Everyone knows there are many ways to accomplish similar things in Photoshop or Lightroom. In addition, there seems to an abundance of 3rd party plug-ins for both programs. Some of the plug-ins directly take advantage of features already built into Lightroom or Photoshop, others add a little twist to what is already there.
Although many people do not do extensive retouching in Lightroom, there are options that are available that not everyone takes advantage of to same valuable time as well as computer resources. Lets say, in the image to the left, you wanted to soften the moms skin, or you wanted to boost her eye color. You probably would not want to apply a general clarity slider or saturation slider since this would affect the entire image. For example, in the case of the daughter, a decrease in clarity would be unnecessary and you may possibly loos detail that you want to preserve.
The targeted adjustment brush would certainly be a good option, but can we automate the brush just a little to help our workflow? The answer is of course Yes we can.
If we open the develop module in Lightroom and select the targeted adjustment brush, we see an EFFECT choice just below (see white check). This opens up a whole new set of 'brush-presets' that can be helpful for your overall workflow.
There are quite a few presets for the brush, which include things like smoothing skin, whitening eyes, warming skin, and many more. Each of these presets adjusts sliders according to what it is intended to do for the image. For example, the smooth skin preset will decrease the clarity slider and you may now brush in a little smoother skin. Suppose the lips look a little pale..well just click on the lip booster and slide the adjustment brush across the lips.
Like any preset, you can of course adjust the slider to your personal preference. Nothing is ever carved in stone in Lightroom. If you do not like an effect, you can always move the slider, take a step back on the history panel, or even reset the entire image.
Take a look at this feature just prior to moving into Photoshop or opening a plug-in and you may be surprised at what you can accomplish quickly and easily.
Bob Barford is an award winning photographer in New Freedom , PA.