Adobe Lightroom: My Favorite Hidden Tools

By |2018-11-22T13:15:35+00:00Nov 12th, 2018|

Adobe Lightroom is an especially powerful and helpful tool for photographers. Over the years, it has gained features make managing and editing our photos much easier and more robust. Despite all of the tools available in the Develop module, there are some that are completely hidden unless you know how to invoke them. That’s what this video is all about.

Did you know that there are a series of hidden tools that can only be accessed when you press and hold a particular modifier? It’s true! And what is this mythical modifier key? It’s none than the Option (Mac) / Alt (Windows) key. When combined with specific sliders, it opens up entirely new ways for you to edit your photos. It really is impressive, so be sure to watch the video.

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20 Comments

  1. Brian Palermo November 12, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Great tips! I didn’t know about the split toning tricks.

  2. Tom Gossen November 12, 2018 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Thanks Brian, enjoyed the video. While I’ve used the ALT key with highlights, shadows and also masking in the Detail Panel, you informed me regarding the Tone and Split Toning panels. Thank you.
    I thought you might also be going to talk about the Profiles “button” but maybe that’s one you are yet to discover?

  3. Ron Pine November 12, 2018 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Many thanks for the great tips and tricks. Seems to me there is an entire “Hidden Tips” series waiting to be produced. I’m just a novice at this, but you videos give me confidence as well as knowledge.

  4. Vic Prior November 12, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Very useful – I thought the use of Alt on tone sliders was well know but not the other uses. Can I ask that you give us a lttle more time to look at before and after especially where the changes are that subtle? Please lose the music in the background, Thanks.
    A helpful hint is to use the shift key and double click on the whites and blacks label tin the tone panel to set the white and black points initially.

  5. Peter Leinfellner November 12, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I used the ALT key for a while now for these functions which is a great helper. Another hidden one is the SHIFT key. If you hold the SHIFT key and double click on the name of a slider, Lightroom applies an automatic setting dependent of the other slider settings. This saves a lot of time in my workflow: 1) Correcting exposure 2) Correcting highlights 3) Correcting shadows 4) Now hold SHIFT and double click on name of white/black adjustment slider and it sets them automatically dependent of the previously set exposure/highlights/shadows. Sometimes you have to fine adjust whites/blacks slightly.

  6. Betty Girardeay November 12, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I knew about using the option key with the tonal changes, but using them for split tone and sharpening was an eye opener. Thanks.

  7. Ulrich Tutsch November 12, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Brian, this video is very informative. I knew about sharpening, but not about tone and split tone. Now I have additional arrows in my workflow quiver. Than k you!

  8. gregg mccrary November 12, 2018 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Brian. Excellent demonstration of useful short cuts in LR. Keep up the good work.

  9. kennuk2 November 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Vek younry useful, good to know. Thank you.

  10. Peter Harvey November 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    The auto tone button has been updated in LR / CRaw but I have only seen one LR educator, BRudis, promote it. Why?

  11. Conrad November 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    great tips do you have a book with this information in it?

  12. Linda Austin November 12, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Great video – learned a lot. Thanks.

  13. Cliff Threadgold November 12, 2018 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Great Video Brian, loved the tips and learnt a lot.

  14. Annette Gay Eldershaw November 12, 2018 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Great video. Forever learning and I really appreciate the explanations expressed slowly!

  15. Peter Banyard November 13, 2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Good video. Great tips.

  16. Tom B November 13, 2018 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Great tips, Brian. I’ve been using alt + highlights or shadows, but not really ever with the blacks and whites slider. Most useful! And looking at the histogram warnings, instead of just the areas on the image. Another very useful tip! I will be using these a lot. And the sharpening mask slider — wow, I never even bother with it, because I couldn’t see what it’s doing. Now with your alt key method, it’s clear. That’s another powerful tip! And by the way, I don’t use Lightroom, I use Camera Raw. You might want to point out to your readers that these tips can be used in exactly the same way in ACR. Thanks, Brian! The video was fun to watch, and very helpful.

  17. Dennis Lopes November 14, 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Great tips. I’ll experiment with the ALT key in other areas.

  18. Richard November 19, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Now I understanding spit toning better! Thanks

  19. Terry Gardner November 26, 2018 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tips. I didn’t know about the sharpening mask and its use.

  20. Larry K Bartholomew December 11, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Excellent tips every LR user can use!

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