Friday Quick Tip – Lightroom – Sharpening using a Mask


One of the edits I do to each photo I process in Lightroom is Sharpening in the Details Panel in the Develop Module. How ever using the masking slider can be hit or miss as it doesn’t automatically show a mask. By holding down the Option key on MAC or the Alt key on PC you can clearly see what areas are being sharpened. Black = no sharpening, White = Sharpening.  Some theory as in Photoshop.. black conceals, white reveals.

Benjamin Warde explains this little tip in his Lightroom Coffee Break video.

Here is an image where I used this technique as I wanted sharpening to be only on the rocks in this image.

The stream at Aria Force in Cumbria

By lowering the clarity of the trees using a local adjustment brush and reducing the trees sharpness.. when it came to adding sharpening to the image using the details panel, by sliding the masking slider and holding down the Alt Key, I could see exactly where the sharpening would be.



The only downside is the maximum you can go to is 100 which the above is set at..  So some of the edges of the leaves of the trees are slightly sharpened but as it is a landscape photograph it didn’t really matter much in this image.

I hope this little tip helps you when sharpening an image in Lightroom… and have a good weekend everyone.

Until next time… Happy Snapping!!!


Written by Bren (Ryan-Photography)

Bren Ryan is a female amateur photographer and blogger who along with her husband, Ashley, have created a photography blog called Ryan Photography which showcases the places they've visited on their photography journey. Bren and Ashley primarily concentrate their photographic skills on landscape, architecture and floral subjects. Based in the South East of England they hope to give their readers an insight into the wonderful and beautiful landscapes, buildings and places that the South of England has to offer.

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