Lightroom Videos

Video – Adjustment Brush Tip Extravaganza

I sat down to write a quick post about all the little shortcuts and tips that I know about the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom 2 (and 3 beta) and I realized there’s a truckload of them. So I created a video instead. I didn’t actually go through and count but there’s definitely more than 10 and I think most of them are pretty useful things to have around. Some are just shortcuts to sliders and effects you could do without the shortcut but some aren’t actually found anywhere in the interface so without the shortcut you’d never be able to get to the same result. As I mentioned in the video, I’m sure there’s something I’m missing so please drop a comment if you have anything to add. Thanks!

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the “Save As” option]



  1. Duane Ellison 7 December, 2009 at 22:18 Reply

    That one was perfect. You covered just about every option I ever wondered about in the brushes section. Now if I can just remember them! Especially the H and O options.


  2. Ryan 3 December, 2009 at 17:05 Reply

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I use the adjustment brush a lot, but there was so much I apparently didn’t know about it (including the way that everyone prefers to view the panel). You have made my work flow much easier!

  3. Ron 3 December, 2009 at 13:53 Reply

    Holly, Matt,

    Actually there is a way to fake the texture thing, but you would do it in the Print Module. You can select a graphic identity plate and nav to the jpeg of the texture you would like to use and choose that, then you can lower opacity to give a hint of the texture. make sure when you place the identity plate uncheck the box that says render behind image. and another thing would be to have the texture the size or bigger than the print size your creating so that it covers the entire image. then just out put it to a jpeg file.
    you can also create border effects by making a border on a transperant layer in PS and saving that file as a .png and add it as an identity plate also as above.

    Try it out, but thats all done to your image in the print module only. if you want to use the final results in a slide show then you will have to re-import the newly created file.


  4. KSPhoto 3 December, 2009 at 12:29 Reply

    Here is a really useful shortcut that I haven’t seen before.
    When working the adjustment brush in a zoom view, press the space bar to get a “grab-hand” and drag your image.

  5. heidi darwish 3 December, 2009 at 11:24 Reply

    hi! these tips are awesome. thank you so much. i actually came upon this site while searching for an answer:

    today while working in lightroom, my adjustment brush started painting hot pink…in clarity, exposure, ….all of them. i do not have a color selected though. think i hit a button, and now i can’t figure out how to stop painting on my images while editing.

    do you have any ideas as to how to fix this?

    thank you so much,
    heidi darwish

  6. Ced 3 December, 2009 at 10:28 Reply

    Jim W: Not exactly a Gaussian Blur brush but you can move the Clarity slider to the left (into its negative range) and that will soften whatever has been brushed (and I imagine you could also try moving the Sharpen slider in the same direction to “un-sharpen” but I’ve not tried that).

  7. Patrick 3 December, 2009 at 09:36 Reply

    Jim, there’s a setting for that on your lens/camera, it’s called aperture, and the smaller the (F-)number the “blurrier” the background will be. Happy shooting!

  8. Patrick DS 3 December, 2009 at 09:35 Reply

    @Jim W: There’s a setting for that on the lens/camera itself, it’s called aperture, and the smaller the (f-)number the “blurrier” the background will be. Happy shooting!

  9. Larry Loar 2 December, 2009 at 22:10 Reply

    Thanks Matt! I accidentally hit the “H” key while using the exposure brush tonight and I couldn’t remember your key board shortcut. I watched the video again and found the secret to showing the pin. I would never have figured that one out! Thanks! Larry

  10. Jim W 2 December, 2009 at 20:45 Reply

    Thanks, Matt, for a great video on brushes, is there ever going to be a Gaussian Blur brush? Or do you have any tips on blurring the background??

  11. DJ 2 December, 2009 at 19:59 Reply

    I don’t get the ‘explosion’ when I delete a pin. Is this a Mac only feature? It is definitely something I need on LR3!!! 😉

  12. mattk 2 December, 2009 at 15:33 Reply

    Thanks everyone.

    Holly – Nope, no textures in LR.

    ss7w6 – Sorry, there aren’t any settings to control the speed of the brush.

    Take care,
    – Matt K

  13. ss7w6 2 December, 2009 at 15:10 Reply

    So…the adjustment brush is really slow to show my affects. I heard there was a place to adjust the “quickness” of how fast the adjustment brush shows your changes.

    Any idea where that is set?

  14. Holly Suthard 2 December, 2009 at 14:46 Reply

    Thanks for another great video!

    Since you’re my go-to guy for lightroom, can you tell me if there’s any way to use Lightroom to overlay a texture on a photo? I know it wouldn’t be a layer like it is in Photoshop, but I’d still love to use Lightroom to try out different textures on my photos, just like I do with presets. Is there any hope? You always come up with things I never thought were possible!

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