Lightroom Tip of the Week

One of the advantages of Photoshop is that you can add layers, blur the background, create a mask and paint out the mask over the parts you don’t want blurred. But, what if you don’t have Photoshop? Let’s say you took an image with a small aperture with a deep depth of field and later, in the digital darkroom, you wish you had a larger aperture to isolate your subject by blurring the background. How can you do this in Lightroom?

Well, one little know tidbit about Lightroom’s adjustment brushes is that, while they are nondestructive, they do have a cumulative effect. in other words, you can stack effects on top of each other to mutiply the set. Here’s what you do:

  • Open your Adjustment Brush (shortcut “K”)
  • Set your clarity to -100% … all the way over to the left
  • Turn masking off
  • With a feathered large brush paint over the background
  • Close your adjustment brush
  • Hit K again to open your adjustment brush… now you have a new adjustment brush (and another dot on your image)
  • Paint at -100 again
  • Close
  • Repeat as necessary

The more times you do this, the more blurred your background will be.  All the effects in the adjustment brush are cumulative.  So you can always go back and reduce some, delete some, etc.   There you go!  Like this on Facebook if you found this helpful!

Cumulative Effects of Adjustment Brush

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