My Favorite Lightroom Masking Trick

As photographers, we all know how important editing is. A photo straight out of the camera can be good, but editing can make it truly great. Lightroom is an incredible tool for editing, and there are many great tools and tricks within it. This is my favorite one – and you may not be familiar with it.

As a preface – I have not touched this photo at all yet, so there is obviously plenty to still do, but for the sake of the blog I wanted to start with an untouched photo to make it easy to see the changes.

This is the original photo.

As we can see, it gets pretty dark in areas. We could bring the shadows up, but that doesn’t always work very well, and it can be tough to do it in all the right places. So we’re going to grab our graduated filter tool and take it on the side of the photo so that the entire photo is selected.

Then, scroll down to where it says “Range Mask: Off” and you’re going to click “color.”

After this, I turn off “show selected mask overlay” and take the eyedropper tool and select a dark area I’d like to brighten up.

From here, I turn “show selected mask overlay” back on so it’ll show what is selected. I then typically take the amount all the way down so it’s extremely accurate and only what I want. You can see how it selects all of the darker areas.

From there, I’ll again turn off “show selected mask overlay” and then you can play around with the setting to do what you want.

This works with any colors – not just dark areas. I find it to be way more accurate than going in and brushing things like that yourself. I still brush in my own areas, but this is a great tool (and saves time). Have fun playing around with it, and be sure to subscribe to my blog to keep up to date!