Lightroom 5 Selective Adjustments – not HDR

Summary – Yesterday’s post illustrated using Lightroom 5 to selectively apply tonal and color adjustments. Here is another example. An alternative to HDR in tricky back lighting.


Tonal & color contrast adjustments

Are easy to do and

Are very effective

Lightroom 5’s develop module’s tools

Are pretty well suited to the task

IF you use the selective adjustment for fine tuning


Before – As Captured; no post-processing

After – Lightroom 5  using selective adjustments

Roll Mouse Over


Drama at Sunrise

Over-the-top post-processing

Want to ensure the step-by-step adjustments are obvious 😉

Demonstrates recovery of detail in a back-lit subject

Without resorting to HDR


The same basic approach as shown yesterday –

1st – Global adjustments to get the capture “in the ball park”

2nd – Local adjustment to “tweak” specific areas of the image

All three “LR5 selective tools” are illustrated


Click on any image for full screen

001 start

We could easily have stopped here


002 grad filter

This will darken everything, not just the sky

Better choice would be the adjust brush shown next


003 brush

Probably the most powerful of LR5’s selective tools

Take the time to learn all of its ins-and-outs


004 radial

There’s another “vignette” tool in LR5’s Effects section

It’s useful only if subject is centered in frame

The local version, shown here, can be sized, centered & shaped

To suit the image’s needs

This step, together with #3 “light the eye-movement-path”

Upper left to lower right or vice versa


005a fix

Picking up where you left off to edit & fine-tune

You’ll notice locations (gray dots) for six brushes

The right cattail & pond brushes are highlighted by red circles

The cattails show the mask precision that’s possible

The other four brushes were used in step three

(adjusted left cattails, pond & sky)


006 final


I’m getting the hang of LR5’s tools

However, they’re no match for the Nik Collection

When it comes to selective adjustments

Then again, CEP is no match for LR5 in many areas

We need them both


The response to the poll on

Doing more on LR5 & Nik Collection selective adjustments

Was positive

Tune in next week


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