Lightroom Tips for the Develop Module the Magic Alt Key
Close
Close

Lightroom Tips for the Develop Module – the Magic Alt Key

LR_Alt_option_visualization_opener

Lightroom tips for the Develop module – one feature in Lightroom that isn’t obvious or easy to discover is the visualization feedback which you can get in the Develop module. In many cases when you hold the Alt key, (Option on a Mac) and click (and hold it) on a slider, the screen will change to give you feedback on the adjustment you are making.

This feedback (visualization) take some of the guess work out of how the adjustment you are making is affecting the image. Here are some of the useful visualizations available in the Lightroom Develop module:

Alt and the Exposure, Highlights, Whites, Shadows and Blacks Sliders

When you hold Alt (Option) and drag any of these sliders you will see any areas where whites or blacks are clipped as a result of the adjustment – the color shows which channel is being clipped. When you adjust Shadows and Blacks the white areas of the image aren’t clipped.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_1

Showing where the blacks are being clipped

When adjusting Exposure,  Highlights and Whites – the black areas are not clipped.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_2

Showing where the highlights are being clipped

Sharpening

When adjusting Sharpening you can preview the result of the sharpening on the image by holding the Alt (Option) key and drag on any slider. Alt (Option)  and the Amount slider shows you the sharpening applied to a black and white version of the image – as Lightroom sharpens only the luminance and not color this gives you a better view of the sharpening result.

Alt (Option)  with the Radius slider shows the halos being applied to the edges in the image to sharpen it.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_3

Showing the radius or amount of sharpening being applied

Alt (Option)  and the Detail slider shows the suppression of the halos occurring as you drag on this slider.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_4

Alt (Option) and the Masking slider shows a black and white mask over the image – the areas which are black are not sharpened and those which are white will be sharpened.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_5

Showing the mask when sharpening – makes it easy to control which areas are sharpened and which are not, very useful for people photos.

Split toning

Alt (Option) and either of the two Hue sliders shows the currently selected hue in place on the image even if the Saturation slider is set to zero. This lets you see the color you are selecting, at 100% saturation, before you apply it.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_6

Noise Reduction

Alt (Option) and the Luminance, Detail and Contrast sliders for removing  noise converts the image into a black and white image so you can see the effect of the adjustments more clearly.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_7

Lens Correction – Color tab

Alt (Option) and the appropriate Amount slider shows the areas in the image affected by fringing. White is not affected and you will see any areas affected by purple or green fringing.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_8

Alt (Option) and the appropriate Hue slider lets you view the range of hues being fixed. Black areas are already being targeted and any remaining purple or green color indicates residual color fringing.

LR_Alt_option_visualization_9

Recognizing the times you can use the Alt (Option) key in the Develop module will help you make adjustments to your images more easily and effectively. I hope you enjoyed these Lightroom tips for the Develop module.

Read more from our Post Production category.

Helen Bradley is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at Projectwoman.com.

  • Shai Yammanee

    These are great tips.
    I always forget about these hidden gems of keyboard shortcuts.

  • Sherol Bose

    Thank you, I keep forgetting the alt key

  • bensament

    Thanks, I didn’t know about that!

  • Alex

    Thank you for the tips. I know ALT has some magic features but I did not thought i has that much.

  • Helen Bradley

    Thanks for the feedback Shai – hope they help you in your editing.

  • Helen Bradley

    It’s easy to forget Sherol – I wish Adobe would make it more obvious that it can be used – it would really help everyone.

  • Helen Bradley

    Cheers Alex! It was years before I learned the one for Split Toning!

  • Helen Bradley

    :) hope it helps bensament!

  • http://harjeevchadha.wordpress.com/ Harjeev S Chadha

    Great Article. Though I had some idea what the ALT Key did, but having them tabulated in one place is great.
    Thanks for sharing

Some older comments

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed