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Let’s go to behind the scenes of my Lightroom editing process, focusing on the Brush tool. Post processing is very important if you are a professional photographer or a blogger. Editing is 50% of your image. Today I would like to show you my Lightroom editing process, focusing on how I used the brush tool to edit my images.

I started food photography in 2018, since then I have edited hundreds of images. I literally edit almost every day and I would love to share my knowledge with you too.

This blog post will help you, if you love to learn more about Lightroom and maximise it’s potential. Whether you are just starting with a food photography now or you are on your journey for some time already, but you feel that your editing is not perfect yet.

Lightroom Editing Brush tool | Lucia Marecak Healthy Goodies by Lucia

Before & After editing

Here, you see the image before and after editing. The brush tool here was my main tool for editing the image, and if you continue reading, I will explain you exactly why. I will also explain you better what the brush tool is, where you find it and which situation is the right one for using the Brush tool.

Let’s start. But first, What is the Brush Tool, where you find it and how to use it

What is the Brush tool

The Adjustment Brush tool in Lightroom allows you to make adjustment to only certain areas of an image by “painting” on the area that you wish to edit. This way you can make adjustments only on that specific area, without modifying the whole image.

It’s a great tool if you need to adjust exposure, contrast, texture, sharpening, changing the temperature, etc, or increasing/lowering the saturation of that specific area.

Where is it and how to use it

You can open the Brush tool in the right-hand panel (1) in the Develop mode, then click on “Show Selected Mask Overlay” (2), paint on the area you wish to edit (3), then go back to un-click “Show Selected Mask Overlay” (4) and now you can adjust the sliders (5) in the Right-hand panel under the Brush tool. Once finished, click on “done” (6).

Brush Tool Lightroom editing process | Healthy Goodies by Lucia Marecak

Why to use the brush tool. See the image example

Left: Edited image before applying the Brush Tool yet
Right: after applying the Brush Tool

The first image on the left is already after editing, but still before using the brush tool. As you see it now, you can have a better idea when is the right moment of using the brush tool. Look at the oranges, the jar with the juice and the drawer and it’s difference in these two images. You might ask: what if we increase the exposure and shadows of the entire image, so the oranges get lighter? Yes, we could, but this would effect the entire image and it would change the look of it. I aimed for a moody feeling and the left image is what I was going for, in terms of mood, light, contrast, texture, etc.

But, while the image itself was edited perfectly to me, the challenge I faced was to make the oranges more visible. You notice also that the light is different on each orange; one is too light, comparing to the others, which are too dark. The Brush tool is the best solution to solve this issue.

So, let me show you how I used the Brush tool in this case:

1. step: find the right balance for the oranges

Lightroom editing Window |Healthy Goodies by Lucia Marecak

The first step was to balance all oranges and make them more visible. Open the Brush tool, paint on the area of your interest, and go back to adjust the sliders of the Brush tool. When I increased exposure, what happened after, is that I lost the texture of those oranges. To balance this, I played with the highlights, texture and sharpness to find the right point.

2. step: make the leaves pop-up more

Looking at the image, I noticed that the leaves and other oranges in a drawer were quite dark. So, we need to correct this. If you are already in the Brush tool, click on new (on the top panel inside the brush tool):

Lightroom editing Brush Tool  |Lucia Marecak

Then, I selected the area of green leaves and some oranges inside of the table drawer. I made them slightly brighter but not too much, so it does not take attention from the oranges on the table.

Lightroom editing Window |Healthy Goodies by Lucia Marecak
VIP e-library | Healthy Goodies by Lucia

3. step: create more depth in the drawer

I felt I needed to add some depth in the image – especially in the table drawer. I clicked on the “new brush” again, selected the dark area between oranges and just simply increased the “dehanze“.

Lightroom editing Window |Healthy Goodies by Lucia Marecak

4. step: the drawer and it’s texture

When I looked at the final image, I felt that the drawer corner is somehow boring. I wanted to add more contrast, maybe to add some depth and the texture. I clicked on the “New Brush“, selected just the area of the drawer and adjusted the exposure, texture, dehanze and sharpness.

Lightroom editing Window |Healthy Goodies by Lucia Marecak

The final image

Lightroom Editing Brush tool | Lucia Marecak Healthy Goodies by Lucia

Enjoyed this blog post about the Lightroom Editing: Brush Tool?

If you like this article about the Brush tool, share it with someone who finds it useful too. Then, check also my previous blogpost about 14 most used Lightroom shortcuts, I use during every editing process.

I will be so happy if you let me know also how you liked this blog post and how useful it was for you! I hope these hints&tips will help you too and make your editing more enjoyable! 

And remember, feel free to ask me anything! I am here for you to help you on your journey to your amazing food photography future. Also, if you wish to learn some other things about Lightroom, let me know! 

If you are interested in healthy recipes, check my recipe index. I develop healthy and balanced recipes, mainly gluten-free, often made with chickpea flour or beans, so go and check them out 🙂

Author: Lucia Marecak
Author: Lucia Marecak

Hi there! My name is Lucia, I am a food blogger and food photographer. 

Here, at Healthy Goodies by Lucia, apart from creating delicious recipes, I also write about motivation, time-management or blogging itself and share my knowledge about food photography & editing.

My goal is to inspire and help others to progress and grow personally & professionally, in order to reach their dreams in blogging and food photography.

About the author

Lucia Marecak - a food photographer, founder of Healthy Goodies by Lucia and food photography teacher at HG Members Club, the most interactive learning platform for food photographers. Ex Human Resources Manager, today creating an amazing and inspiring community for food photographers, helping them to take their skills to the next level, be more creative & confident and create an amazing photography business of their dreams.


Brush Tool, Editing, Education, Food Photography, Lightroom, Self Development

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