black and white to see it better.
    Noise reduction – Detail: Same as before, only black and white.
    Noise reduction – Contrast: Same as before, only black and white.

    4-Lens correction:
    There are some in color (just play with them) to see where it is affecting it)

    Now, if you have some way to reach adobe, or if they are reading. Some ideas:

    1-Vignette: Pressing alt could make it more obvious where it is applying, so when you are subtle, you can check where it is. I know, you can crank it up, and check it (That is what I do) and then lower it back again, but the same could be said of many of the uses of alt.

    2-Grain: Could go to black and white to see it better.

    3-On curves, also, some way to check where it is blowing highlights or shadows. Yes, again we have the triangles on the histogram, but the same can be said of the highlights and shadows sliders.

    4-Clarity / vibrance / Saturation: I don’t know, maybe show where it is applying the vibrance, or the clarity.

    5-Black and white sliders. Maybe, when you press on red, for instance, everything in red could go black and all that has red could go white, so it is obvious where you are applying the changes and if some place has red that you didn’t know will be more obvious too. Maybe this could be done also for the rest of the HSL sliders.

    Just some ideas Adobe!!!!

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