Open a photo to edit in the Develop module.
The controls in the Adjustment panels in the Develop module let you affect the color and tone of an entire photo. But sometimes, you don't want to make adjustments globally to the entire photo. You want to make corrections to a specific area of a photo. For example, you may want to lighten a face to make it stand out in a portrait or enhance the blue sky in a landscape. To make local corrections in Lightroom Classic, you can apply color and tonal adjustments using the Masking tool.
As with all other adjustments applied in the Develop module in Lightroom Classic, adjustments made using the Masking tool are non-destructive and are not permanently applied to the photo.
There are multiple options within Lightroom Classic to add a mask to your image. You can use Select Subject and Select Sky to automatically add a mask or use Brush, Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient, or Range Masks to add a mask manually.
Open a photo to edit in the Develop module.
Select Masking from the tool strip of the Develop module.
Click and drag the Brush tool over the areas you want to edit. Adjust the Brush Size, Feather, Flow, and Density using the given slider
Size Specifies the diameter of the brush tip in pixels.
Feather Creates a soft-edged transition between the brushed area and the surrounding pixels. When you use the brush, the distance between the inner and outer circle represents the feather amount.
Flow Controls the rate of application of the adjustment.
Density Controls the amount of transparency in the stroke.
You can also select Auto Mask to confine the brush strokes to areas of similar color.
Click and drag the tool in the area you want to edit. This is useful to adjust a large portion of the photo with a gradually fading pattern that creates soft transitions.
Click and drag the tool in the area you want to edit. This tool helps you make local adjustments inside or outside an oval shape. Use the Feather slider to determine how soft you want the adjustments to be.
Use this tool to sample color within the mask area. Do any of the following:
Select a point or area in the photo using this tool. All areas with the selected range of brightness will become a selection. This way, you can make precise adjustments to just those levels of brightness in a photo. To select a luminance range within the mask area, do any of the following:
Select the Show Luminance Mask check box to view the luminance information of the photo in black and white representation. The part in red color shows the actual area masked by the Luminance Range Mask.
Use this tool to select areas based on their distance from the camera. This tool is enabled only for photos containing depth information. To select a depth range within the mask area, do any of the following:
Select the Show Depth Mask check box to view the depth of the image in black and white representation. The part of the photo in white represents the foreground, while the part of the photo in black represents the background. The red color shows the actual area masked by the Depth Range Mask.
Select Subject allows you to automatically select the subject in the photo and apply specific edits.
Select Sky allows you to automatically select the sky in your photo and apply specific edits.
Once you have created a mask, you can further add areas to the selection using any of the masking tools. To add to an existing mask, do the following:
Once you have created a mask, you can erase areas of the automatic selection using any of the masking tools. To subtract from an existing mask, do the following:
Once you have created a mask using one of the masking tools, you can further refine the selection using the Masks panel.
You can drag and drop the Masks panel to dock or undock it from the panel. You can also right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) on the Masks panel header and select Dock to panel or Undock from panel.
You can also drag and drop a tool selection to move it within a group, to a different group, or to create a new mask. You can also press Option (macOS) or Ctrl (Windows) while dragging to create a copy of the selected tool selection instead of moving it.
The Masks panel contains the list of all the masks and the tool selections that you have made. You can perform the following actions from the masks or tool selection menu.
Select one of the following from the menu:
Rename Select this option to rename the name of the mask
Invert Select this option to select everything else except the initial selection you made. This option is only available for tool selection masks
Intersect Mask with Select this option to create a new component in the existing mask that intersects with the other components of the same mask. You can also access this option from the Masks Panel by pressing Alt (Windows)/Option (macOS)
Duplicate Select this option to create a copy of the mask
Hide Select this option to Hide the selected mask
Delete Select this option to delete the selected mask
You can also change overlay options from the Masks panel.
Use the following sliders to make the desired adjustments to your selection:
Adjusts the color temperature of an area of the image, making it warmer or cooler. A graduated filter temperature effect can improve images captured in mixed-lighting conditions.
Compensates for a green or magenta color cast
Sets the overall image brightness. Applying an Exposure local correction can achieve results similar to traditional dodging and burning.
Adjusts image contrast, mainly affecting midtones
Recovers detail in overexposed highlight areas of an image
Recovers detail in underexposed shadow areas of an image
Adjusts the white points in a photo
Adjusts the black points in a photo
Smoothens or accentuates textured details in your photo. Move the slider to the left to smoothen details; move it to the right to accentuate details. When you adjust the Texture slider, the color or tonality does not change.
Adds depth to an image by increasing local contrast
Reduces or increases existing haze in a photo
Adjusts the hue in a photo. Select Use Fine Adjustment for precise adjustments.
Adjusts the vividness of the color
Enhances edge definition to bring out details in the photo. A negative value blurs details.
Reduces luminance noise, which can become apparent when shadow areas are opened.
Removes moiré artifacts, or color aliasing
Removes fringe colors along edges
Applies a tint to the area affected by the local correction. Select the hue by clicking the Color swatch. The Color effect is preserved if you convert the photo to black and white.