Brushing Adjustments Away

When you want to apply an adjustment to most of an image except for a specific portion, you can specify the parameter settings for the adjustment and then brush the adjustment away from the areas of the image you want to exclude. Brushing an adjustment away from an image is the same operation as using the eraser brush.

Figure. Image showing a circular overlay with a minus sign indicating the position of the brush and that the adjustment is being brushed away.
To brush an adjustment away
  1. Select an image.

  2. If the adjustment you want to apply to the image is not shown in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, choose the adjustment from the Adjustments pop-up menu.

    Note: The Red Eye Correction, Spot & Patch, Straighten, Crop, Flip, White Balance, and Exposure adjustments cannot be brushed on images.

  3. Specify parameter settings for the adjustment while viewing the effect on the image.

  4. When the area of the image you want to adjust has the correct appearance, choose “Brush [adjustment] away” from the adjustment’s Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

    Figure. Action pop-up menu for the Enhance adjustment.

    The pointer turns into a brush, and the Brush HUD for the adjustment appears. The adjustment remains applied to the entire image.

  5. In the Brush HUD, specify the following settings:

    • To adjust the size of the brush: Drag the Brush Size slider to the left to decrease the diameter of the brush, or drag the slider to the right to increase the diameter. You can also enter a value in the Brush Size value slider.
    • To adjust the softness of the brush: Drag the Softness slider to the left to decrease the softness of the brush, or drag the slider to the right to increase the softness. You can also enter a value in the Softness value slider.
    • To adjust the intensity of the brush: Drag the Strength slider to the left to decrease the strength of the brush stroke, or drag the slider to the right to increase the strength. You can also enter a value in the Strength value slider.
    • To specify that the adjustment detect edges in order to preserve detail: Select the Detect Edges checkbox.
      Figure. Controls in the Brush HUD for the Enhance adjustment.

    Note: For additional options, see Working with Brushes.

  6. Brush over the areas of the image you want to exclude the adjustment from.

    Tip: It’s a good idea to regularly zoom in to the image to ensure that the brush strokes exclude the areas of the image you don’t want the adjustment to cover.

The adjustment is excluded from the portion of the image it was brushed on.

For information about how you can modify the effect of the adjustment after it has been brushed on the image, see Modifying Previously Applied Brush Strokes.