Open a photo to edit in the Develop module.
- Lightroom Classic User Guide
- Introduction to Lightroom Classic
- Lightroom and Adobe services
- Lightroom for mobile, TV, and the web
- Import photos
- Viewing photos
- Manage catalogs and files
- Organize photos in Lightroom Classic
- Process and develop photos
- Develop module basics
- Create panoramas and HDR panoramas
- Flat-Field Correction
- Correct distorted perspective in photos using Upright
- Improve image quality using Enhance
- Work with image tone and color
- Apply local adjustments
- HDR photo merge
- Develop module options
- Retouch photos
- Cure red eye and pet eye effects
- Use the Radial Filter tool
- Use the enhanced Spot Removal tool
- Export photos
- Work with external editors
- Print photos
- Photo books
- Web galleries
- Keyboard shortcuts
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.
Starting the October 2022 release of Lightroom Classic (version 12.0), you can use new AI-powered masks to automatically select people, objects, and also backgrounds with just a click.
You can also use the Mask Amount Slider to adjust several adjustment settings at once.
There are multiple options within Lightroom Classic to add a mask to your image. You can use Select Subject, Select Sky, Select Background, Objects, or People to automatically add a mask or use Brush, Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient, or Range Masks to add a mask manually.
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.
Make adjustments to your photos using the Range masks.
Use this tool to sample color within the mask area. Do any of the following:
- To sample a single color within the mask area, click Color Range Selector at the required location on your photo.
- For more accurate color selection, do any of the following:
- Click+drag an area around the colors in the photo that you want to adjust.
- Shift+click to add multiple color samples. You can add up to five color samples by holding Shift while clicking on the image.
- To remove an existing color sample within the color range mask, Option(Mac)/Alt(Win)+click the sample that you want to remove.
- Adjust the Refine slider to narrow or broaden the range of selected colors.
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:
- Adjust the Luminance Range slider to define the endpoints of the selected luminance range.
- Click+drag an area on the photo you want to adjust. It is recommended to select a small area to narrow down on a specific luminance range.
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:
- Adjust the Depth Range slider to define the endpoints of the selected depth range.
- Click+drag an area on the photo you want to adjust. It is recommended to choose a smaller area using the Depth Range Selector tool to narrow down on a specific depth range.
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.
Select Background allows you to automatically select the background in your photo and apply specific edits.
Select Objects provides tools for masking objects and allows you to automatically select the object by brushing or drawing over the object area in your photo and apply specific edits.
Select People allows you to automatically select one or more people in your photo and apply specific edits.
Add to mask
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:
Subtract from mask
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.
Starting from Lightroom Classic 11.4 (June 2022 release), badges are added in the Masks panel for easy identification of mask components.
Segmented Masking Panel
Tone, Color, Presence, and Details can be expanded or collapsed individually for a more customized view.
Right-click on the collapsed segment of the adjustment panel to enter Solo Mode, allowing you to make adjustments one sub-panel at a time.
Adjustment panels have individual eye indicators to allow you to check which panel has an active setting quickly with just a glance. Furthermore, you can hold down the eye icon to temporarily hide the settings from the sub-panel for better visual indication.
Select one of the following from the menu:
Rename Select this option to rename the name of the mask
Invert Mask Select this option to select everything else except the initial selection you made.
Duplicate and Invert Mask Select this option to duplicate the mask and then invert the selection.
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
Delete Empty Masks
Select the option to delete a specific mask or multiple empty masks that were created either via presets or batch operations.
Update AI Masks
Select this option if an AI mask needs to be updated, if the image is missing, has a new spot, or has been rotated.
Auto Hide Toggle
Within the three dots menu of the mask, you may choose to Auto Hide Masking Panel
You can also change overlay options from the Masks panel.
Intersect with a Mask
To intersect an existing mask with a new mask, do the following:
Backed by Artificial Intelligence, Select Subject, Select Sky, Select Background, Select Objects, and Select People masks can now be applied to multiple photos with just a click. This works for Copy-Paste, Sync, and Auto-sync, and Copy from Previous settings.
To batch apply presets, follow these steps:
After you confirm Copy, select the photos you want to paste the Mask to in Library > Grid View
- If your mask isn't successfully applied to your selected photos, click Update All in the Masks panel or the caution indicator below the histogram. You can also press (macOS) Cmd+Option+U or (Win) Ctrl+Alt+U to update missing masks across the selected photos.
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.