Editor’s Note — For complete coverage of the new Lightroom 5.2 features click here.

There have been many times when I’ve used Lightroom’s adjustment brush to its maximum use.  In other words I’m getting positive changes, but I’ve hit the highest value on the slider. In the past, I’d need to paint paint another mask on and apply those settings again.

This also comes into play when I take a two pass approach.  For example, I’ll use the settings two times at less than maximum when softening skin, in order to maintain better realism. This takes time, especially if I had to paint a particularly intricate mask.

But hey… no more wasting time! Lightroom’s new 5.2 update allow you to simply duplicate the mask in place and then have fresh controls over it. I love it. I recorded a video to show you exactly why I’m so excited.

Can’t see the video? Click here.


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Here again are the shortcut keys:

  • Right click on the button and choose from the options
  • Or press and hold the Option (Alt) and Command (Ctrl) and click once on the button to duplicate it

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Interesting new feature! Thanks for presenting it so clearly. I wonder, though, when I duplicate an adjustment brush can I get back to the first copy of the brush to alter its settings? How would I know which copy of the brush is active?

    • You can see both brushes by their “gray dots.” The active brush has a “black dot” in its center.

      • Thanks for the reply, Richard, but when I duplicate the adjustment brush, the brush dots are smack dab on top of each other. There seems to be no way to reach the underlying brush.

        • Hmmm… Camera Raw let’s me move them easily. Lightroom doesn’t. I’m checking into this more.

        • Sam, thank you for bringing this up! This is like the 3rd tutorial of this technique I’ve been to that neglects to account for this limitation, i.e., how to go between the original brush and its duplicate if their dots are “smack dab on top of each other.” (couldn’t have said it better myself!)

          Richard, definitely looking forward to an answer if you have one.

  2. Great post, Levi!


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About Levi Sim

Passion drives Levi to make photographs, teach, and help new friends. He tells people he's a photographer, but he really does more than just make pictures. His professional photography is primarily commercial work for businesses, both small and large, and he really helps show how great it'd be to work with those companies. He excels at photographing people, from two-year-olds to oil field workers to couples married for 60 years, everyone has a good time making pictures with Levi. Besides people and businesses, Levi enjoys all other aspects of photography, and practices landscapes and still life, as well. Other people enjoy photographing everything, and Levi wants to be able to help, so he practices as much as he can to be ready to help. He also runs a local photography club, is a Rotarian, actively helps at church, is a husband, and poppa to a peppy four-year-old girl. Levi writes regularly for and is co-author of books on Adobe Lightroom.


Adobe, Software, Technique & Tutorials


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