I though I should write about one of my all time favourite editing tools, the Lightroom Brush tool. This is not only my favourite Lightroom tool (closely followed by the camera calibration colour panel), but is the main reason I stuck with Lightroom after looking at some contenders.
This is my "hands on" tool. It is, for a self confessed computer shirker, the closest thing I have at hand to a real darkroom manipulation.
Why do I like it?
One of the strongest weapons we have in photography to get our artistic point across is selective focus and subject placement. Lens focal length and aperture selection, focus point and Bokeh rendering, with some other factors will determine the starting point, but when the image hits our screens the quality needed to really bring out the best in the image, to really push home our intent is often the difference between "just ok" and better.
I find the brush tool while powerful, to be quite gentle and natural looking, where global settings can look harsh very quickly. Even tools such as Clarity and De haze look less aggressive when brushed on selectively. It may be that selective application, but even in direct comparison of areas sharpened globally or brushed, there seems to be (to my eye) a subtle difference.
My work flow has come to the point where I rarely do anything to an image with global tools other than a pre set, relying on a little light brush work to give the image the right emphasis. I would love to say i can do this with perfect camera control, but the reality is I often shoot with a little caution in fast moving scenes, needing to add the fine balance later in post processing.
It is subtle I know (the effect in editing looks stronger tan the blog post shows), but subtlety is good.