Video: This hidden Lightroom tool can transform your photo editing


posted Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT


We've spoken many times about the utility of the "Select Sky" masking tool in Adobe Lightroom. The AI-powered feature lets you select the sky in your shot with a single click and make precise, localized adjustments that affect only the sky – or everything but the sky, if you want to invert the mask. However, you can take the "Select Sky" tool to new heights by utilizing another Lightroom's Masks panel feature called "Intersect."

In the video below, Nigel Danson shows us how to find and use "Intersect." It's sort of a hidden tool because you must hold Option on Mac or Alt on PC to see it. When holding that key command, the "add" and "subtract" buttons in the Masks section change to an "Intersect" button. When you click on Intersect, you can combine multiple masks, including Select Sky and a Linear Gradient. This is perfect for applying a custom graduated ND filter-like effect to your landscape images without needing to worry about the big issue of graduated ND filters, which is darkening parts of your photo you don't want to darken, especially those that stick up above the horizon, like trees or mountains.

This nifty Lightroom tool transforms your editing possibilities with landscape photography, and it's straightforward to use. "That ability to intersect masks uncovers so much potential in Lightroom," says Danson in the video above.

There are other ways to use the intersect tool. You can also use it with selective adjustments performed with the brush tool. For example, Danson shows how to intersect a color range mask and the brush tool to edit a specific color range in only a portion of the image rather than the entire photo. A color range mask is already more local than global adjustments, but by adding an intersected brush mask, the color range mask is applied even more precisely and across a small part of the image.

There are so many more ways to use intersecting masks to improve your image editing, including radial gradients and luminance masks, and radial masks. Be sure to watch the entire video above to see all the ways Danson has used intersecting masks to improve his images. It's a fantastic tool.

To see more from Nigel Danson, visit his websiteYouTube channel, and follow him on Instagram.

(Via Nigel Danson