The final post in the Camera Raw Filter series looks at using the Adjustment Brush to make specific edits. With the Brush, you can get precise with your edits, down to individual items.
Part 5: The Adjustment Brush
To make edits using the Adjustment Brush, you select an area by 'painting' over it. You can use a brush size that covers half your photo in one sweep of the brush, or a tiny brush, sized to paint over the pupil of an eye.
You can vary more than just the size of the brush. You can adjust the:
- softness of the edge (the feather);
- speed at which the 'paint' flows from the brush (the flow); and
- opacity of the 'paint' you apply (the density).
You can add as many adjustments with the brush as you need. All the adjustments can be individually selected and re-edited.
As you can see, this is an incredibly flexible tool.
The stock photo below is a lovely colourful image with a soft blurry background. I decided to make the focus of the image the tea pot. The bright-yellow flowers in the background add a lovely effect, but are competing with the tea pot for attention.
I used two brush adjustments:
- The first on the tea pot, to brighten and increase depth of colour.
- The second on the flowers, to desaturate and stop them competing for attention.
This video walkthrough will show you how to:
- Convert your image to a Smart Object.
- Change the size, feather, flow and density of the Brush tool.
- Paint over the area you are editing.
- Select and re-edit an area.
Painting takes a little more time than some of the other tools. As you can see, I was rushing and definitely painting outside the lines! Fear not, the Brush Adjustment comes with a handy eraser option, and flicking between paint and erase is easy.
I would recommend slowing down, a little practice, and getting used to changing the size of your brush while painting. The left and right square bracket keys make the brush head small and larger, respectively.
I hope you enjoyed these quick Camera Raw Filter tips. If you haven't had chance to see them all, you can find links below.
This 5-part series will cover:
- Highlight Slider - brighten images without losing all the detail in the existing highlights. Great technique for room photos.
- Radial Filter - make the best bits of your image glow with the radial filter. Great for faces and fashion shoots.
- Shadows Slider - expose the beautiful details hidden in the shadows. Great for bringing out details and lifting an image without over-exposing it.
- Graduated Filter - add interest to a flat image or enrich skies or landscapes. Great for flat lays and travel images.
- Brush Adjustment - make really specific adjustments on your photos, and make sure the focal point of your image really stands out. Great for balancing competing elements in an image.
[The stock images used in this series are available free from Pexels.]