As promised, I am bringing you part two of my editing in Lightroom series, so that you can feel more confident in your post-processing skills! If you have not yet read part one, check it out here.
Today, we’ll be looking at three, powerful local adjustment tools that you should put to use the next time you edit.
What are local adjustments in Lightroom?
We went over this in the first blog post, but I’ll still give you a little refresher. When you make a local adjustment in Lightroom, it affects just a certain part of the image. This is the opposite of a global adjustment, which affects the entire image as a whole.
For example, in the HSL panel, you can alter the hue, saturation, or luminance (get it, HSL?) of the individual colors in an image. So, you could brighten your reds or change the hue of your greens without altering the whole picture..
Local adjustments are awesome for the reason they give you the power to tweak the little details in an image.
Today I want to talk about three in particular: the adjustment brush, the radial filter, and the spot removal brush.
the adjustment brush
Let’s start with the adjustment brush. This really comes in handy for editing food photography. In the image below, it is the very last tool to the right. It looks a little like a wand.
The brush does exactly what the name suggests. With it, you can create strokes on the part of the image that you’d like to adjust. Once you have that part sectioned off, you’ll be able to make changes only to that area. You can make any adjustment you want, from exposure to texture to saturation. You can even manipulate colors.
For these mini lemon tarts, I used the adjustment brush to change the color from a very orangey yellow to a sunnier, more true-to-life yellow.
For even more precision, you might want to make your brush size smaller. That can be controlled by the “size” slider under “brush”. You can also erase the strokes if you make a mistake.
You may also want to see exactly where you’re making brush strokes. To see the strokes you’ve made, hit the “O” key on your keyboard. They’ll show in red, like this.
Use the adjustment brush to tweak the finest details in your image.
editing food photography with the radial filter
Want to make a quick, no-fuss edit? Use the radial filter in Lightroom. It’s the circle directly to the left of the adjustment brush.
Instead of brush strokes, using the radial filter will allow you to target an area of your photo by forming a circle over it, like so. From there, make the adjustment of your choice. You can also use the “invert” check box to decide whether the adjustments you choose will be made inside or outside of the circle.
Personally, I use the radial filter to make a certain part of the image pop out more than the rest. For example, I’ll bump up the clarity/sharpness on one cupcake to make it stand out from the others.
In the case of these tarts, there is a radial filter over each of them, which I’ve used to increase their sharpness without affecting the backdrop.
using the spot removal brush for editing food photography
Last but not least, we have the spot removal. It is the second tool on the left, right next to the crop overlay.
This is very useful for small areas that you want to correct. Say you were shooting soup and you didn’t notice a little stain on the bowl until you started editing. The spot removal tool is your answer.
Be sure that you have selected the “heal” option and not “clone”. “Heal” will remove spots, “clone” will copy them.
more free food photography resources
Be sure to leave a comment with any editing questions you may have. Now, go forth and CREATE!