For years and years, Adobe has kept a wall between Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. There were a huge number of functions that could only be accessed with Photoshop, meaning if you are doing the main bulk of your editing in Lightroom Classic, you had to send that image to Photoshop to do things like selections or masking.
I expect this paradigm emerged from the idea that Lightroom was originally designed for bulk editing and organization, while Photoshop has been the graphic-artists’ go-to application.
Just this year, Adobe has taken Lightroom Classic to new, and very welcome levels, including a very effective AI-powered “denoise” function, and a pretty decent “selection” pallet.
I had a chance to use the selection tools recently, on an image I made in the early morning while driving to work.
The morning was mercifully cool, with soft light on the ground coming from a very interesting sky.
I got out of my car and tried to photograph a quickly-fading rainbow, but as I worked it, my eye was drawn to my car, with the mowed green grass and deep green woods along the highway. I made a few frames, and while I liked them, I knew I would need to edit them to get a product I could use.
As I drove away, I started thinking about how to do this. Run it through an HDR app like Photomatix Pro? Use the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop? What might Lightroom have to offer? Didn’t I see some new selection tools earlier this year?
I opened my images in Lightroom and went right to the image I wanted to edit, and clicked on the “masking” button, then clicked “select sky.” I was pleasantly surprised at home effective it was. That allowed me to darken and enhance the sky, then by inverting the selection, lighten the lower part of the image. In the past, selections required a lot of refinement, by hand.
So if you are a Lightroom Classic user, these selection tools are an exciting development in editing.